This article argues that Sompal should be chosen to bat at number six position, highlights his multiple strengths and a major flaw. In the beginning the decision of Indian cricket team to bat Ravi Ashwin at six and reason and possibility it produces is scrutinized.
A surprise decision emerged in Indian cricket after Anil Kumble took control of the team. R. Ashwin’s choice for number six above the regular wicket keeper batsman caught imagination of many cricket follower. There are two reasons for this- the decision maker are confident R. Ashwin can score them a half century in a test match, they understand that in order to win a series in England, Australia, South Africa, the team needs five specialist bowlers.
Nepal cricket team likewise needs a possible half-century scoring talent at number six position.The right candidate for this position and task at present is Sompal, his talent if tuned correctly has all the ingredients to be a run-scoring and a reliable prospect.
I see Naresh as a half-century talent for number five batting position. My definition of talent is straight-forward, the player opening, batting at three, four, five, six have to score half century and century in order to be understood as talented. No other short-cut definition based on three defensive stroke, three single and three boundary, and then getting out to leave behind the team in trouble.
Sompal’s biggest strength as a batsman is that he has multiple strength. His biggest weakness is he knows how to get out on the score of seven, eleven and thirteen.
The repetition of this weakness is dangerous especially in slow T.U like wicket. To add, his weakness is that he thinks himself super-human to be able to smash as many boundary as he likes in whichever ball he fancies. Such foolishness(lack of good shot selection) gets bitterly exposed in bowling supportive wicket like TU. In TU like wicket the team wins if a player decides to play keeping in mind the slowness of the wicket and a possible target in the head.
Back to his strength, he is a sweet timer of cricket ball unlike Anil Mandal and Subash Khakurel. He has silky and delicate-as-a-flower “balance” while executing his shots unlike Rajesh Pulami and Binod Bhandari. He can bat with straight bat to play in the region around mid-off to mid-on which suggest his flowery foot-body-and-head position. He has elegant swing of the bat and good head position while looking to unleash his shots unlike Sagar pun. In terms of appearance(technical talent) he is up with the best in the Nepal cricket team. Such talent do not automatically translate to runs on the scoreboard hence they are meaningless and useless in themselves unless one converts them into forties and fifties.
Captain and coach should in straight words state the task to Sompal. Your job batting at number six is to take the team to over number 45, for that you have to give superior status to single and secondary status to boundary, Sompal should be given such specific guidelines.
If you can get fifties from number six you may get promoted to higher position, even for the opening batting position, he should be said. Instead if you keep getting out for eight, ten and twelve run then you will be dropped to number seven or eight, this message should be communicated in explicit way.
Sompal should learn how to give superior status to single and secondary to boundary from skillful masters like Sachin, Dravid, Dhoni, Misbah, Inzi, and Kohli. They all can afford to look to hit three boundary in the first ten ball they face, but won’t do this because they understand if they disrespect good ball they will be out irrespective of their name or past record. Look at the size of Dhoni, Inzi, Misbah, can anyone think that they cannot attempt to hit three boundary in ten balls they face. To understand the matter Sompal should focus to observe how deep enjoyment they experience in collecting a single and reaching to a non-striker position.
A great batsman is born at non-striker end after he takes a single and deeply enjoys the act.
Sompal has a lot of fifty hidden and unmaterialized in his timing, his shots, his body posture and head position. Time has come to exploit that, and not wait for another accidental decision to happen.
I feel pleased to finally witness Gyanendra Malla open the batting and Sharad bat at number three. This is definition of positive cricket, of natural game, of expressing oneself on the field,which is to make your best batter bat at the top. This is no slogan. I can write two pages on this.
The fact remains that both decision of Gyanu opening and Sharad at three were accidental, taken in Namibia game because of injury to Anil, Sagar, and subash. Time has come to exploit Sompal’s batting at six, and not wait for another accidental decision to materialize on its own.