It’s in the eyes

Bit of a pity that Sambit Bal updates his blog so infrequently — he would be on anyone’s short list of the more readable writers on cricket.

In his latest posting, he talks of batsmen who are good against spin [a follow up to an earlier post on Michael Clarke]. Here’s a lovely vignette:

I was told this delightful story about Hooper by a cricketer. Warne forever looked for little signs in batsmen that
would give him foreknowledge about a possible sortie down the pitch. But Hooper proved impossible to decipher. He stayed still till the last possible moment, and never left the crease before the ball was delivered. Finally, after many overs, and many videotapes, Warne cracked it. It was in the eyes. If Hooper had decided to advance down the pitch, his eyes widened and the stare grew a bit harder in the stance.

If I ever have a conversation with Warne, the first thing I will ask him is if he managed to exploit this knowledge.