Wayne Parnell nearly echoes French philosopher Rene Descartes when he says only those bowlers who think would exist in cricket's slam-bang format.
New Delhi: Twenty20 cricket is a constant battle of wits and bowlers who cannot think on their feet will end up cannon-fodder, says South African pace bowler Wayne Parnell.
Representing Pune Warriors in this year's Indian Premier League, the 21-year-old left-arm seamer has seen how harshly some bowlers have been treated by unheralded batsmen such as Paul Valthaty and Bharat Chipli.
Parnell nearly echoes French philosopher Rene Descartes when he says only those bowlers who think would exist in cricket's slam-bang format. "Batters come breaking new ideas every day. But I think as a fast bowler, you just need to be one step ahead," Parnell said.
IPL Punjab batsman Valthaty, who does not make the cut even for Mumbai's Ranji Trophy squad, blasted an unbeaten 63-ball 120 against Chennai, while Deccan Chargers' Chipli, a veteran of just 15 first class matches, hammered a 35-ball 61 not out against Bangalore.
Parnell marvels at the cheeky shots unfurled on a regular basis by the batsmen who are out to make the most of a format that unabashedly favours them. The youngster from Port Elizabeth assured he and some of his peers are finding a way to counter that.
"Definitely Twenty20 has forced the bowlers to think more. The batters are coming hard on us to score off every ball and score 150-plus. We need to be quite smart about how we go about our bowling. You have just four overs in this format and you are probably going to bowl two up front and two at the back. So you have to bowl wisely. I think the bowlers already are a lot smarter now, compared to the first IPL."
"Every bowler needs at least a couple of variations in the armoury. The slow bumpers, wide yorkers, leg-cutters, off-cutters...we are practising these every day and we need to be confident when using these in the match."
Parnell knows a string of good performances would help him win back the third pace bowler's spot that Lonwabo Tsotsobe currently occupies in the South African national team.
"Basically I just need opportunities. People know that I can do the job and I have shown in the past that I can do the job," said the aspiring all-rounder.
"Obviously in the national set-up, Lopsy (Tsotsobe) has been the man in charge now and he has done really well. He is a good player. At the end of the day, we can all be selfish and want to play for South Africa but we have to see what's best for South Africa.
"Still being part of the squad is obviously very nice for me and when I do get the opportunity again, I will take it with both hands," said Parnell, who played his 19th one-day international against Bangladesh last month.
Parnell grew up watching the Indian left-arm pace duo of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, his Pune team mate, but said he actually benefitted from advice from compatriots Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
"Dale Steyn back home has been unbelievable. He has given me a few tips which I have taken up. Morne also gave me a few tips. Basically they are the guys I look up to."