Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Short pitch: Unexpected consequences of rotation

There are many sequelae to Cricket Australia's revolving door selection policy, but one that has gone unnoticed until now is the volume of run-outs seen in all formats of cricket.

It stands to reason: every player has their own style of running.  They might call early or late, be hesitant or direct or pigheaded.  Seeing as batting practice occurs mostly in the nets where partnership running is difficult to trial, there is a consequent lack of training afforded to running between wickets.  This is only magnified when viewed through the prism of inconsistency: how can a player know the running tendencies of his teammates when so many partners are dropped in and out of the lineup?

In International cricket this season, David Warner has batted with 13 different partners ranging from Ed Cowan to Nathan Lyon.  With the paucity of First Class games available to international teams - tour matches being a thing of the past - and a crowded schedule, communication suffers and run-outs quickly follow.

It takes time for players to bed into a team, both emotionally and stylistically.  The flurry of players we see short of their crease is just testament to the changing environment batsmen particularly are forced to endure.

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