Either Tammy Beaumont is dominating bowling attacks exactly as much as they allow her to or she’s not telling us something

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As an elite cricketer, you can approach your cricket however you want. The important thing is that no matter what approach you take, you have to tell everyone you’re being positive and aggressive and dominant.

In cricket, certain words are right and certain other words are wrong. We’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve said that batting positively can also be about being ‘positive in defence’.

You know what they’re saying – they’re saying ‘no matter what shot you select, play it with conviction’. But they’re also saying that defending is being positive because you always have to be positive because positive is good and anything else is bad.

You have to bowl aggressively too. Because aggressive is good. Aggressive equals good, in fact, which means that anything good must, by definition, be aggressive. Remember how aggressively Australia bowled in the 2013/14 Ashes? Remember Peter Siddle explaining how it was all about trying to bowl back-to-back maidens?

And so to Tammy Beaumont, who is in rare good form and who has apparently achieved it by looking to ‘dominate’.

Only… “my dominating is making sure that I put away every bad ball I get and make them really work hard to get me out.”

We’ve got to be honest here, Tammy. This doesn’t sound too much like dominating at all – except in the sense that you’re playing brilliantly and winning games and therefore, we suppose, dominating the opposition.

But making yourself hard to dismiss and putting away the bad ball isn’t generally what people mean when they talk about dominating a bowling attack. To say otherwise really only makes it harder to distinguish between different types of excellent batting.

4 comments

  1. That piece you wrote for cricinfo is gold (https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/alex-bowden-the-truth-about-australia-s-exciting-brand-of-cricket-743047), yer maj.

    If the mind-coach’s advice had been “remember, bat goodly when you’re batting! And field goodly if you’re fielding! Also if someone asks you to bowl, never forget to bowl goodly too!” would that have been any difference, in substance, than suggesting it would be a good idea to “dominate” the opposition by punishing the bad balls and not giving your wicket away cheaply?

    1. Highly plausible. I quite like this explanation. I would have argued there’s a need to pick your time to depress the domination switch, but it does sound like she was trying to dominate 100% of the time but not to 100% of the balls, in which case picking your areas to dominate makes a bit of sense.

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