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T20 is for the thinking cricketer

Bowlers have adapted to the format, which means batsmen can't rely on mindless slogging anymore

Harsha Bhogle

October 19, 2012

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A

Neil McKenzie top scored with 68 off 41 deliveries, Lions v Mumbai Indians, Group B, Champions League Twenty20, Johannesburg, October 14, 2012
A T20 innings doesn't have to be all slogs and swipes © Getty Images

Something beautiful is happening to T20 cricket. Both in Sri Lanka, and now in South Africa, bowlers are making a strong comeback. They are saying they never went away, that they were just forced by pitches and boundary distances to take a little detour. Fast bowlers and spinners are back in demand, and those that do just a bit of this and a little bit of that are getting the sporting equivalent of pink slips.

It is my hypothesis, and it is worth a debate, that bowlers have become more versatile. Like with all aspects of civilisation, adversity has forced them to become more inventive. So fast bowlers have the yorker aimed at the base of leg stump, but they also have the one that kisses the tramline on the off side; they have the back-of-the-hand slower ball and the fastish offbreak; they have the sharp bouncer and the loopy one. With the batsmen coming hard, the bowlers have had to innovate, and as a result, the thinking bowlers are surviving.

Bowlers who can only ping the ball at the base of leg stump are getting paddle-swept. If they show their hand early, they are getting reverse-swept. If they don't turn the ball, they are being hit through the line, and when facing modern bats, if you don't beat the batsman in the air, the ball is going 90 metres away. T20 is forcing bowlers to acquire many variations. The format might seem like a brash young kid, bred on modern lifestyles, but it is rewarding old virtues again.

As a result, batsmen have a challenge on their hands. The mindless sloggers are looking a bit stupid. Playing yourself in, even if by a T20 definition, is proving to be a good investment. Mahela Jayawardene is one of the world's top batsmen in this genre, and Neil McKenzie showed how a cultured chase is possible when the Lions played the Mumbai Indians. Yes, you still need to have quaint flicks, you should still be able to clear the boundary from time to time, but the bullies with the big bats who threatened to hijack cricket are discovering there is fight left in the old game. Even Chris Gayle is giving the first two overs to the bowler. Why, that's 10% of the innings, not too different from when Sunil Gavaskar used to say "Give the first hour to the bowlers", for that was only a little more than 15% of the day.

It means thinking cricketers will be increasingly rewarded; that even T20 will not only be about knowing how to bat or bowl but about being aware of what to do in specific situations, and about finding solutions - which is what good cricketers in Test cricket have always had to do.

While in Colombo a couple of weeks ago, I found myself at the same breakfast table as Graham Gooch (and luckily neither of us needed to rush away somewhere). Gooch said, among other interesting things, that his job as batting coach was not to teach players to bat but to show them how to score runs. It is a fine and welcome difference, for conditions might change (Colombo and Johannesburg have demanded different things, even over 20 overs) and bowlers might too but you still have to score runs against them. You can't unless you are thinking and adapting all the time.

The increasing importance of bowling, even in T20 cricket, has implications for Indian cricket and for its batting. If domestic cricket doesn't produce quality thinking bowlers, it cannot produce quality thinking batsmen, because it is the intensity of the contest that sharpens skills. In a sense, if Indian batsmen are found out overseas, it is because they are not being found out earlier by Indian bowlers. MS Dhoni doesn't need to play seven batsmen in T20 cricket, but he does because he doesn't trust his five bowlers.

It has long been my thesis that Indian coaches have let Indian cricket down by not challenging their wards to think, by merely telling them what to do. With 27 teams, even 15 in the elite group of the Ranji Trophy, India should, by a conservative estimate, routinely produce seven to eight spinners and an equal number of seamers. The selectors should have a mighty headache caused by the overwhelming choice available. Good systems produce those choices. India are currently producing cricketers who are hitting road blocks, even in T20. By contrast, Australia had 11 fast bowlers at the Champions League, and they still had Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Ryan Harris back home. The Titans - without AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and the Morkel brothers - still put a very competitive team on the park.

For India to become a T20 power - and the message from Sri Lanka and South Africa is that it isn't at the moment - it needs to produce many more skilled, thinking cricketers (rather than merely rich ones) than it does now. It means coaching has to adapt, conditions have to vary and the contests have to be tighter.

