Knuckle ball a powerful weapon for bowlers: Finch

CHANDIGARH:  Gujarat Lions batsman Aaron Finch feels that knuckle ball has become a powerful weapon for bowlers in the IPL but said once batsmen start getting used to it they too will start playing it better.

     “It is a very good ball, it’s something the fast bowlers have started to develop a lot,” Finch said when asked about the knuckle ball.

     “You see guys are coming with two, three, four different types of slower balls. But I think once more players start following it, then the batsmen will start playing it better,” he told reporters here on the sidelines of an event organised by team owners — Intex Technologies.

      Dhawal Kulkarni, who along with team bowler Basil Thampi and Manpreet Gony, was also present at the event said it’s hard to practice bowling knuckle ball.

     “A bowler can perfect it only with extensive practice,” Kulkarni said.

      Gujarat Lions fast bowler and hat-trick hero Andrew Tye has shown why the knuckle ball is the most powerful weapon in his armoury.

      Gujarat Lions campaign this season has been in disarray and they are struggling at the second last position at the points table. They play Kings XI Punjab tomorrow.

     About losing a close game against Delhi Daredevils, Finch said, “T20 is a game that can change so much. If you win your first match that’s a very close, you tend to win any other close ones in future. But when you start losing them, it starts to become a mental game. We’ve still played some good cricket, but not just good enough.”

     “There is still a lot to play for, winning matches for the franchise is still very important and we are going to try and achieve that,” said the Australian.

     Lions have also suffered a body blow, losing their opener Brendon McCullum, who will miss the remaining matches after suffering a hamstring strain.

     “He is in New Zealand, he has gone home. He has been a wonderful player for the franchise and we are going to miss him,” Finch said.

     Asked about McCullum tweeting that the compressed tournament and long travel can be gruelling, Finch said he agreed to what the Kiwi said.

     “It takes a big toll, I think the fast bowlers in particular. You play a match and then you are sitting in a bus or an aircraft,” he said, adding the packed schedule and frequent travel have its pitfalls.

     Notably, before McCullum’s hamstring strain, Andrew Tye was ruled out for the remainder of IPL-10 with a dislocated shoulder.

     Tye sustained the injury on April 29 when he dived to stop a boundary at deep square leg during their IPL match against Mumbai Indians.

     “I think you have seen a lot of injuries throughout this IPL on the back of a lot of travel and a lot of game without much rest. But that’s part of the game and something you can’t control,” Finch said.

     Meanwhile, Thampi, when asked how he prepares to keep up to the challenge in this format, said, “It’s challenging for bowlers to bowl in T20 cricket. If I go for runs, then I motivate myself and think next I am going to take his wicket.”

    “This is my first season, I am enjoying a lot, I am honoured to be amongst top players and I am learning a lot. Still I want to learn more to become a perfect bowler,” he added. (AGENCIES)


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