28 December 2011

The "sodukku" ball....

Being up half the night with the kids has advantages at this time of year because the Boxing Day test in Australia has proved to be an exciting one. And I'll remember the shot Tendulkar played to the first ball after tea yesterday for a long time (a contemptuous upper cut over the slips for 6).

I've also learnt about a new ball that Ashwin bowls - the sudoku - at least that's how Channel 9 have been spelling it. Apparently the word should actually be "sodukku" rather than sudoku, whick means snapping of the fingers in Tamil (சொடுக்கு). It's kind of a doosra from the front of the hand, with the longest finger flicking the ball out with slight leg to off rotation, but it doesn't turn a great deal. It might need Jack Iverson style skill and finger strength to be able to bowl it, but there are those that think it's impossible to bowl a doosra without chucking it - for them the sodukku is the legitimate way for an off-spinner to turn the ball away from the right-hander.

It looks like tomorrow has the potential to be a thrilling day of Test cricket once again....and not just in the Australia v India match.....Sri Lanka have the South African's under a lot of pressure too. 2011 has certainly been a vintage year for edge of your seat Test cricket. It seems to come from the fact that all international sides are flawed in some way at the moment so there's a lot of sides playing to a similar standard. And there have been some exceptional new bowlers in 2011 too, from Ravi Ashwin to Pat Cummins to James Pattinson to Vernon Philander and the most recent Marchant de Lange taking 7 wickets for South Africa.

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