Thick bats and flat pitches have become the order of the day in modern day cricket. Bowlers are treated mercilessly and a strike rate below 100 is frowned upon. In an age of batsmen, it is least expected that the bowler comes out on top.
Technology has advanced so much that each ball delivered or each shot played is analysed from all possible angles to find a chink in the armour of the bowler or batsman. A whole bunch of new devices are in place in cricket grounds to capture each and every movement of the players. The bowlers have ample resources to plug into and find an area to target the batsmen.
Earlier, it required a sharp presence of mind and good skills to outwit a batsman on the day. Now, bowlers know what length troubles a batsman or what his weaknesses are, before setting a foot on the ground. The bowlers would have gone through several videos prepared by analysts that assess the weakness of batsmen. Don't get me wrong, the batsmen get several insights too. The mystery bowlers are no longer mysteries because they are being taped from every nook and corner of the ground.
With so much information in hand, it is rather easy to assess the strength and weakness of modern day batsmen. Let us peep into some great modern batsmen, who have obvious weaknesses that are exposed.
#1 Shikhar Dhawan and the short ball
The short ball has been Shikhar Dhawan's nemesis. He has failed to master the art of hooking and pulling, two traits considered important for an opener. When he first arrived in the International scene and made headlines with his 187 on his Test debut against the Aussies, he was hailed as a great find. But that was short-lived, as he soon found out.
His woes against the rising ball proved to be his demise. Bowlers from around the globe set him up for the pull shot, which was seen as something he could not resist from playing.
Dhawan is an aggressive batsman and likes to charge the fast bowlers, take them on, with pulls and hooks. Often he is hurried by the shorter deliveries and gets into really awkward positions attempting to hit them. That does not stop him from going through with the shot, and this has proved to be his downfall far too often.
Being a predominantly front foot player, he gets a big stride forward while facing. He has been accused of not moving his back foot when going for his shots off short balls. This means he never really gets into the right positions to pull or hook.
The tour of South Africa in 2014 saw him become a sitting duck to short balls from South African quicks, who would keep a short leg, deep square leg and deep fine leg and get him out hooking. If Dhawan fails to master the short ball, this could become his tormentor.