Interview: Less is more for Bulls spearhead Ronit More

More (L) got the better of Karun Nair (R) in the first game of the Mysuru leg
Aadya Sharma

A day after Mysuru Warriors’ first home game against the Bijapur Bulls, there was extensive buzz about one bowler’s exceptional four wicket spell, as far as 500 kilometres away, with mentions of his name being made on the sidelines of a Mumbai-Uttar Pradesh Buchi Babu clash at the SRMC grounds in Chennai.

The city is well-acquainted with the exploits of the pacer in question, Ronit More, who had, a few years back, in another part of Chennai, honed his skills as a fast bowler for a couple of seasons at the prestigious MRF Pace Foundation. He further went on to feature for the Chennai Super Kings franchise, before their suspension in 2015.

Ronit is built like a fast bowler: he’s tall, looks menacing when he gives a death stare to the batsman, and hits the deck hard. He sheds all of his threatening attributes off the cricketing field though. In person, he’s soft-spoken, has a no-nonsense approach, speaks swiftly and briefly and is always to the point.

Sportskeeda caught up with the 25-year-old a day after his four-wicket spell that dented the Mysuru Warriors’ batting line-up. He started it off with the prized wicket of Karun Nair, getting the better of the batsman once again, just like he did across different domestic tournaments in the past.

Nair was going great guns, smacking away length balls over cover and whipping incoming deliveries to square leg. At the other end, Arjun Hoysala was struggling to initially put bat on ball.

Ronit entered the scene, and with one well-directed bouncer, ended Nair’s sparkling stay, cramping him for room and inducing a leading edge that flew straight to square leg.

“He was waiting on the back foot, so I surprised him with a bouncer”.

He bowled exceptionally well in his first spell, rarely giving the batsman any room to free his arms. The ball in his hand was a Duke, sanctioned for this year’s KPL.

The white Kookaburra ball doesn’t do as much, which means that bowlers who hit the deck hard hold an advantage over their seam bowling contemporaries. With the new Duke ball, however, being used in the KPL, More, who hits the deck hard himself, extracted prodigious movement and tested the top order with his nagging lines.

“It was seaming with the new ball. The seam is upright in a Duke ball and it helps fast bowlers. Our plan was to try and bowl Test match lengths, the kind of deliveries we bowl in four-day games”.

The pitch was conducive too, although it is not likely to be the case as the tournament progresses, because matches will be repeatedly played on the same surface, making it slow and dry as days go by.

Ronit knows a thing or two about bowling in T20s. Over the last two seasons of the KPL, he has picked up 20 wickets from 19 games, at an average of 23.9 and an economy of 7.64.

He believes that initially, when the fielders are up and the restrictions are in place, it is important to bowl tighter lines. It changes towards the fag end, when it is important to mix deliveries to keep the batsmen guessing.

“With the new ball, you need to bowl the right length in the first few overs. You can bowl the yorkers, slow balls and bouncers towards the end of the innings. Depending on the nature of the pitch, you have to bowl slower balls and off cutters when the pitch is slow and low. If it is supporting the bowler, I try to push it to good lengths".

The latter are the kinds of wickets found Down Under, where More went as a 19-year-old, representing the Australian Institute of Sport in Brisbane.

“The wickets [in Australia] were a little bouncier, but there is not exactly much difference apart from that. As a teenager, I played with the likes of Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell, and got to learn a lot from them”.

Ronit has rubbed shoulders with the world's best
Ronit has rubbed shoulders with the world's best

The Australian duo aren't the only big names he has rubbed shoulders with in the nets. Two of the world’s top batsmen, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, regularly faced his darting deliveries during his time with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2012.

More admits that Kohli is one of the most difficult batsmen to bowl to in world cricket currently.

“In world cricket, Virat Kohli is dangerous in any format, with any ball. He is at the top of his career, and has been at the top for three-four years now”.

He has bowled to de Villiers in the nets, and admits it is very difficult to stop the South African when he is in full flow.

“Depending on the wicket, you need to plan against him. You need to make him commit a mistake because he keeps trying so many things”.

At the Bijapur Bulls net session, you can see More and HS Sharath play with imaginary fielders, bowling according to the set field to simulate match conditions.

“During practise, if you set imaginary fields and if you bowl according to the plans, it is easier to execute them on the match day,” he believes.

Not one to look too much into the future, More plans to “take it one match at a time”. Even for his long term goals, he doesn’t have a specific plan, but “works on the process”.

Uncomplicated both on and off the turf, less is clearly more for Ronit More.

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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