If bigger limits on most courses have lifted the spirits of bowlers converging on Australia for the T20 World Cup, they do well to temper their optimism with an avalanche of runs predicted by some of the tournament’s Super 12 stage. .
Cricket’s shorter format is clearly batsman biased and bowlers, often portrayed as cannon fodder, enjoy a points ball almost as much as they would a layoff in a day or tests.
However, the dimensions of the pitch suggest shots that would clear the boundary in most stadiums on the subcontinent and New Zealand, and might not even reach the rope in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead, however, hopes the bowlers still have their work cut out for them when the world’s best batsmen start shooting.
“I think what T20 cricket has certainly done is make teams much more comfortable in the pursuit of higher scores,” the 50-year-old said on Sunday.
“So yeah, you’re going to have to shoot very, very well if you’re defending 150-170 scores now, and that was shown through the tri-series (in Christchurch) as well.”
Having played in the inaugural World Cup in 2007, India captain Rohit Sharma has seen up close how the game has evolved over the years and believes the trend towards higher totals is likely to continue. even in Australia.
“You can literally see how it is played now compared to how it was in 2007,” Rohit said at the captains’ pre-tournament news conference.
“140 or 150 was a good score back then and now people try to get that score in 14 or 15 overs.
“Teams take more risks (now) without worrying about the result and I think it’s a good way to play this format.”
This is how inaugural champions India would play him in the tournament, the 35-year-old added.
“This is the kind of format where there is risk, but there are also great rewards,” he added.
“We have to be brave enough to take those risks and certainly be prepared to do so as well.”
India’s preparation included coming up with ways to score freely even when hitting sixes isn’t that easy, as they discovered during scrimmages in Perth and Brisbane, where several batsmen got caught near the rope.
“You have to be smart when you plan your hitting on terrain like this,” Rohit explained.
“Hitting limits and sixes of course sounds good, but you can’t forget about pushing the ball into space, running between wickets really hard and trying to get eight or nine runs in one over.”