Spun Out: Rovman Powell Should Be Spending Time In The Nets Playing Spin!

Rovman Powell

Rovman Powell is one of the nicest West Indian cricketers around. He really is a fun character. He’s a simple man for starters. Very jovial. He’s always excited for a good game of cricket and is one of those guys who everyone tends to like. There won’t really be a bad thing that you’ll come to hear about the newly-made West Indies white-ball captain.

Except, none of that is going to make him successful.

Being good hearted in competitive sport isn’t the necessary mantra for success; being good at what you do, being able to pull along given your core sporting skill is what takes you there towards the big successes.

And one of the most visible areas of concern regarding Rovman Powell’s cricket is his game against spin.

Rather, to be absolutely straightforward instead of being curt, it’s his lack of skill against spin that he’s to watch out for.

But that’s only if he wishes to go the long way as a cricketer.

The thing with most West Indies cricketers, perhaps even bowlers who can handle themselves with the bat on some occasions is that they tend to put the long levers into play.

When most cricketers from the rest of the world put on a whack, you go collect the ball from the stands. But it’s totally not a cliche that when the West Indian hits it, you can only scamper for cover and send search parties to fend the lost object that’s the cricket ball.

Rovman Powell is no different.

A typical Calypso batter who bats aggressively and puts in that dash of power, Powell targets anywhere between the mid wicket and the extra cover regions for mounting big hits.

He’s already, would you believe it, fired 104 international sixes whilst wearing the burgundy West Indian colour; 63 of which have come just in T20I’s.

In the IPL, the free-hitting batter who bats in the mould of Evin Lewis meets Philo Wallace has scored 132 of his 253 runs by way of sixes.

But something about his ongoing IPL stint suggests a massive area for improvement.

So far, he’s only lasted for 6 deliveries on the whole having batted thrice. And on each of the occasion, Rovman Powell had just no answer to spin bowling.

If you fall to a spinner occasionally, it could be down to your association or fetish with big hitting. But if you constantly become a victim to spin bowling, what are you even doing?

You aren’t in an IPL team for being a B grade cricketer or for possessing skill that one typically finds in a backyard cricketer.

But here’s something that’s more concerning.

In two of his three IPL innings in 2023, he got out LBW

He couldn’t pick Piyush Chawla in the contest against the Mumbai Indians. Previously, he had just no answer to Ravi Bishnoi.

Does that suggest something about the powerful batter?

Even though the IPL may often be the breeding ground for punishing batters who just swing the bat without giving it much of a thought, it really is a prominent league on the world scale.

It really is more. As evident in Mumbai’s contest against Delhi where two new batters for Rohit’s team- David and Green- had to apply themselves and take ones and twos when the big shots weren’t coming.

In the end, runs collected on the legs enabled Mumbai to run away with the game on the last ball.

It didn’t come down to a boisterous hit.

What Rovman Powell ought to do is to hit the ground in the nets. He must draw inspiration from what several great cricketers before him, like the master Sachin and the ‘Prince’ Lara did to improve their game against spin.

With much talent and resources out there on offer, it shouldn’t be cricket’s most arduous task to find a quality net spinner and stay buried in the ground for half a day.

It’s India where Rovman Powell is playing; spinners are much too common like street traffic.

Better yet, when the series gets over, he can always ask an Akeal Hosein, West Indies’ most improved and successful bowler since the onset of 2021, to come hard at him in the nets.

That way, he’ll really add more miles to his batting. Miles that can offer wide smiles to the people of the Caribbean who are often devoid of them.

Otherwise, the only real option for Rovman Powell would be to wait for the ball that doesn’t turn and comes far shorter in length to him so that he can dispatch.

But here’s the concern.

Given this is the data-obsessed, analytics-driven cricketing age, much of the world’s bowlers would already be aware of his shortcoming.

Rest assured, they won’t be so kind.

Rovman Powell can hit it a long mile, but can’t necessarily ace spin, as of now


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