We are blessed to witness the extraordinary levels of power hitting being revealed by so many players within the T20 competitions.
No matter the stage of the career spectrum where the player fits, the spontaneous excitement of Glenn Maxwell that has exploded across the globe (if video blocked YouTube link should appear within);
the reigniting of Aiden Blizzard;
the mastery and professionalism of Brad Hodge in the given situation;
or the pure genius of A B de Villiers;
They each have their own style and method to incredible impact for their respective teams.
Last night in the first match of the Big Bash League season between the Adelaide Strikers and Melbourne Stars, Tim Ludeman launched an astonishing assault with 92 not out from only 44 balls. His half century arrived in only 18 balls. The innings comprised of 9 boundaries and 5 hit over the ropes.
Normally these sorts of numbers, aligned to a Gayle, Pollard or Maxwell, would suggest a complete brutalisation of the bowling offered. Ludeman gave us a first hand view of another methodology revolving around holding shape, staying still and control of hands.
Ludeman was able to activate a plan that suited him to launch his team onto a relatively modest total of 148 in perfect conditions. Most of this revolved around holding shape in his stroke and being still. The image above of an on drive off Faulkner to the boundary demonstrates this perfectly.
The key points being:
- Hitting range – awareness of how far to clear the boundary square & straight
- Angles available – areas into the outfield that would bring more than a single
- Bowlers early – the Stars selected two left arm spinners in Beer & Rose, one would definitely open, likely both used early
- Partner – knowledge that Simmons will only go hard, if he gets going momentum will rapidly build
- Wicket – hard, flat, true bounce, minimal turn
With knowledge established, the opportunity presented itself to:
- Stay completely still, reduce unnecessary movements
- Head aligned with the stumps
- Be balanced at the point of contact, strong top hand
- Hold shape through the stroke
- Extension of arms through the shot (prevents arms / wrists breaking)
- Hands to finish around eye level, close to the head aligned to the body
The result, one of the most impressive innings that has set the competition alight. It might not have been as spectacular as the innovative batting pyrotechnics from switch and reverse hitting, but the match outcome and numbers stack up against anyone.
Tim Ludeman, another player of country origin coming from Warrnambool who has travelled elsewhere for opportunity. Made his first class debut for South Australia in 2009, uses TNF (Tails Never Fails) equipment and can be followed on Twitter @tludey