Tactics You Should Be Using: Finish With Spin
Think of the death of a typical top-level one day game: The quicks always finish the game.
It makes sense to follow their lead at club level.
Except club cricket is a different game and, in fact, spinners are far the better option to finish off an innings and get the win.
The possibility of the draw means batsmen can shut up shop and aim to just not lose the game. This is much easier against club seam bowlers with an old ball that it is against spin.
Club seamers are less penetrative than first-class bowlers and so the batsman can decide to keep defending ball after ball.
The chance of getting him out is low when he is not playing a shot.
However, the club spinner is slow and tempting to batsmen, especially the tail-enders who have little chance to show their skill with the bat in a typical season.
With the ball being thrown up, eyes light up and the batsman plays a shot he ends up regretting.
And you end up winning more games.
Manoeuvring the match
But it’s not just a matter of saving your match-winning spinner until the last 25 overs: to make the most of the spinner you need to be in control of the game.
That means manoeuvring the opposition into a position where you are strongest.
This is quite the challenge as sometimes you will need to feed some runs to keep them thinking they can win, while other times you need to keep it very tight to slow the rate when they are sailing along.
Sometimes that dot-ball seamer who always gets you 1-26 off 10 will be needed at the end too.
But that’s the exciting part of captaincy; you need to be thinking ahead and jockeying for position to win the game.
It takes guts and skill as skipper to turn to your spinner when the opposition need 55 of 15 overs with 5 wickets in hand and tell him to win it for you.
But do it, because chances are that he will.
by David Hinchclife, PitchVision Academy
© 2012 miSport Ltd