Do the dew

Aakash Chopra on countering the dew factor:

The thing about dew is, the leather of the ball takes longer to get damp than the seam does. While water takes time to seep into the leather, the seam turns wet as soon as it gets exposed to the outfield. Gripping the ball then becomes tricky. The umpires won’t change the ball on the account of a wet seam. They will wait till the entire ball gets too wet to play with.

Now if only our commentators, who keep waffling on about the ‘dew factor kicking in’, were half as insightful and a tenth as specific…

For spinners, the challenge is in gripping the ball and imparting spin while delivering. It’s like bowling with a bar of wet soap. Maintaining a good hold on the ball is relatively easier for a finger spinner than for a wrist spinner; the latter have less control to begin with, and the wet ball rules out their contribution to a large extent. The finger spinner’s job isn’t easy either, and the attack tends to become one-dimensional. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an offspinner or a left-arm spinner: the ball usually goes straight after pitching. The only difference is the angle from which the ball is bowled.

There’s very little a spinner can do once the ball gets as wet, as it did in Bangladesh. As a spinner, one can only try to make the ball land on the right lengths as much as possible without thinking about too many variations. The only thing, perhaps, is to vary the pace. The wet ball, to a certain extent, allows you to bowl it a little slower or faster.

This series by Aakash, now 19 articles and counting, that looks at the game through the eyes of a player, is outstanding — and will hopefully grow into a book.


5 thoughts on “Do the dew

  1. Please don’t remind us of those names here. I cringe every time I hear Siva speak! there are times when I feel the game might be viewed better without those commentators!

  2. Agreed. I always read Akash Chopra. He is not only insightful but also eloquent. We need more commentators like cricinfo writers. Any chance you can convince one of your buddies like Sambit Bal or the likes to commentary, Prem? 🙂

    • Dude, it is not about eloquent people not wanting to do commentary; it is about the TV producers and the BCCI not wanting on its panel voices that are not under its thumb. The administration would have kittens at the thought of strong voices like Sambit sitting in the box, saying what they really think — the likes of Sunny and Ravi and Siva mouthing platitudes and paying obeisance every time TV throws up the image of some BCCI flunkey is precisely what they want, and have taken some pains to get.

      • Do you think Sunny or Shastri or even Siva cannot give insightful commentary? I Am sure they can – but they are only following instructions from their boss. BCCI does not want the commentators to do a better job. It is as plain as that.

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