That may happen or it may not, but the message from T20 cricket is clear. The game is demanding versatile, thinking, athletic cricketers.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (October 22, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

Long live t20. Long live IPL.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

Good article by Harsha. For me T20 is all about Fitness and Quickness - Physically and mentally. Batsmen Should learn to score runs in every type of the delivery they face and bowlers should try to oversmart the batsmen. This is where youngsters paly an important role. This is a game of innovative players like AB Dvilliers and Sunil narine.160@20overs with 10wkets in hand, looks very easy to get, but how many occssions teams crossed that mark in ICC WC ? I beleive Cricket is getting better because of T20,as this format showcases innovation in batting, bowling and fielding. its not a bad idea to build a young team india for this format as the indians are less athletic after they cross 30's - unlike the australians or westindians. but I also beleive that, if BCCI is not willing put their money on preparing bouncy tracks in india, indian cricket wont be able to survive for long - in any format. Perhaps building a young team for T20 is easy for them... Alaas ... This is Inida..

Posted by Feroz9700 on (October 21, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

Nice Article Harsha, I never remember Harsha ever complimenting the cricketing talent from India. Agree India cannot produce very quick or express fast bowlers however we have produced some of the world's best batsman name it Vishwanath, Gavaskar, Sachin, Dravid the list is never ending and an allrounder like Kapil. India cannot produce very quick fast bowlers b'coz of the kind of pitches provided which don't help fast bowlers. So just bowling quick does not help. At a certain stage Harsha discusses Dhoni who always plays 7 batsman, thats nothing to do with the talent, it's just that he is a defensive captain and probably would play 10 batsman if he could and be the 11th bowler himself.

Posted by Nampally on (October 21, 2012, 0:45 GMT)

@McGorium:Harsha's article is his point of view. No one can elevate the game from what it is by expressing their POVs!. The game can be elevated to any standard by the participating players' performance - mediocre or high. The game betwn Mumbai & Chennai today showed the high standard of cricket. The wicket was fast & gave the batsmen & bowlers equal chances. Brilliant outfielding & catching was evident. Poor bowling was punished & strong batting showed up. Some of the attributes mentioned in his article were evident. The "Luck" factor that you mentioned only came into play by outstanding catches of Vijay & Raina. Also luck is needed in any format of the game. Your simili of Tiger hunting to T 20 is misguided Sir,that is if you ever did the tiger hunting yourself on one to one. T20, when played at its best, is a real battle between the Willow & the leather. This is Not merely a bang-bang game but involves intelligent hitting. This is what Harsha is trying to bring out in his write up.

Posted by McGorium on (October 20, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

Addendum, lest I be misunderstood: I must add that ODI are increasingly being played on flat wickets too, and I don't consider ODI's to be that friendly to bowlers either. The games in Sharjah or lately in India are case in point. Nevertheless, the length of the game does obviate the luck factor, and does bring in some bowler skill, even if the odds are somewhat stacked against them. There was a time when the ball spun in ODI's in India, and there was some seam/swing in the pitch when ODIs were played in England or Australia. T20 is worse in that it takes out reverse swing (although the new ODI two-new-balls rule appears to do that too), and even spin as the ball isn't really old enough for spinners. The ball is hard, and shot-making is easier. Bowlers adapt because they must. That doesn't take away from the fact that the odds are stacked against them.

Posted by McGorium on (October 20, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

I find Harsha's columns on T20 pointless. It appears that he's desperately trying to elevate T20 to the same status as tests or ODIs. *Every* sport requires some amount of thought; even track and field, which appears mindless to some requires strategy, thought, planning, and execution. The frequent criticisms leveled against T20(which hasn't been addressed here)is that the "luck" factor plays too much of a role, and that it requires only mediocre, one-dimensional play. You seldom see T20 played on a green-top or dust bowl; when it happens, there are howls of protest. That, in itself is suggestive of what T20 is intended to be: a spectacle of 4's and 6's. If stumps fly in the process, that's a bonus, but a scoreline of 190/2 vs. 189/3 will be hailed as a great T20 game. T20 is as much a sport as a posse hunting a tiger with a rifle. Sure, you need tracking skills, and there's a tiny chance of getting eaten, but the odds are stacked against the creature at the wrong end of the barrel.

