Even on the flattest of the pitches, England is vulnerable against spin and that was evident when they played Pakistan in a World Cup practice game at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
That was a slightly dry wicket, but, there were no demons. The ball was hardly turning.
However, if you don’t have the proper technique to tackle the spinners, you would always be in trouble anywhere in the world.
The basic thing that the coaches tell you to do while facing spin is to play with a straight bat. You must avoid going across the line especially against the leg spinners because they have so many variations.
Also, you have to get to the pitch of the delivery. That is so very important. Doing that, you can nullify any spinner in the world and once you do that successfully on a consistent basis, you would start getting bad deliveries as well because the bowler would look to change his length and keep it short and you can then cut or pull or do whatever you want to do.
But, the English players just know one way to negotiate spin and that is to sit down on the knees and sweep or if the ball is outside the leg stump, just look to paddle it away behind the wicketkeeper from that same position.
These are good ploys to unsettle the bowler, but, you can’t be playing these shots on every ball, otherwise, you would be found out. The opposition captain can block your scoring areas. The bowler also would start concentrating on a particular line because he knows you can’t play him in any other way.
England’s highest scorer in that Pakistan game was Joe Root. He got 80 plus, but, he did not play too many straight batted shots against spin either.
If these English players come across the turning tracks in the World Cup, they will not have the easiest of times.