The time has surely come for Joe Denly to be relieved of his duties in England’s batting order for the second test this week in Manchester. The Kent man in his fourteen test matches has so far failed to make a really telling contribution and regularly gets out around the 30 mark. So why hasn’t he been able to go on and make the big scores needed?
Above is a snapshot of where things in international cricket have gone wrong for Denly as he constantly liked to plant his front foot irrespective of where the ball was. At times this had helped Denly unfurl some eye catching cover or straight drives as his eagerness to get on the front foot results in him being in position early.
The boundary balls however had to be pitching outside his off-stump in order to give himself room for the shot as the below graphic shows.
His dismissal on day two in Southampton epitomises the problems that planting your front foot can give you to a straighter delivery. The batters’ with the better techniques are often lighter on their feet and react to each ball on its merit which allows them to open up the leg-side. Denly though doesn’t line up each delivery properly due to his front foot planting which in turn creates a gap between bat and pad due to him playing around his front pad.
Now against spin Denly tends to do the same thing by just planting his front foot no matter the line or length of the actual delivery. Against the pace bowlers as we’ve seen this makes him vulnerable to getting out but with the spin it severely blocks of his scoring options.
By planting his foot it restricts any scoring shots through the leg-side and can often mean his innings lose momentum once spin is introduced. At Southampton Denly tried to flick it through the leg-side but slightly over balanced because of his front foot position. The best players of spin again tend to be light on their feet so they can get fully forward or fully back which allows them to score 360.