Posted by   on (October 20, 2012, 15:23 GMT)

So much for T20 being a thinking cricketers game :V . not many thinking cricketers in these IPl teams as 3 of the 4 IPL teams r already out of the farce 'champions' league,. This just validates the fact that @ least 2 of them should not be there or at the very least should have played in the qualifiers to be there. hopefully since Chennai Mumbai & Kolkata only have dead rubbers left the varios boards will be smart enough to recall their players for a few days more to rest & prepare for real cricket. It would be a real funny shame if any of Ghambir Narine, Dhoni, Kulasekara , Harbajan , Ohja, Ashin , Hussey, Hilfenhaus, Kallis Mccullum Shakib, Vijay, Raina Sharma Johnson Or God forbid Tendulkar get injured playing games which were pointless from the beginning but are even more so now

Posted by ultimatewarrior on (October 20, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

i don't think bowling standards are radically moved higher but it is more due to more bowling friendly conditions (altogether more spin friendly in srilanka and now more pace friendly in SA) and another factor is bowling of relatively unknown bowlers in champions league.........

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (October 20, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Boring blogging about senseless slogging

Posted by Meety on (October 20, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

@Nampally on (October 19 2012, 20:58 PM GMT) - at times the SCG is one of the least pace friendly pitches in Oz - yet atm, NSW have got Bollinger, Hazlewood, Cummins & Starc on their roster!

Posted by getsetgopk on (October 20, 2012, 1:29 GMT)

Someone in here is blaming the dusty pitches for not having quality pace men. Perhaps he hasn't heard of Imran, Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib not to mention Asif and Amir came from the same sort of conditions. Hear this again, it all comes down to ability and inability. And now to the thinking cricketers idea, the indian cricketers are thinking ones, they think they need to bowl a yorker which ends up a juicy fulltoss, and of course the most logical thing would be to first ask do the Indian cricketers have time to think? With so much cricket they play these days, Tests, ODI's T20's and then IPL, CLT20, they dont have time for anything else. Mighty glad sialkot stallions got out of it in a space of 3 days. Some indian authors came up with doing away with "meaningless" ODI's all together to make way for CLT20 and IPL but what meaning is there in IPL or CLT20. Nobody cares if anyone wins or loose these domestic tournaments. Seriously, I sware I dont know who won the last IPL or CLT20. LOL

Posted by maddy20 on (October 20, 2012, 0:17 GMT)

@TRAM By equating all professional fields to professional sports you have lost half of your credibility. While I agree about bouncers, how often do you see slower balls, fast off-breaks(as in off-breaks by fast bowlers) being bowled in test cricket. As for spinners who do not have the other ones, Graeme Swann is doing pretty well and last I checked he does not have the other one in his armory. Each format is good in its own way and has its own set of merits and de-merits. While test cricket really tests the abilities of a batsman, it is boring for some. While ODI is caught in between tests and T20s and some say its on the way out, a batsman would have time to play himself in before playing the attacking shots. While T20 is not cricket for some, its the only form of cricket for others. As for questioning the professionalism of Indian team, a team thats not professional would not stand a chance of winning a single worldcup , let alone two.

Posted by TRAM on (October 19, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

Why only T20 cricket players? All *professionals* in ANY competetive field need to be ahead of their methodlogies and thinking. Batsmen who cant play bouncers & yorkers, spin bowlers who didn't learn the 'other-ones' or the pace bowlers who dont learn slower ones and yorkers will whither away very fast. The question is whether the Indian board, the players and the whole network are professionals or not.

Posted by cricfan65 on (October 19, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

I am not sure how much of what Harsha has written he actually believes in himself ! Cricket, at its highest level, is not designed to be played in 20 overs/ 3 hours. Most observers would agree that T20 is still very much a batsman's game, and with short boundaries and huge bats, not very skilled ones at that.It is only the rare sporting pitch where the bowlers get a decent chance, otherwise you are treated to the spectacle of a Steyn or Ajmal getting abused by an ordinary batsman. Not much hope for the " thinking cricketer" there! But,this is what the average IPL watcher wants his cricket to be like and so it goes.

