For India, Spicy is now sweet
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But neither Irfan Pathan nor Gambhir flinched, pulling with authority. Later, Virat Kohli and after that Rohit, were more than happy to hit these climbers in front of square.
Not once did they make an effort to keep those hits down.
England dug in as much as 70 per cent of the deliveries in their own half, but Indians were up to the challenge, even upper-cutting when required. In the 17th over of the game, Broad followed Rohit with an incoming bouncer, but found the ball coolly clipped over the keeper's head. Out there in the dug-out, captain MS Dhoni must've surely had a wry smile on his face.
Don't duck, play the shot
In every World T20 since their inaugural win the frailties against bouncers snapped India's journey into the 2009 and 2010 journey's short. It goes without saying that it created a ruckus back home. Dhoni, rather unsuccessfully, tried reasoning it out that in T20 cricket, batsmen cannot afford to waste balls by ducking to these balls. They have to play at them, only they hadn't been playing at them well. So with the combined efforts of Duncan Fletcher, Trevor Penney and bowling coach Joe Dawes, the Indians have begun attempting full-measured strokes on these untypically bouncy Lankan wickets.
So unlike Sri Lanka the pitches have been that bouncing teams out has been many a side's Strategy A. For Australia skipper George Bailey, it worked against the Irish like a charm in their tournament opener. "Watto's (Shane Watson) tone the other day really set us up. His bouncers were right on the money and it was probably as quick as he's bowled in a while too,'' says Bailey. "Strong batters can still clear the ropes, but mis-hits are generally being caught on the fence."
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