Ahead of England’s Test series against India, Tom Hartley has revealed that he is working on a ‘carrom ball’ variant.
Hartley, a left-arm spinner who plays for Lancashire in county cricket, is one of three uncapped players called up for the five-Test tour of India. Before the series, he was asked if he was working on anything specific.
“I have a ‘carrom’ ball,” he said Wisden Cricket Monthly. “It’s almost there. It’s easy to throw it in, I’ve bowled it a few times in county cricket and a bit in white-ball, but with the style of play that England are playing, if I get the chance, hopefully I’ll hit it. defeat it. Yes…”
In addition to his new variation, Hartley hopes India’s surface will suit his natural characteristics. “The conditions are going in my favour, I bowl similar to what their guys do, so there’s no reason for me to be scared, you just bowl to what’s in front of you.
“I fly in the mid-50s miles per hour, but with my height I can’t really get up and down, my trajectory usually drops just because of my height, but that’s not a bad thing, it just frustrates me. a little faster. Smaller cameras might slow it down and let it fly a little more, but I figured out who I am and you just have to work with it.
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“I’ve only been to India once but the pitches allow you to express your full potential, you don’t even have to think about flights or tricks or anything like that. You just let the yard do the work. In county cricket, the pitch is a lot flatter, so the spinner has to use his intelligence a bit more, whereas in India, you are the one who has to be in control. If you shoot it in and hit the seam, you will tear it right off the edge.”
Tom Hartley is the third uncapped player to be called up to the England squad for the India tour
– County Championship (@CountyChamp) December 11, 2023
Hartley is the second most experienced front-line spinner in the England team, having played 20 first-class matches for Lancashire, taking 40 wickets at 36.57.
The 24-year-old recently signed a contract extension to keep him at Old Trafford until at least 2026, although will face stiff competition for a place in the 2024 campaign , with the Lancs signing Australian outfielder Nathan Lyon on a season-long deal. .
What is a carrom ball?
The carrom ball is believed to have been first bowled by post-World War II Australian leg-spinner Jack Iverson. Rangana Herath, who claimed 433 Test wickets for Sri Lanka, was one of the first left-handers to master the delivery.
Taking its name from the Indian board game ‘Carrom’, the ball involves using your thumb and middle finger to flick or squeeze the ball out of your hand and can turn in the opposite direction of the spinner’s delivery or keep its way.
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