Posted by mattyodavis on (October 19, 2012, 22:19 GMT)

Personally, I love ODI's, simply because it is the compromise, and has the best of both Tests and T20's, while filtering out the boringness of Tests and slogging of T20's. But I don't think we're ever going to get away from the fact the T20 is the future, for 3 reasons - 1. Money 2. Television viewership 3. More interest in the game for the non-cricket lover who just sees this sport as a boring, 5-day event, and it is easy to see their point of view. The exitement of T20, and players like Gayle, Dilshan, Mccullum becoming household names can only be good for the game.

Posted by Nampally on (October 19, 2012, 20:58 GMT)

Harsha, the abundance of Fast bowlers in Australia is mainly due to their pace friendly pitches. Indian pitches are Seamers nightmare. Hence it is an unfair comparison. Dhoni's has benched Rahul Sharma consistently & used part timers thereby deprived developmant of new spinners. Dhoni's tactics of 7 batsmen makes it an unbalanced XI especially when these batsmen are not producing. He needs to be mandated to pick 4 specialist bowlers + an All rounder + 6 batsmen. Also Every country has format specific teams & Captains except India. It is wrong to have Dhoni captaining all 3 formats.Let Kohli & Pujara be the Captains for T20 & Test formats. This leaves Dhoni with ODI captaincy & for other 2 captains to develop specific XI for their formats.Batsmen like Raina, Rohit, Mandeep singh & U.Chand should be specialist batsmen in shorter formats with bowlers like M.Kartik, Rahul Sharma, Agarkar, S.Sharma & Ashwin. Yuvraj & Irfan Pathan are good all rounders. Ishant, Aaron & Yadev - seamers.

Posted by happy-go-lucky on (October 19, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Just like "Rowdy Rathore" is for the thinking movie watcher and "Five point someone" is for the thinking reader.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

Please!, enough with T20s yes its entertainment and fun and has its own way but T20 doesn't provide endurance, stamina, defence, contest etc as compared to ODIs and especially Tests. The next T20 is not until 2014 and personally, we should forget about it until then because too much emphasis has been put on to it as compared to One-Day Internationals and Test Match Cricket. Can't wait that for once, many proper Cricket series are about to happen very soon and I can't wait.

Posted by Manoj1234 on (October 19, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

it is for the thinking cricketer. Any cricketer who thinks of making money :)

Posted by Nampally on (October 19, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

There are some really accurate & difficult spinners in the CLT 20 like Phangiso of Lions & Narine, who have been able to subdue the batsmen thru guile. There are also some excellent pace bowlers like Starc, Cummins, Lee & Azhar, Bollinger who are not easily hittable. To counter these bowlers there are equally great hitters like Bodi, Mckenzie, KP, Azhar & Raina. So T20 has become a real battle of tactics used by the both bowlers & batsmen. Just hitting is not enough. Pollard got 7 runs in the first 10 balls he faced but got 30 in the next 10 balls. Rain ruined his tactics for the next 10 balls! India is poor in selection of right bowlers & their development. Ashwin is considered the best of spinners but his accuracy & direction are inconsistent. M.Kartik is the optimal spinner but never selected - neither or alternates like Nadeem, Negi. Batsmen like U.Chand, Mandeep, Raina,Sehwag & Dhoni would be great if they are tactical.But India really needs to develop 4 accurate seamers badly!

Posted by Big3BOSS on (October 19, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

On the contrary, it is for non thinking player. It is a lottery where few blind swishes can go for couple of sixes and change a match. That would not be case in ODI/Test where skills like temperament, reading match situation and adapting and playing accordingly will result in victory most of times rather than few luck strikes winning a game. Why do you think Afridi is most successful at this format and failure in other formats?

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

A very insightful and thought-provoking article as always, Harsha. A real shame the quality drops like a cliff from the article to reader's comments.

Posted by landl47 on (October 19, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

There are a number of comments here from people who want pitches which give the bowlers a chance and make the batsmen work for runs. These people are cricket fans. They are forgetting that T20 was devised specifically for people who are not cricket fans. The target audience wants to see sixes, not skilfully placed singles. If the average score was reduced from 140-150 to, say, 110-120, then T20 would die. Hey, come to think of it..... spice up those wickets! @dsig3: I agree entirely. Seeing a great young quick bowler going for 9.5 runs an over is sad. If he does what Harsha is suggesting and starts bowling Jade Dernbach-type rubbish, it will be heartbreaking.

