October 24, 2017
Confidence battered from the weekend, I went back to the footage from my session at Southern Cricket to view my bowling in the hope I can pick up a few cues on what I needed to do. After warming up after arriving at practice, I was straight into bowling. The start was promising. Within the first few deliveries, I cleaned up Dom Tran, who left a big gap between bat and pad for my in-swinger to the left-hander to penetrate and bowl him. I also managed to get some out-swing to the right-handed Umesh Patel who mishit a few. Then it went wrong. I overpitched to Alex Cleary and Joe Laria, and they laid into drives (although Joe was hitting them uppishly at catchable height). Later on, it went from bad to worse when I bowled short, especially to Ben Peel, when I tried to get it to swing from over the wicket to the left-hander, but it was into his hitting arc.
Batting was a little bit of a struggle initially as I was facing mostly spin from the lower grade net. I made some slight adjustments with my bottom hand, which technically should have been loose and therefore giving me control of my shots, which should be forced with the top hand. As a result, after playing and missing against spin, I was more confident in playing shots both forward and back. It would be a good idea to try and get some throw-downs on a matchday before batting to give me the extra confidence.
October 27, 2017
Till now, I didn’t realize that part of the pace comes from the back, and I know that in my own action, failure in bending the back would make my action extremely late if I try to swing the ball. This would result in slow loose deliveries being delivered to the batsmen. That’s what I found out in both the nets and the previous game last weekend. My concern from not bending the back is the worry of a back injury, but I remember Luke telling me that I shouldn’t worry about that. The only time, I would have back problems if my hips and shoulders are not aligned with each other, which produces counter-rotation.
So I learned that Jess Howard, unfortunately, fell sick today, which meant there was a possibility a spot in 4ths for a seamer. Given that I was willing to go up if needed, I thought I might be in with a chance. Thankfully, the right decision was made by JP, and I was still in 6ths for another week. The only way is up in terms of performances, and tomorrow, I have an opportunity to put the returns on the board. In saying so, all I care about is whether I’ll get to play and contribute with the ball in hand. At the moment, playing grade is what I’m satisfied with at the moment as it’s proper cricket, which encourages me to get fit.
I learned that with Paul Moger and Duncan Gammage out for another week, I would have to lift as a middle-order bat and a first change seamer. With Dom Ross also absent due to a family matter and Will going back up to 5ths, I may be asked to open the bowling. But we have Sajid Khan and Andy Brains, who would be suitable opening bowlers so I may stay as a first change bowler. With Paul’s absence, I may have to bat at three.which statistically has been a terrible position for me except for a couple of good innings for Riverton-Rostrata; 39 against Armadale which was made in two and a half hours in sapping heat in January 2014 followed by 25 against Leeming Spartan in December that year which helped chase down 175 in 35 overs (although I later hurt my calf like I did last week).
I basically have to put the past behind and at least be an understudy no. 3 for Archie until Paul returns to the side. But it may not happen depending on the match situation. Archie could well bat somebody else at 3 if we are chasing a small total. If being given the opportunity, I have to take it.
October 28, 2017
The forecast was showing a 50-50 chance of rain today more so at around 12pm. The presence of rain will undoubtedly determine whether we will play on time. You would hope that there would have been some sufficient time to prepare the pitch in Aranda yesterday since it was a clear day after the slightly wild weather on Thursday, which affected training.
Thankfully there was no rain, and the pitch seemed bone dry from the distance when I arrived late at Aranda. Once again, we had an issue with both the change rooms and the main shed locked. I decided to make the dash to Kippax to fetch the keys from JP to unlock these places. Archie told me to try and come back soon in case we were bowling first. I arrived at Kippax, but JP and the rest of his 3rd-grade side were in the field. I think I heard Matty Andrews yelling out something like, “Rohit, get some pants on and join us in the field!” but I suspect he was joking. I was there to fetch the keys. Thankfully, our head groundsman Rob was there to provide me with the necessary keys. That was after 12.30pm. I called Archie and told him I got and keys and learned we were batting first. When I arrived to unlock the change rooms, I further learned we were sent in by ANU Royal, and I was batting five again.
We were three for 46 when I came in. Kashif was run out, Aqib was caught out for 17, and Dan Stiller was also caught out but for a duck. I was going to bat in the Ginninderra cap, but since I felt it was hot, I switched for the white sun hat. I was facing Ganesan, who took the last two wickets. As I later found out, he didn’t have a great pace, but he was putting it on the spot. Fortunately, I got off the mark from the very first ball against him, and then Brandon was caught and bowled by Ganesan for 10. 4 for 47. From there, we collapsed to 9 for 83 as J Culvenor and Foley, in particular, created the damage.
Although I wasn’t able to score quickly, I still felt good whenever the loose delivery came about. So it was unfortunate to glove behind for just seven against the wily old fox (which is Foley). I did glove a few deliveries of his before the dismissal, but it didn’t go to hand. But I wasn’t wise enough to realize that I had to try to put him off his length. The good thing out of dismissal, though is that I can have sufficient rest since I will have a decent bowl today.
