Sunday, June 24, 2007

Perfect 10 – Ebren

In a ten-over innings at the Brit Oval today ND Doshi explained to the world why spin is a potent force whether we are talking politics or the shortest form of cricket around.

As players, captains, coaches and fans have been getting more used to Twenty20 in the last four years, the initial stereotypes have fallen faster than the wickets of the England tail end.

Today Surrey took on Hampshire with the innings restricted to ten overs, three with restrictions, and no more than two overs per bowler.

And as soon as the field restrictions were over Surrey captain Mark Butcher brought on his spinners. Two leg-spinners in a ten over game.

Back when Twenty20 was conceived a hard-running slash and slog fest was expected. Bottom hand heavy strokes and people flaying not playing their way in. It was what was expected under the floodlights in the bright kits that were unveiled.

Flight, bounce, turn, and - most important of all - a brain were not requirements.

But today, Nayan Dilip Doshi showed how wrong those predictions were.

In front of around 20,000 fans ND Doshi took three wickets in two overs for six runs. In doing so he became the first bowler to take 50 wickets in this concentrated form of the game. He was backed up at the other end by Chris Schofield taking two for 16. In four overs they broke the back of Hampshire and effectively won the game. Bowling left arm orthdox spin.

"Sometimes the only options are the right ones," Butcher explained of his decision to play spin that early.

But Doshi was far more eloquent.

This Londoner, son of Dilip Doshi - who took 114 test wickets for India at 30.71 and 22 one day wickets at 23.81 - explained the secrets of his success.

And it was all in the mind. Out-thinking the batsman, mixing it up, watching his feet on the run-in for signs of a reverse sweep, tempting, teasing, and the pouncing.

And his were a wonderful 13 balls bowled (Doshi's second over lasted for seven balls, if it had been the regulation six his figures would have been 3 for 4). Pitched up, floated, drifting balls. Hanging in the air for and age before dropping, hitting and pitching before anyone knew what happened.

Doshi took to the crease at 36-1, and tempted Voges forward in his second delivery. Voges missed the ball completely his bails came next as Batty whipped them away. 37-2. Tremlett fell for two in Doshi's second over as the dip, flight, and straighter ball confused him and his attempted pull met fresh air. The ball found the stumps far better. The very next shot Lamb was caught behind off an inside edge. By this stage it was 46 for 6 and Hampshire were a broken team with Schofield removing Carberry and England new-boy Mascarenhas in his first over at the other end.

With the inaugural Twent20 World Cup taking place in South Africa this September we are guaranteed shots, sixes, fours and some top-notch fielding - but look out for the spinners because as Doshi proved today cricket, in any form, will always be a game of the mind, and the ability to tempt, trick and above all out-think opponents mean spin is a deadly weapon even in a ten over game.

19 comments:

andrewm said...

Interesing stuff Ebren. I'm totally against 20/20 - had a good argument with GU's Andy Bull about it once on the other blog, in which I definitely came off as a boring old reactionary (which to a fair degree I am) - but this does sound like a quality match.

If it was up to me, all sports would last ten days, it would rain a lot and I would be the only one in the crowd, drinking beer and reading the papers. I'm not the kind of person modern sport is trying to reach.

MotM said...

Andrewm - I like the Twenty20 as indicated here - http://www.thegoogly.com/2007/06/twenty20---the-.html. (I think you're boycotting this site, but Mimi and I would love to see you there).

Ebren - I'm a big fan of Doshi, but even more of a fan of the best thinker on the circuit - http://www.thegoogly.com/2007/06/performance-of-.html.

How they got a game in with Sarf London's weather is amazing.

MotM said...

Seems those links were broken.

Gary Keedy is my pick just ahead of Doshi for all the same reasons.

mimi said...

I was totally against Twenty20 when it started but am a total convert now. It's brought a new vibrancy to the game, and Ebren - great piece. Now if only Peter Moores can show adventurous imagination picking an England Twenty20 squad ....

Ebren said...

And now I look like I've nicked it all from Mouth ;o)

Doshi gave a great interview in between the innings, and that was what prompted this piece.

I only wish I had taped it, all you are left with is my memories of what he said.

Zeph said...

Ten overs?? And they call it cricket?? Harrumph!

Very reassuring piece Ebren, it's good to know that the essential cricketness of cricket survives whatever variations of form are imposed.

MotM said...

I wish I had seen that interview with Doshi - I remember watching his Dad play, I'm afraid.

One of the other admirable elements of Twenty20 is the openness of the players to the public. On Saturday, did anyone see Jason Gillespie run round the boundary to take a catch, throw the ball back and immediately turn to sign autographs? Top Man!

mimi said...

ebren: meant to ask - was Alastair Campbell spinning a ball or line or two today?!

Ebren said...

Didn't see Mr Campbell.

Saw this though:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw

and this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMwdAc1Dzfg

mimi said...

ebren: brilliant. I want to see Blair and Campbell in rodent fur costumes dancing to a melange of You Spin me Round and Things can only get Better! Surely you can organise this??

Ebren said...

I'll have my people call their people

MotM said...

I used to buy the likes of the blue vinyl version of the Police's So Lonely from Pete Burns when he worked at Probe Records in Matthew Street. He didn't look much like he does now - he looked more like the chipmunk.

mimi said...

I tended to haunt Rough Trade in Ladbroke Grove, seeking green vinyl offerings from Mark E Smith.
Ah those distant years, eh Mouth?

MotM said...

Mimi -

They don't seem so distant until you meet people with kids who weren't born then!

Tempus fugit I think.

offside said...

*sigh*

Margin said...

My colleague was there and had always said cricket was boring. But she took her dad as a brithday present and has now declared herself a fan of what was an exciting game.

ps - Ebren

Blair called back, but Campbell won't wear the fur. Said something about cannibalism

DoctorShoot said...

ebren
good spinning...

great gateway to the festival ahead...
20/20 is the animal thing; put that on file...

the version of the game where the next generation gets access... head and body fling.

I'm all for it. Every spinners dreamtime is when the batsmen go for runs and take those brilliant and dangerous risks.

If test cricket is to have a secure future then it will be a blend of old style and modern flurry... and no passengers at last.

Perhaps the 50 over game should become the 2 x 20/20 game. (Longer life for fast bowlers too). let's see a french side in the comp...

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff. Of course Schofield is a right arm leg spinner, but let's not worry about accuracy.

Ebren said...

oops - will change now. It does rather ruin the sentence though. Curses.

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