Posted by malaydeb on (October 19, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Wow! T20 is for the thinking cricketer.That's quite rich. And Test cricket is for? Retired cricketers? TV commentators?Curators? or whatever? There should be a limit to every thing, even hyperbole.

Posted by sony_sr on (October 19, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

T20 is getting boring by the day. If something is not done to remove this over kill, soon we will see full empty stadiums.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

Transparent peddling of an obvious agenda. Yawn

Posted by mamboman on (October 19, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

Oh please! 20/20 is for infantile cricketing minds. Again, Harsha, your myopic subcontinental view of the game has made you look foolish

Posted by klempie on (October 19, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

*checks watch* Nope! It's not April the 1st!

Posted by mughal29173 on (October 19, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

Well the article is interesting but one thing was too obvious. that is the obsession of indian media and writers about future of T-20. on one side proliferation of T20 vis-a-vis corruption is making every sensible perosn to think. whereas a slogan "T20 is to stay" is still being forced upon us. Formats, loyalities affiliations etc have changed the whole picture. I wonder what happens when some of the players begin to fall and fail during 5 Day cricket. What about national duty? My post may bot be published but there is something about it which is true. Lets hope we (cricket lovers) begine to understand. Harsha said,"There is no sweater sound than ball hitting the middle of the bat". But do u see that moment in the T20 match with cheergirls and and all other distractions in the ground. Alas money is everything

Posted by ian_ghose on (October 19, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

I wonder what one makes of the likes of Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja (just to name a few)? Does one really think they are 'thinking' cricketers? Or just flat pitch biffers, who'd struggle against back-up bowlers if the pitch happens to have some juice or bounce? Ohh..and the funny bit is that these 2 blokes are paid a lot more than the likes of McKenzie and other 'thinking' cricketers mentioned above. So, who's the fool? The franchises? Or the cricket viewing public?

Posted by 100_rabh on (October 19, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

fully agree dsig3 and landl47. Reality is that generating new skills in t-20 and performance in test matches are not inter-related or at worse may be are inversally related.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

Harsha's application of Darwinism to cricket:D

Posted by Ribs on (October 19, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Good article Harsha, I am always believe that T20 is not only for power hitters. It is nice to see that there is a good competition between bat and all. Specially in SA the scoreline clearly indicating the intensity of the bowling. Not too many high score matches. In Lanka the slowness of the pitch not favored the batsman and the matches are not interested as SA T20 matches. Some how the IPL teams not performing well in SA. Allowing 4 teams from IPL is meaningless. Only league toppers and champions will be permitted to Champions league here after that will allow more number of quality teams in to the tournament. Only DD showing some positive signs in this tournament out of four IPL teams.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (October 19, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

I'm doing my best to engage with T20 format & I'm pleased when class players succeed in this restricted format over the out-&-out hitter: Samuels before Pollard; Watson before Warner, for example. It does concern me though that with boundaries brought in by 10m or so, that too many miss-hits (deliberate spelling) are sailing over the ropes when the bowler has actually beaten the batsmen! For this form of the game to gain some (more?) respectability there needs to be a minumum boundary distance - say, 75 meters. Besides this, I'm wondering whether the technology of bat manufacture needs to be examined & some limitation put on the width of the edge (now called called the side). Or should the stumps used for T20 be taller/ wider? This format is still in its infancy; it is market-driven & bigger probably means better. Eventually, I expect it to be a game with its own code/rules that moves right away from the traditional game. Already there are players who have hardly played anything else.

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (October 19, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

I have long said, if there was ever a Mr. Cricket in India, its Harsha Bhogle. Too bad that by the time I grew up, you had to be a former cricketer to be an expert, and consequently I had to become an engineer. Awesome article. Oh an btw I agrre with you too @landl47.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (October 19, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

20/20 can be really exciting if the pitches are made lively where only good batsmen can play well. The point is that if a bowler keeps the ball on the stumps all the time with just some movement, batting to score runs will be difficult. That is where a batsman will have to be innovative in his strokeplay so that he can indeed score runs.If it is a batting beauty as we have seen most of the time in both the limited over formats of the game,even Mike Tyson can put his brains on sleep mode and belt 'em all as he would say. So to make the 20/20 format truly exciting and jockey for 'most' popular status, vis a vis Test matches even with traditionalists like me the wickets have to be made truly lively. Not just green tops but ones that gives all bowlers a big chance to succeed. That could mean the end of Test cricket though.The game will be only for the skilfull not for the batting extremists.

