England coach Graham Thorpe © Getty Images
England coach Graham Thorpe © Getty Images


Mirpur: Mar 19, 2014


England‘s batsmen may be susceptible to quality spin bowling but their batting coach Graham Thorpe is leaving no stone unturned having introduced an unique equipment called ‘half bat’ in order to prepare his batsmen against quality spin attack.


How does this half bat look like? The bat’s length is just like normal bats but it’s the width that’s reduced to half the normal size. Reason? Encourage the batsmen on using their feet to reach to the pitch of the deliveries.


“Graham [Thorpe] thought about training with half bats which are actually quite skinny to help us train on the spinning wickets of West Indies. It encourages the batsmen to use their feet more positively and move up and down the wicket,” England’s T20 opener Alex Hales revealed during an interaction.


“The idea is you need to be very quick on your feet. It is about precision and attention to detail about where you want to really hit the ball and that should really help us out. Footwork is an area we need to work on and using the half bat is good practice,” Hales said.


Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler did admit that some players were really getting irritated while practising with half bats.


“Batsmen often get annoyed while training with the bat as the shots you usually play with the normal bat often end up in nicks that go for four. But you just get used to it.”


About how these bats are made, he said, “You tell your bat manufacturer to actually customise them so that they don’t weight too much differently than the normal bats that you use.”


Shakib, the biggest sporting icon of Bangladesh


Once you enter the Dhaka city, you will find Shakib Al Hasan staring at you from every nook and corner of the city.


It can be a UNICEF advertisement where he is appealing to end malnutrition or it’s a mobile phone company whose catch line is ‘Two Tigers’ with Shakib sharing space with a Royal Bengal Tiger. Then he endorses motorbikes, biscuits, soaps. The only one who can compete with him is Tamim Iqbal, who does a Bengal TV commercial of a men’s beauty product which Virat Kohli endorses in India.


Arabic tattoo for English cricketer


England opener Hales has a lovely tattoo on his right wrist. On being queried about the script of the tattoo, Hales said it’s Arabic word which means ‘Courage’ in English.


Among the Indian players, Shikhar Dhawan would simply be a runaway winner with his extensively tattooed biceps while Kohli might just come distant second in that list.