September 18, 2012

Twenty20

T20 should be seen as a separate sport

Sidharth Monga

On his blog, A Cricketing View, Kartikeya Date argues that 20 overs is too short a duration to maintain the fine balance between bat and ball, which has helped Test cricket endure for so long. Therefore, Date says, Tests and T20 should be seen as different sports - as different as rugby and American Football are.

The 20 over game, with its quota of 4 overs per bowler, permits no bowler to deliver a spell. While the 50 over game allowed bowlers windows in which batsmen might care about their wickets enough to not take risks, the 20 over game offers no such luxury. Courtney Walsh, arguably the worst batsman of his generation, was dismissed once every 17 balls in Test Cricket (the comparable figure for Tendulkar is 103, for Dravid 123). In a T20 game, the batting side has 10 wickets to play with over 120 deliveries. Even a hat-trick off the first three balls of the match would leave the batting side with 7 wickets over the remaining 117 deliveries – or just under 17 balls per dismissal. Even Walsh survived that!

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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