Posted by ansram on (October 19, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

T20 in theory is closer to test cricket than ODIs. Of course T20 skillsets cannot be compared to test cricket, but when compared to ODIs, T20 needs more skills as a bowler. Batsmen don't have it all easy because there is hardly any time to settle down and thus only the skilled ones last longer. Mindless sloggers have been found out by clever bowlers.

Posted by skishlay on (October 19, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

Think of Shane Watson as a thinker or for that matter Mike Tyson. It feels funny. It seems Shane watson is an instinctive player, though Virat Kohli falls in the category of thinking cricketers. Waiting for the time when Sachin will hit form after thinking & be labelled as a thinking cricketer again of T20 cricket.

Posted by unbiasedfan on (October 19, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

'T20 for the thinking cricketer' - get serious Harsha. One can't understand what happened to the thinking and balanced journalist ever since the advent of T20 (in particular IPL). T20 is mindless entertainment - there's nothing wrong with that (Bollywood is mindless entertainment and is thriving with a worldwide audience). Just lets accept that and move on rather than belittle it by characterizing it as what it is not. BTW, I personally was a great fan of yours in yesteryears when you were a balanced, impartial, 'thinking' journalist / commentator. I hope those days will be back.

Posted by dsig3 on (October 19, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

Agree with the first poster. Even pitches make good cricket no matter the format. I disagree with T20 being a thinking bowlers game though. The vast majority of it is just about being unpredictable and hard to hit. Nothing more. Watching a contest between a bowler and batsmen over a session or 2 is what real cricket is about. Watching Pat Cummins, a once in a generation talent turn into an offbreak bowler makes me want to scream. Its criminal.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

The battle of Brain V Brawn is inevitably won by the Former. Thinking cricketers take a pride of place. Timely Article Indeed.

Posted by landl47 on (October 19, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

The trouble is that bowlers are becoming more inventive in finding ways to improve their economy rate. They are NOT becoming more inventive in finding ways to get batsmen out. The idea is to deny the batsman runs and hope that he will play a bad shot- which, since it is T20, he usually does. That doesn't work in test cricket. Batsmen are becoming more inventive in combating the negative bowling not by playing classic cricket shots but by finding entirely new ones- reverse sweeps, stepping away to leg to hit straight or over cover, etc. That won't work in test cricket, either. Being a thinking player in T20 means thinking about what works in T20. It doesn't mean developing a set of transferable skills.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

Harsha, I agree with every line of what you have said here. The very fact that the CL is being held in SA brings out the gaping holes in our team. I remember in IPL 2, which was held in SA, Dravid said in a post match presentation - "You need players with skill and technique to get runs here. It was a chance for the some of the old boys like me." I also remember that Rahul Dravid had scored well in IPL 2. We miss players of that upbringing and technique now. Quoting from Darwin - "It is not those that are strongest that will survive, but those that can adapt to change." Team India better adapt soon and quickly at that!!

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

There must be a highlight regarding the losses of CSK and KKR in CLT20. Whats going wrong with power house teams from IPL?

Posted by Dirk_L on (October 19, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

Read again what Harsha said: if you don't beat the batsman in the air, the ball is going 90 metres away. That does not depend on the pitch.

Posted by Meety on (October 19, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

Loved the line"....it needs to produce many more skilled, thinking cricketers (rather than merely rich ones)..." top stuff! Well I think Praveen Kumar fits that bill as a bowler, just don't think he gets the kudos he deserves in his own country!

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

Twenty20 is a very boring form of cricket. End of Story.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

It feels wonderful to think like Harsha, but the truth is, bowlers did well in Sri Lanka and South Africa because pitches were somewhat sportive. You don't gonna get it all the day. Make good pitches, witness good cricket. Simple as that.

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Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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