Sir Richard Hadlee once said he thought of an over as a revolver loaded with six bullets.
For a bowler to work the six-strike plan though, the batsman has to be standing still. It’s a hard thought to adjust to in this age of hyper-gratification, but that is why the single still remains the most crucial scoring option in cricket. When you are getting them with ease and frequency, everything else falls into place. And when you are not, not.
The drying up of singles did Australia in today, forcing batsmen to remain in the gunsight of the bowler for long periods of time, and allowing bowlers to work to bowling plans that push and pull at batting mechanics, eroding muscle memory and opening up chinks to exploit.