the tactics of off spin bowling in one-day cricket
By Peter Such
The main tactical considerations when bowling off spin in one-day cricket revolve around the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition batsman and the strengths and weaknesses of your own side, in particular their fielding abilities.
Know the opposition before you start:
Favoured strokes and scoring areas
Whether they like pace on the ball or not
What field placing variations are you going to have for each player?
Work the batsman’s strengths out quickly
This can be done by looking for the following signs
Grip on the bat – strong bottom hand and closed face means they are an on side player. Open face probably means that they favour the off side
Short players tend to play square of the wicket.
Tall players like to hit down the ground
Asian players are more likely to play wristy square of the wicket strokes
Those of Caribbean origin tend to favour the on side
Much of what batters do is pre-meditated, watch their eyes, sometimes you can pre-empt what they are going to do
Manipulate the strike; as a bowler you can do this, by giving the in form dangerous player the strike and bowl at the other player if necessary
The right mindset
Know your role, be satisfied with it and do it well
Usually this role involves a ‘holding job’ in the middle of the innings probably coming on as second change after the field restrictions have been relaxed
Create pressure that could result in wickets at the other end
As a spin bowler, you are not usually a big wicket taker, but
You can have a big influence on a game by taking important wickets
Awareness of the game situation
Always be aware of the game situation and bowl accordingly
When bowling first make sure, the scoring rate does not go up while you are bowling
When bowling second make sure the run rate required goes up while you are bowling
Know the run rate equation, bowl accordingly and set your fields accordingly. Keep it simple
Play the percentages
Keep piling on the pressure so desperation creeps into the opponents’ game plan
Do not gamble unless you have to
Stick to your game plan, execute it well and you will win more times than you loose
If things do not go well be prepared to improvise and go to plan B. But only if you have to.
It is vital that you assess in your own mind the role each fielder will have to perform and than decide who within your side would be best suited to occupy that position. Having the right person in a particular fielding position is just as important as having the fielder in the right place. As a guide, bear the following considerations in mind:
Backward point – saves the single & cuts off the boundary. Does not have to be a top fielder
Cover – runs on to the ball. Does not have to be a top fielder.
Extra cover – Saves the single, stops and catches the drive. Needs strong hands.
Mid off / Long off – Runs on to the ball, a catching position, needs a good throwing arm
Mid on / Long on – runs on to the ball, a catching position, good throwing arm, will be very busy
Mid wicket – has to be your best fielder. Quick, agile, good catcher
Deep mid wicket – attacking position, good hands and a good throwing arm, needs to be quick
Square leg / short fine – agile and quick. Left hander at short fine, right hander at square leg
Deep square / Sweep – fastest fielder in the side with good catching hands and a good throwing arm
Wicket Keeper and Bowler
Wicket keeper is the key man; he sees everything from the business end so it is important to establish a good working relationship
You have to field well off your own bowling. Your responsibility to cut off runs that are firmly pushed down the ground
As an off spin bowler you are going to have to think on your feet. Don’t expect others to do it for you, check your field before each ball, you have ultimate responsibility for what happens.