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Time to rethink the approach to T20 cricket

astro new author
Roar Rookie
18th November, 2014
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Mitchell Starc was fired up by Shane Warne's sledge, and hasn't looked back. AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe
astro new author
Roar Rookie
18th November, 2014
16

Love it or hate it, T20 cricket is here to stay. While I don’t have any specific problem with this format of the game, I do have an issue with the way teams approach it.

When I was a kid, the 50-over format was introduced and in those early days, any team scoring over 200 runs was an achievement.

Teams approached the 50-over game in a similar mindset to Test matches at first, with batsmen seeing out the early overs and then looking to accelerate their run scoring as the innings progressed.

As the game has progressed, batsmen have become increasingly aggressive to the point where we’ve just seen Rohit Sharma smash 264 on his own. The point is, the One Day game has evolved as teams learnt how to approach it in the most effective manner.

What surprises me about T20 cricket is that lack of innovation, in light of what we have learnt from the evolution of the 50-over format.

It’s clear that T20 format dominated by the bat. For example, if the team batting first can reach 175 or more, the chances of the team batting second reaching that score are slim. In the short history of international T20, only 10 times has a team successfully chased a score of over 175.

A comparison of the top-ranked bowlers in the one day format and the T20 format, again reveal the importance of batting in the T20 game. The top 50-over bowlers, according to ICC rankings, include more traditional pace bowlers like Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Mitch Johnson and Jimmy Anderson.

The top T20 bowlers according to the ICC are spinners and all rounders – namely, guys who take pace off the ball.

So, what innovation do I see as worth a gamble on? Simply put – play 11 batsmen. Or more specifically, play 11 batsmen of whom at least five of them are batting all-rounders.

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The approach is simple. Each batsman needs to score at least eight runs an over, and attack from the first delivery of the match. There will be no need to worry about losing wickets, as each batsman will only need to survive for two overs.

The approach to bowling is equally simple. With at least five guys in the team being serviceable bowlers, the emphasis is on containing run scoring, not taking wickets. Guys like Shane Watson, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner would be perfect.

You could even argue the value of including one specialist bowler, like a Mitch Starc, in place of the final batsmen.

Hence, an ideal Australian eleven could look something like this: Dave Warner, Aaron Finch, Ben Dunk, Shane Watson, Cameron White, Matt Wade, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, James Faulkner and Mitch Starc.

What do you think Roarers? Is this the way of the future for the shortest form of the game?

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