Once again, our captain Archie came to the rescue with the bat, and this time he had the support of Sajid Khan and extras, and they put on 28 before Sajid was bowled. Little we realize later that it was a no-ball as I was about to put Sajid’s dismissal in the book as the scorer. Sajid was bowled next over, but by then, a further five runs were added. Sajid made 12, Archie again not out, this time with 14. Ginninderra bowled out for 116 in 39.1 overs. Considering that several of us thought that 100 would be a defendable total, it means that we are in the game with the perception that they are more a bowling team.
Sajid soon had them 3/13 by the ninth over. Jirman edged a drive behind; Nayana coped a brute of a delivery which was gloved to Aqib in the gully, and then Fox was bowled off-stump. I soon replaced him in the attack. Thankfully, I had an opportunity to get some warm-up balls and a run-through of my bowling. I needed that, considering my confidence was better. I nearly struck on the first ball when Reynolds top-edged a hoick, but Archie couldn’t run back quickly to hold on the catch.
Despite a leg-side wide two balls later (which would be the only extra I conceded all day), I soon found my rhythm and swing. Although not a great deal of pace, the sight of Reynolds and Borgo miscuing the drives was encouraging. I had a few missed chances that didn’t go to hand, but I am almost back to my best.
Soon enough on the fourth ball of my fourth over, I clean bowled Reynolds. It was 4/50. It was the second time I clean bowled him in grade. Last year it was the middle stump. Today, it was the off-stump. The constant was the attempted golf-shot through cow corner. They were getting away from us, and I provided the crucial break. I soon was able to get the ball to swing both ways before we went off to drinks as I had cut Sandeep Gangal in half with an in-swinger. So they were 4/58 at drinks. Just about halfway their target of 117.
Archie had an epiphany and decided to bring back our openers Sajid and Andy Brains in the hope we can wipe through their middle-order, or they could get closer to the target. He had the feeling that they would see me off if I continued and would instead allow them to take me on, which would create chances.
It went to plan. Andy Brains trapped both Borgo and Gangal lbw, and then Sajid cleaned up M Culvenor for a duck. We were on top at 7 for 59. Andy finished with 2/15 and Sajid 4/16 (best ever figures) at the end of their spells. But it seems, ANU Royal still had hoped with the experience of Peter Foley. He manipulated the field with swipes and deft touches as he marshaled them towards the target. There were misfields as well, which left several of us (including me) tense. Having had figures of 1/5 off 5, I finished with 1/22 off 9. I was pissed off that my figures took a slight battering as well as having to bowl a ball that looked like a dog slobbered over it (actually it rained in the later stages).
With Andy, Sajid, Lindsay Thompson (who bowled J Culvenor), and I bowled out, Archie needed to turn to part-timers to bowl the remaining overs. Archie, as a matter of fact, rolled his arm over and cleaned up Platt with the score at 111. Brandon soon got a go with the ball, and on his third delivery, he bowled a juicy full-toss, which Foley miscued into the hands of Sajid. We pulled it off and won by 5 runs. Having been at the wrong end of a tight game, we ended up being at the right end of one. Poor Foley, he nearly took them home, so before I joined in the celebrations, I offered him a consoling handshake.
We were back to winning ways after the disappointment of last week, and I was delighted with how I bowled today.
October 29, 2017
Archie was delighted that I’ve stood up and delivered with the ball in hand and expressed his desire to have me all season. He would have been concerned if I gave another mediocre performance like last weekend, but he didn’t have to worry. I was back to my best, getting the ball to swing and finding that extra bounce. I was thinking, if I could work on my run-up to develop the momentum through the crease, I could also have the extra pace.
He also had decided to promote me from five to opener moving forward as he continues to be impressed with my solidarity and my calling between the wickets. He hopes that I would be able to help a newcomer like Kashif (actually who is very new to hard-ball cricket) with some of my fundamentals. Archie’s still trying to work out his batting order after consecutive weeks of top-order collapses. I’m hoping I would be the solution to these woes. Statistically, in both official and unofficial cricket, I’ve performed quite well opening, which has resulted in solid starts turning into decent totals (including my only fifty to date ever, which is a 60 not out in a Sunday Social semi-final in 2015-16). I can hang around in the first half of the innings before teeing off in the second half of the innings.
As a result, Archie has the firm belief that I can develop into a genuine allrounder like last weekend. Now my role moving forward is an opening bat and a seamer who can bowl at any stage of the innings. Previously, my concern was that captains would start to see me more than a batter than a bowler which doesn’t do me any good at all. Thankfully, Archie believes I can be a Mr. Reliable for him with bat and ball.
Northies are next on our agenda, but first, I need to work on my run-up at training as well, hopefully, face some quicks like Dom Ross, Joe, and Jess Howard (perhaps asking Umesh to bowl pace than spin also).