Bowlers take ownership of reverse swing after Newlands

After the infamy of Australia in Newlands, one of the most common questions was the following: why "taking care" of the ball for bowlers was a task assigned not only to a batsman, but to the youngest member of The team at Cameron Bancroft?

While it was vice-captain David Warner who took the lion's share of the blame for Bancroft's training on how to use sandpaper, and Captain Steven Smith almost looking the other way, the question persisted long after , particularly when the Australian bowling trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins strongly denied any involvement in illegal efforts to alter the condition of the ball to allow the reverse swing.

Seven months later, Australia is preparing to face Pakistan. Desert conditions are likely to require the movement of the old ball for fast men to be effective, captain Tim Paine sheds light on a significant change in approach from Newlands so far. The care of the ball, this time by legal means, will no longer be the reach of the batters: the fast players Starc and Peter Siddle will assume the responsibility of taking care of their own projectile.

"They have taken a bit more ownership of the ball and have to play with it," Paine said in Dubai. "I think it's a good idea, we'll have some players that will hold it a little while the bowlers are bowling and they're traditionally going to sweat a bit more, but I think that in the cricket team that I've been in, bowlers tend to be left out and batters take control of the ball.

"We've talked to our rapids, we have Starc and Sidds who have a lot of experience, they know exactly what they want to do, and that's Depends the rest of us support them. [The pitch] looks a lot like how I've always seen it here, it looked quite flat, the interesting thing was the square that surrounded it because the Asian Cup was very, very dry, so there will be some possibilities for a little of reverse swing, but we'll see how it goes. "

Traditionally, it has been seen as the batters' job to take care of the ball because they do not sweat as much as the players, given their relative lack of activity on the field.Alastair Cook was famous for England as a "ball marshal" for many years because he was hardly known to sweat, and Warner took over the task of Australia, until his hand tightly bound He faced an unusual amount of scrutiny by television cameras in South Africa during the Port Elizabeth test that preceded Newlands.

Starc, the only member of the Newlands bowling trio who played in Dubai, said that a square worn by the recent Asian Cup would probably be A much more abrasive than the equivalent surface in 2014, when the Australians were subjected to long hours on the field with a ball that stubbornly refused to bend after a brief couple of conventional ball swing moves. Also different on this occasion is the fact that the Australian bowling coach is David Saker, who for many years worked with the paceman of England to win the movement of the old ball.

"The painting is quite empty, so there is a good chance that the ball will be scratched above the window," Starc said. "Hopefully, for fast bowlers, the reverse swing plays a bit, the spinners are a great weapon in this part of the world and the way that Nathan [Lyon] and Jon [Holland] in the game of the tour was Fantastic for us, change the roles of fast bowlers around here and it's a bit more of a support role and those who play the spinners get into the game much earlier and they are also much more effective. "

Regarding the pace of the game, Paine expected an initially monotonous contest to meet us at the end of his trip, coincidentally not very different from the trip made by a ball that is reversed late on his way to shoot down a batter. "Traditionally here, there probably is not [done] much until very late in the game," Paine said. "Here it's about being patient, playing the long game and the first three or four days can be very slow and we have to be prepared for that and fight very hard and be as patient as possible, and make sure we get to that later stage of the game and we are in that.

"We have discussed it as a group and some high level players who have been here before and a real key for us is a patience game here. We have to change a bit the way the Australian teams have played, we are always an aggressive type of cricket and obviously that has not worked here in the past. "It's a great opportunity to show that we are prepared to change the way we play and adapt to different conditions."


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