Game Plan | Central Hinds for M#8
Written By: Jeet Vachharajani
Picture Courtesy: Cricket Queens
This article focuses on what the Central Hinds can do specifically in their next game against Northern Brave keeping the opponent & the pitch in mind. Hinds regularly appear to me like a team with immense potential and promise, but they just don't seem to be getting a few things right and it's costing them dearly.
CHANGES TO THEIR XI
Hinds have just too many bowling options & it's not boding well for them. Mikaela Greig had acknowledged that in the first game, & if I count the no. of players in their XI against the Magicians who could bowl, then the no. comes up to 9! 7 of those were actually used despite having just 88 runs to defend. The only players to not bowl were Greig & Melissa Hansen, who was added for this game as an extra bowling option for Kerry Tomlinson and that's where it got weirder. I think the general perception that the HInds had coming into this game was that this will be a belter of a pitch to bat on, so we need an extra bowling option. The next game will be on the same pitch against a good bowling lineup.
My recommendation: Add Kerry Tomlinson back for Ocean Bartlett
Promoting Flora Devonshire: Emily Cunningham has struggled as an opener for a very long time now. She is out there to hit the ball as hard as she can, but there's just no technique to her slogging. When the new ball moves around, her task gets harder. Hinds have a rare LHB in their side & it's time to make use of her for the next game to ensure an LHB-RHB combination. I don't expect Flora to score a lot of runs, but there is a rationale behind this move.
The new ball will again be taken by Shriya Naidu - An inswing bowler who ranks last in my books amongst the similar types because of her bowling discipline. She slips down the leg side way too often for my liking. Now, imagine her having to bowl to an LHB-RHB opening combo! There's a good chance that it will make the job harder for her to control the lines and could end up conceding more wides than usual. She could partner up with Lucy Boucher (if fit), who has the same issue with her outswing to RHBs. She is a good bowler but has a tendency to err on line as well. Imagine her bowling to the LHB in Devonshire - A good chance a few will go down the leg. There could be plenty of free runs on offer, either by wides or by clipping the leg-side deliveries.
Entry point of Jess Watkin: Watkin is Hinds' key batter. Her entry is of the essence & a major key to her team's success with the bat. Her getting dismissed early vs. getting dismissed after batting for 8-10 could itself creates a difference of 25-30 runs. Northern Brave has a strong spin unit and Watkin is the best player of spin in the Hinds' lineup. If she walks in early & gets dismissed to the pacers even before the spinners are introduced, then what's the point? This is exactly what happened in the first two games. She was dismissed to Jess Kerr in the first game before a single ball of spin was bowled & today got out to the pace of Lea Tahuhu.
Brave will use Nensi Patel in the PP & Amanda-Jade Wellington + Eimear Richardson post-PP. This makes Watkin's entry point important. The best position for her is #4 or a position where she walks in when the Brave's spinners are operating. Let her be at the Hinds' forefront of taking on the opposition's spinners.
I put a lot of focus on my PP bowling plans for a team to whom I provide it and it works like a charm. The game more often than not is done and dusted there. Hinds gave an over each to 5 different bowlers in their first 5 overs in the last game. The idea must have been to rotate the bowlers so that the batters don't settle in against one particular bowler. But, Magicians were just chasing 89 runs and they had all the time to negotiate such a strategy. You need early wickets and the bowlers you use in the PP should be wicket-takers.
Gurrey's likely to miss out & Boucher could come in and open the batting (if fit). Brave's top-order have all struggled against pace so far & Hinds need to target them with more of it. Hinds' spin can take control in the middle overs, but let the pacers come out firing!
My recommendation: Rosemary Mair - Claudia Green - Rosemary Mair - Claudia Green - Rosemary Mair - Jess Watkin
Death-over duties have to be shared by Claudia Green & Melissa Hansen.
*These are just basic batting and bowling order recommendations keeping the match-ups in mind. How one bowls to a batter or how a Northern Brave bowler should be negotiated is a different story altogether.