Speaking on Sky Sports Cricket, former Australia legspinner Shane Warne criticised England for having a deep point in place for the bowling of Dom Bess.
The discussion came on the first evening of the first Test between England and Pakistan, in a session reduced to seven overs by poor weather and in which England were forced to bowl spin due to bad light.
“We talk about it until we go blue in the face, don’t we Mikey [Holding], about that deep point?” said Warne. “I always found that [having a point in place] had two really big things. One, it stopped the single so you can keep your plan to the same batsman. And two, it became a catching man. If you drop one a bit short and it just seemed to bounce a bit as a spinner, he’d go back and cut it and hit it straight to that point man. I think a lot of players have got out like that.
“But the single’s the worst thing. You’d much rather be hit for a four than a single. And the reason for that is that now you have to start a new plan to a new batsman. A plan isn’t just a couple of deliveries, a plan takes an over or two to execute, to set a particular batsman up with the way you want to get them out and then you as a bowler have to be good enough to execute that plan and bowl that delivery. I just cannot understand that deep point all the time. Especially now, they’ve just come out. They’ve only faced a couple of deliveries.”
Bess was only hit for one single into the off-side in the mini-session, and had an lbw appeal turned down with Jos Buttler also missing a chance to stump Shan Masood. Earlier in the summer, Bess explained why he liked having a deep point in place, describing the position as an attacking one, as well as a run-saving one.
“For me, I just hate when I sort of go away for four and it’s a loose ball,” he said. “Again, I come back to my role, I want to be going at two and a half [runs per over], and also if I have got deep point and they want to open the face and try and get one, it brings Stokesy [Ben Stokes at slip] into it, it brings Jos into it; if it spins, actually brings [Ollie] Pope [at short leg] into it as well. So, I see it as quite an attacking option. Also, if it is a bad ball, it can go for one, and again, I mean, it’s one run instead of four runs, it’s little things like that.”