Which words make the biggest impact from your pitch?
As England’s cricket Summer ‘bio-bubble’ allows for two gripping three-Test series to take shape, I learned of a subtle yet key change-up in how English youngsters face the mysteries of spin bowling.
Conventional wisdom traditionally has it that as the ball comes your way, without knowing or time to gauge how much it will deviate from its straight path upon its bounce, you are best aiming to bat in the same general direction as that bowler usually spins it.
Yet as the game develops, batsmen getting ever more attacking, more hit the other way.
This has been known down the ages as “playing against the spin”.
Some suggest this as the percentage play.
But as we all know, always playing percentages seldom secures championship success.
And so to play against the spin has come to be actively taught.
In one sense, to embrace how batsmen from the Indian sub-continent – because of their different climatic conditions – grow up to play the demon twirlers.
Even with fertile minds though, there’s still that niggle of doubt from going counter to the grain.
To overcome this, a fresh – ahem – spin arose in coaching circles.
It is best to think not about playing against the spin, but rather playing into the spin.
Don’t confront something, but go with it in a different way.
A simple preposition switch up. Which clears the boundary.
Readily lapped up by those coming into the game.
If this type of language attention is not yet applied to your pitch, time to take a swing.