Bowlers are a bit relaxed because of the bigger boundaries at most grounds in Australia for the ongoing T20 World Cup. However, experts have predicted a flood of runs from the grand tournament’s Super 12 stage.
The shortest format of the game is unapologetically batter-biased. Bowlers often cast as cannon-fodder, derive nearly as much delight from a dot ball as they would from a dismissal in the longer formats.
Ground dimensions, however, suggest shots that would clear the boundary in most stadiums in the sub-continent and New Zealand, might not even make the rope in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
However, New Zealand coach Gary Stead expects that bowlers will still have their task cut out when the world’s best batters start firing. “I think what T20 cricket has certainly done is made teams much more comfortable in chasing bigger scores,” said Stead.
Having played in the inaugural edition in 2007, India skipper Rohit Sharma has seen close at hand how the game has evolved over the years and he believes the trend towards higher totals is likely to continue even Down the Under.
“You can literally see how it is played now compared to what it was like in 2007,” said Rohit.
“140 or 150 was a good score back then and now people try and get that score in 14 or 15 overs. Teams take more risks now without worrying about the result and I think that is a good way to play this format,” the 35-year-old cricketer added.
As per Rohit, that is how inaugural champions India would play under his leadership in the tournament.
“This is the kind of format where there is risk, but there are high rewards as well. We have got to be brave enough to take those risks and certainly be prepared to do that as well,” he added.
Men in Blue’s preparation included devising ways to score freely even when hitting sixes is not that easy as they found during practice matches in Perth and Brisbane where several batters were caught near the rope.
But as per Rohit’s observation, batters have to be smart enough when they plan their batting on grounds like these.
“Hitting boundaries and sixes, of course, sounds nice, but you cannot forget pushing the ball in the gap, running between the wickets really hard and trying to get eight-nine runs in an over,” he said.