Flighted Leggie: How to bowl to Nicholas Pooran?


#1: The first in a series of videos by Twitter user Flighted Leggie, or Vijaya Chaithanya Budati, sponsored by CricXtasy – How to bowl to Nicholas Pooran

West Indies left-hand batsman Nicholas Pooran is a destroyer with the bat when in full flow but everyone knows by now that he has a chink in his armoury.

Pooran, who has played 31 ODIs and 41 T20Is for West Indies and turns up for Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the IPL, averages a highly impressive 43 runs per wicket against spin bowling.

But his productivity falls massively against pacers as he averages only 17 against fast men and only 13 versus deliveries bowled at more than 140 kmph.

Even in the spinners’ category, while Pooran retains his explosive ways against most types of tweakers, he struggles against the widely flourishing wristspin – which is reflected in his numbers against one of the world’s best contemporary limited-overs wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

Nicholas Pooran struggles against pacers aiming for his body

But in focus today is Nicholas Pooran’s ability to face the quicks. As numbers showcased above, Pooran has been struggling big time against the pacers, especially when they take their speeds above the 140 kmph mark.

And pacers have troubled Pooran the most when they have targetted him in a particular zone at the crease. Pooran has performed poorly against the short balls aimed closer to his body. Against balls aimed for his head at pace, Pooran has averaged an extremely poor 7.5 runs per dismissal in his overall career while maintaining a strike-rate of just 130.

With no room given to free up his arms at this line against express pace, teams have been able to turn their leg-side boundary riders into catching men against Pooran, who has instinctively gone for the pull or the hook without any timing on it.

But if Nicholas Pooran still survives, another plan that has worked against him is to bowl the spinners who take the ball away from his outside edge. Facing balls going away from him versus the spinners, Pooran averages only 24 and has a strike-rate of 133. The record looks so much better when the same spinners get the ball coming into him, as he then goes at a strike-rate of 173 and scores 61 runs per dismissal.



How then, if you are a left-arm spinner or a leg-spinner, be able to stop him?

The answer is in perfecting your length on the surface. Against balls delivered between 5-7 metre area, Pooran’s strike-rate is only 110. You go slightly fuller and shorter from there and his rate of scoring jumps up significantly. Pooran scores at a rate of 195 per 100 balls at length upwards of 5 metres and 314 when a bowler errs below the 7-metre mark.

Another important consideration for the spinner here is the speed at which he bowls. Pooran blazes his willow to all parts for a strike-rate of 205 when the spinner bowls under 90 kph but goes at 153 when the speed is in excess of 90 kph.

To go with the length and the speed, the bowler can’t also err with his line against Nicholas Pooran. The moment a spinner gives him room to free his arms outside the off-stump, he strikes at 201, and goes at 200 when he gets ball to hit down the leg side. But the same batsman is not able to break free when the line is aimed for his stumps and there is no room to work with. He goes at a strike-rate of only 136 against spinners when they bowl this line.