There have been a number of young Australian batsmen that have come and gone from the Test scene well before their test tally hits double digits. Chris Rogers wrote an interesting piece regarding the technique of these batsmen.
Here is quick summary of the technical flaws he noted in some of the recently dropped batsmen.
Usman Khawaja – Points his back foot to the bowler rather than to point causing him to be squared up and prone to the away-swinging ball.
Phil Hughes – Swivelling into a front-on position which led him being b. Martin c. Guptil.
Shaun Marsh – Lack of trigger movements hence the reason why he has been labeled a confidence player. When he is down on confidence like he was against the Indians, the lack of footwork meant he was a walking wicket.
Callum Ferguson – Backswing heads towards gully meaning he struggles to play in the ‘V’ especially when forced to defend.
This is one of the better articles you will find floating around and very rarely do you find an article written by a current player regarding the flaws of their opposition. It does bring about one interesting question of whether opposition states should be sharing these flaws they have found to help the national team.
It is hard to comment on who is at fault for these flaws not being fixed, Khawaja for instance had this flaw during his County stint in 2011 which was carried on to his second tasting of Test cricket. If an opposition can spot these weaknesses, you would hope your batting coach could do likewise.
The final part of Chris Rogers’ article talks about how difficult it is for batsmen to adapt between T20 and Test Cricket. This isn’t a problem which only plagues the younger batsmen, the older batsmen have also shown a more aggressive streak. Jacques Kallis not known for his quick scoring, blitzed 54 runs from just 41 balls in the 2nd Test against Australia last year. As mentioned by Rogers, it certainly is worth considering finding a batting coach who can convert a batsmen technique from T20 back to Test cricket.
I did find it interesting that the guy whose technique is most like a T20 technique in Steven Smith was given glowing praise by Rogers. With 492 runs at 41 for the season including 86 of NSW total score of 208 against Chris’ team, I can see why he gave him a good review. Smith also seems to be adapting well, he had a solid Big Bash series including leading his side to the title and currently is in career best form in the IPL with 220 runs at 37 with a strike rate of 157.
One worrying thing he mentioned was teams splashed out on bowling coaches but not so for batting coaches. I don’t know what teams he is referring to but if he is talking about the State teams then that is a worrying sign.
Going by his article, Rogers may well have a future in coaching. I do hope our current coaches have already picked up on these flaws and are looking at rectifying them.