11 Sep / 2012SL-WC-T20-2012: Can attack be the best Defense!.

In a Test match when a batsman is inclined to play defensive (and scores reasonably) – either to save the game, or to set big score in either innings… he will never be criticized for his action, or the way he gets out….irrespective of result.  But, if a batsman has an aggressive nature, and he like others, scores reasonably well,  yet would be criticized for his action & he would be questioned

1- for the type of shots he plays to get out

2- his technique against type of bowling

3- his state of mind


There are many cricketers in past and present who play aggressively and have been taken to gallows by selectors, media, et all..

 It suggests (most times) that, saving a game has more importance than winning a game!!. …. because the process involved in saving a game has a defensive mind-set, and the process involved in winning a game has a aggressive mind-set.  

I feel aggressive mind-set is much tougher and harder than defensive mind-set … here am not talking technical part of batting (blocking or heaving the bat) – for me aggressive bating means always looking for runs, either with a defensive bat, or nudge or push or heave.

It doesn’t matter how slow a batsman starts his innings , and how many dot balls and maidens he consumes while he is at the crease. But when you are always looking for runs, it eventually pays off, because in the end, if your technique is not fetching you any runs, than what is the point in having it on first place?. Transposing successfully is the key, which is seen in terms of runs scored…Batsmen need to be looking for runs every time….in any format. “think aggressively” .. I think in all cases, for all country, shortest format(T20)  should be played before a Test series, which would allow aggressive mind-set of players(batsmen/bowlers) leading to aggressive Test cricket. In fact in last 2years we have seen aggressive batsmen who were once considered only for ‘shortest” format of cricket, successfully transpose their skill at the highest level.

 Recently in T20I we have seen openers bat long to able score big, which was not the case few years back… when openers didn’t last the whole of power play.  I see a rise in this as we approach this World Cup, and am hoping it would surpass last T20WC measurement.


 A look at what happened in last WC 2010.







In 27 games

  Average 1st Batting score = 154.

 170 plus score = 11 times (1st/ 2nd batting)         & only once team lost after scoring more than 170!.

   On average : 29 boundaries/ game (both innings)

     Powerplay & over phase.  (Below is average runs in each phase while setting and defending Team score)

Batting end of 6th over End of 10th over End of 15th over Post 16th over(20)
1st Bat 43 69 107 154
2nd Bat 38 60 97 127
Total 41 66 105 152


Big overs : (Below is % of 10 or more runs/ over in each phase of every game) 

Big overs(>10runs) 0-6(overs) 7-10(overs) 11-15(Overs) 16-20(overs) Total
1st Bat 25.39% 21.43% 29.52% 45.71% 30.78%
2nd Bat 14.44% 14.44% 32.38% 50.00% 25.59%
Total 19.84% 17.85% 30.95% 49.69% 28.32%

For some reason there are less runs scored after power play  (6th over), and it continues till the end of 10th over.

This pattern is very apparent in ODI games. After mandatory powerplay (at end of 10th over) there are very few runs scored till the 15th over. Perhaps cooling period for batsmen?.  

Below is average runs partnership for each wicket.

In 27 games there were 5 hundred runs partnerships and 34 fifty runs or more partnerships –  Surprisingly tail wagged in the world cup, as they had enough overs to bat on!.

Wkts Avg Runs  25 plus runs  50plus runs 100plus runs
I 23.61 17 6 2
II 26.87 22 7 2
III 23.45 18 7 0
IV 18 12 5
V 22.62 16 5
VI 16.54 9 2 1
VII 11.21 1 1
VIII 9.18 2 1
IX 6.63 2 0 0
X 6.35 0 0
Total 21.42 99 34 5

Eagerly looking to this World Cup…and hopefully qualities other than skill will not be a deciding factor for teams to win!.

25th September, 2012:  Now, as I watch Bangladeshi cricketers taken on Pakistani in last game of preliminary round. I wonder whether they would become second team to win toss and also that game!. Pakistan is only team that has won the toss and game also. Yet how important is toss factor in T20.  I doubt, unless the condition will change drastically aiding one side. Having said, its an interesting last game, as there could be the first upset of this tournament, as Bangladesh will relish defending their score with a much better fielding side than Pakistan, and on other hand Pakistan will be nervous chasing, because as of late they prefer to  bat first in any format!.  

26th September 2012 : Disappointingly Bangladesh failed to defend a match winning target. And surprisingly its their bowling/fielding which let them down, this should be their worst fielding display in any format…. A quick check at number of drop catches(easy catches to most difficult ones)by teams in this tournament.

So far in 12 games, shockingly 20 chances went missing!. From this minnow teams (including Bangladesh & Zimbabwe) dropped 14.

As all games are played in night, it would be interesting to see whether this trend continues with major teams as well.

Meanwhile one feels sad for minnow teams (including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) who hardly have a series fixture against major teams. One hopes that ICC can open a window for them to play at least one series home and away every year, against each major team.

This would fast track their performance, and help them to perform consistently in all format. On the other hand, it would hugely benefit major teams, as they would know their bench strength, this would create pool of players of various skills, who later can be fast-tracked to a bigger and important contest. Also it would benefit experienced key players who can be rested and rotated when required.

Otherwise, we would only see minnows take part in major events, just providing number to the tournament, and there would be no growth for global cricket…. Here is a video(pardon for very bad audio) posted after WC -ODI 2011- how one time associate teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe played so little during 70s and 80s.  http://allthatcricket.com/archives/731


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