June 2009
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King Cricket: Bowlers set the T20 tone

June 22nd, 2009 by Alex Bowden in Twenty20


Market research tells us that the public want to see lots of fours and sixes. Our own informal research over the last couple of decades has revealed that the public are a load of idiots who are generally wrong about everything. The public want ring tones. It isn’t worth listening to the public.

Test matches and the shorter formats are decided in different ways. You win Tests by bowling sides out. You win one-day and Twenty20 matches by scoring more runs. The metric for deciding the winner may be completely different, but Pakistan still won the World Twenty20 through their bowlers.

Over its short life, Twenty20 has been largely about batsmen. It’s been about individual players playing explosive innings to win matches. Who was Pakistan’s match-winning batsman in the World Twenty20? Shahid Afridi played two blinding innings and Younus Khan has been solid, but overall you’d say that their batting was almost a liability. Pakistan have triumphed because of their bowlers.

It’s been the fashion to use a variety of ‘mix it up’ bowlers in Twenty20 and to bowl them in one or two over spells to keep the batsmen guessing. Pakistan’s bowling approach has been far more predictable in terms of who’s bowling and what they’re bowling. Mohammad Aamer opens, bowling back of a length; Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal bowl the middle overs, tempting batsmen and turning the ball; and Umar Gul finishes things off.

Gul in particular is hugely predictable, bowling reverse swinging yorkers almost exclusively. It barely matters that the batsmen know what’s coming. As the one bowler in the tournament to regularly swing the ball, he’s been almost impossible to hit.

With all the top wicket takers and all the most economical bowlers appearing in the final, it shows bowlers are far from mere cannon fodder in Twenty20. We’ve made a ‘dot ball’ sign to take to the next match we go to and we’re going to wave it maniacally every chance we get.

See King Cricket’s regular blog at www.kingcricket.co.uk. King Cricket is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

Posted in Twenty20 | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “King Cricket: Bowlers set the T20 tone”

  1.   SimonC says:

    The dot ball sign idea is ace. I feel sure you could convince someone to mass-produce them, like Hero Honda et al do with the 4/6 signs. What company needs “miserly” as its brand identity?

  2.   King Cricket says:

    We did once produce a series of signs spelling out ‘forward defensive’ for a one-day international between Australia and Pakistan.

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