Us spinners are wily.
We compensate for our lack of pace by being a little bit dodgy. We’re like that scary guy at the start of Willy Wonka who looked like he wanted to smear chocolate on the innocence of young children.
Really, like that same guy, we’re ok, it’s all just a test.
England are currently playing spin like it’s been designed by American Lawyers.
But I think I can solve their problems.
I’ve assumed that there are key problems that the English players want answered, and so I’ve done a bit of playing spin in the subbie FAQ for them.
1. Should I play some shots?
When a spinner sees that you are not going to attack, they can pick a spot and work you over. Eventually they will beat you with a ball that hasn’t even been invented yet. It’s best then if you play your shots to upset them, I suggest the sweep shot, get down log and go go go.
2. It’s hard to drive on slow pitches, you know.
When you see a spinner, your first inclination might be that it will look cool on super slo mo if you dance gracefully down the wicket and loft the bowler back over his arrogant head. But on a slow wicket you might end up spooning it straight up in the air. If you want the big masculine moment that will play with classical music behind it, a slog sweep is a perfect alternative.
3. Straight fields are hard to score off, man.
When the bowler is bowling straight at the stumps, with a straight field set and no pace in the wicket, it becomes tough to simply deflect the ball into gaps and score singles or twos. But a lap sweep, getting to the ball before it pitches, can go very fine and will also mean the captain will have to address his straight field settings.
4. Everyone’s on the legside, help!
On a pitch with massive spin, often an offspinner will place 6 or more fielders on the legside as a trap to force the batsmen to blaze through the covers. But you don’t need to blaze against the spin, all you have to do is premediate and reverse sweep. You’re a modern batsman of mystery, you’ll make your own fucken legside.
5. I don’t really play the sweep, slog sleep, lap sweep or reverse sweep all that well.
That’s ok, we can teach you. You want to start by getting down on your knee early enough that the bowler can see what you’re doing. Make sure your pad is directly in front of the stumps. Then when you see the bowler change his delivery based on your actions, you should ignore him. Now you need to grope hopelessly at the ball, if at all possible while losing your balance. And then finally you should look utterly baffled when you’re given out LBW, and then again when your review is denied.