Kiss of Death !!


A small town in west Uttar Pradesh, Moradabad. A gentleman had come with his teenager son of about 14-15. He said, ‘My son can bowl really fast. He terrorizes batsmen of our village. I want you to coach him.’

CRICKET in India Unites !

It wasn’t an unusual request. Over the years Badruddin Siddiqui, the coach at Moradabad’s Subhash Chandra Bose stadium, would find shopkeepers and babus, farmers and cops -rough and ready men of western UP approaching him with similar requests. They all believed their sons were special, the next Tendulkar or Brett Lee, possibly even better.

Badruddin looked at the lad. For his age, a callow 14-15, he looked built to last. He was wearing a T-shirt, track pants Badruddin asked him to bowl.

The teenager didn’t measure his run-up. He just trudged 20-22 steps, hurtled in and bowled. “The first ball was wide but pretty sharp. Several wides followed before he got one on the mark, he had broken a stump.

Every ball he bowled for the next 30 minutes was of the same high speed. I told him he would have to practice at least six hours every day, and he said he will do it even more. Before leaving, the youngster gave his name:



“Short bowling has never been a success mantra for India.”

Whether it be with the willow or the leather. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were the few Indian batsmen known to make short work of the short ball. Saurav Ganguly always thrown his wicket in the air on short pictched delivery.

A Bouncer zooms off brushing his grill. Gayle ducked the fireball and gave an incredible stare to bowler Shami.

Here, I would like to remind you that, not one Indian bowler could boast of having used the short ball as a consistent weapon, at least, until now.

But, jinx are being broken by current breed of Indian bowlers.

A Recap of this ICC WC.


Three out of the top four Pakistani batsmen and a total of five out of the eleven fell to the short ball bowled by India’s spearheads.

Three out of the four South African batsmen dismissed by India’s pacers, succumbed to the one called the bouncer.

Two out of the four UAE hopefuls, whose hopes were dashed by India’s speed machines, couldn’t handle the one that threatened their helmets.

And, four out of the six full of swagger West Indians, who fell to the new definition of Indians with pace, were destroyed by the storm of India hitting the deck hard and early.

That’s 14 out of the 22 scalps claimed by India’s pace bowlers, victims of the shortish stuff.


This consistency shows that MS Dhoni and company are employing this as a conscious strategy. Why hasn’t any side figured this out till now? Well, maybe because like us, nobody could believe that India, the India which had Venkatesh Prasad as its fastest bowler in many a match, would be employing the tactic of bowling short as its plan A.

It’s not that India is just bowling short and it is working. It’s the accuracy of the line. It’s the snorters that attempt to kiss the grill of the helmets as if to signal a new wicket taking method – the kiss of death by bouncer. But surely, the world’s best should be able to handle the wicked helmet line, a transition from the ridiculed bodyline?

Younis Khan, Misbah ul-Haq, Hashim Amla, Chris Gayle are just some of the stalwarts who have been found wanting in front of the likes of Mohd Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Mohit Sharma.

With the minnows Ireland and Zimbabwe, India did it well. Batsmen seem have mind their helmet’s grill, the same strategy had been employed with an extra dash of spin.

In first knockout match against Bangladesh India did it again and they bundled the Bangladesh, chasing 302, fell 109 runs short, and India stormed into Semi, where Australia will come face to face.

Will MSD imply the tactics of fast bouncy in-cutters against Oz in their home? Or flighted slow spinning balls will work? Or the right combination of Fast, Medium and Spinning Slower, unpredictable doosra will be India’s strategy? Whatever, India has necessary firepower to beat Oz and then NZ or SA in Final. World Cup should remain in India.


…shabab khan

About Shabab Khan

A Journalist, Philanthropist; Author of 'The Magician', 'Go!', 'Brutal'. Being a passionate writer, I am into Journalism and writing columns, news stories, articles for top media house. Twitter: @khantastix
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2 Responses to Kiss of Death !!

  1. Sweta Biswal says:

    good article !!


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