Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Time-Lapse photostudy: Why Australia's batting collapses like an accordion

It's not a matter of good bowling - though it must be said the Indians have bowled well.  Neither is it a matter of a lack of application, unless you're Brad Haddin.  To paraphrase Python (the Holy Grail), it isn't where it grips it - it's a simple question of weight ratios.

The photostudy below shows Australian no. 3 Shaun Marsh being bowled by Indian seamer Umesh Yadav.  The circles represent (approximately) where Marsh's centre of gravity is.  The down axis (with arrows) represents where he's planting his feet - ie. straight down the pitch.  The upper hand of the clock shows where his head and shoulders - and hence the direction of his bat - are moving.

As David Lloyd says, "It's a sideways game, lad".  Marsh is still sideways, but playing away from his centre of gravity.  Power, footwork and balance comes from adept movement of this centre of gravity.  When the arms play away from the body - as in the photoseries below - edges occur.  This is rampant in the Australian top order, as five inside edges onto the stumps this Test shows.

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