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Ten ways T20 has changed since the last World Cup

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The rise of specialists, super specialists, right-left pairs, six-hitting, wristspin, and more

How long has it been since we last played a T20 World Cup? Long enough for R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to go from being persona non grata in the format to taking the place of the two wristspinners who replaced them. Long enough for the knuckleball to go from hip to raging fad to shunned to just another delivery. Here is how much the format has changed in the intervening years.

Different players for different formats
When the T20 World Cup was played last, it had been established that T20s were not an extension of ODIs. The last five years have reinforced even more strongly that this is a completely different format. And with a completely different format come specialists. It shows in how few players taking part in this World Cup also play Tests, and more starkly, ODIs.

Over 43% of players in the 2016 World Cup had played in at least half of their teams’ ODIs over the previous three years. That number has come down to one in three. One in three had played at least half their teams’ Tests and ODIs; now it is only one in four. In a three-year period before the 2016 World Cup, half the participants had played 40.6% or more of their teams’ ODIs; the corresponding number is down to 28.5% for this World Cup.

Girish TS / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Wristspin is in
India were the only top side in the 2016 World Cup without a wristspinner. Since then they have played 69 T20Is with a result, and have used wristspin in 65. Unpredictability and variations trump accuracy on true pitches in such a short format, which makes wristspin key.

Only three wristspinners bowled 30 or more overs in the 2016 edition of the IPL. Six did in 2017, seven in 2018, nine in 2019, and eight in 2020.

In no IPL till 2017 had wristspinners bowled 2000 balls; the four IPLs between 2017 and 2020 featured 2325, 2571, 2927 and 2723 balls of wristspin. These four remain the only editions when more than 100 wickets fell to wristspin. The role of fingerspinners accordingly fell.

Still, while a wristspinner remains a must in a squad, the really good fingerspinners have begun to fight their way back, especially if they can bat or if the pitches are likely to help them or there is a strong match-up on offer. And thus India have gone from using Ashwin and Jadeja in the 2016 World Cup to neither to both again.

Girish TS / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

All change, all the time
For decades, cricket relied on repetitions and mastery of a stock skill, but in T20, especially if you are a bowler, you need to constantly upgrade. You are a mystery bowler one year, but by the next, batters find a way to pick your variations. You have to either add subtleties to your variations or find better deception. The same goes for slower balls. One year it is the back-of-the-hand legcutter, the next, the knuckleball. This is exactly what longer formats and early T20 cricket used to look down upon. Ashwin, for example, is no longer put down for trying too many things: offbreak, carrom ball, legbreak, wrong’un, various seam positions and releases. Sunil Narine is a bowler unrecognisable from the one who started out, and though he is not in the West Indies World Cup squad, he has remained among the best because he has kept evolving and bringing in new forms of deceit.

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Don’t take your foot off the pedal
This is something bowlers feel: batting sides keep going hard even if they lose wickets. Shiva Jayaraman has tried to come up with a metric here. In the first innings (chasing innings are excluded, because there the target dictates your approach) of IPL games, look at teams’ strike rates in the 18 balls after a loss of a wicket. (Leave balls in the last three overs out, because you have to keep going in that phase regardless.) There is a sharp jump in strike rates in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Girish TS / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Right + left = right
There was a series of Indian cricket adverts in the 1990s where the man on the street would spout cricket wisdom. One such: “It’s simple, rightie gaya rightie bhej; leftie gaya, leftie bhej.” If a right-hand batter gets out, send a right-hand batter in; if a left-hand batter gets out, send a left-hand batter in. T20 is now going out of its way to maintain right-left combinations. The biggest reason is not to upset the bowlers’ rhythm, but rather to deny bowlers, spinners especially, a match-up against one style of batter.

The percentage of left-right partnerships for the top five wickets* in the IPL shot up from 41.6% in 2015 to 50.7% in 2016. Since then the numbers have been 49.2, 54.3, 52.8 and 55.9.

Has it worked? Comparing just strike rates might not be the best way to judge effectiveness, but in 2019 and 2020, left-right combinations for the top five wickets scored at a quicker rate that right-right; in 2020 left-left outpaced right-left, but left-left pairs are rare, making up around 5% of top-five partnerships.

Girish TS / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

*Note that figures in the graphic are for all wickets, not just the top five

The rise of the super specialist
Traditionally, consistency in selection has been seen as a good thing in cricket. Not anymore in T20s. In the 2020 IPL, Mumbai Indians offspinner Jayant Yadav played only two matches, one of them the final and the other against the same opponent in the league phase. There was no injury or fitness concern that brought this about. Yadav was a superspecialist. He was brought in to counter a specific side, Delhi Capitals, that was bent on utilising right-left combinations with three right-hand and three left-hand batters in its top six. The increasing use of right-left batting combinations has brought about a return of offspinners, since there aren’t many left-arm wristspinners to take the ball away from left-hand batters.

A typical ODI World Cup squad is the 1st XI plus four players who can cover as much ground as possible as replacements should there be an injury or loss of form. T20 World Cup squads are more about picking extra players who might be used in only one or two situations. Roston Chase, batting strike rate under 130, is not a typical West Indies player on flat pitches; he plays only in low-scoring matches or against a side with a few left-hand batters.

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Want to win? Find the fence
It is a fact that teams that score more in boundaries win four of five T20 matches. In the second half of the last decade, the onus on hitting boundaries has increased, but more so in the middle overs, and especially six-hitting. We can see this in the IPL. Mumbai Indians were playing less-than-modern T20 when they were not winning; then they became the leaders in the middle overs.

Girish TS / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Sixes speak louder than the rest
ODI cricket relied a lot on avoiding dot balls, but T20s are so short that the humble, hard-working single doesn’t have enough time to make an impact on the game. Fours are okay, but sixes are where it is at. In 2016, T20 champions West Indies struck sixes every 16.3 balls against the top seven teams, compared to once every 22.5 balls by other sides in the top eight in games against each other. In the last four completed IPLs, balls-per-six have stayed under 20, possibly never to cross that mark again.

Girish TS / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Bowlers need to bat too
Mumbai Indians once won an IPL with Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga and Pragyan Ojha and one other bowler in their bottom five. The year was 2013 and the logic was that 20 overs were not long enough to need allrounders: you could do with six batters, including a keeper and a part-time bowler, and select five specialist bowlers to take wickets.

You will not find similar team formations today. Teams want depth to allow their main batters to go all out. There is batting till No. 7 at least, followed by at least two more bowlers capable of hitting sixes. Batters who don’t hit sixes have to be as good as Jasprit Bumrah or Yuzvendra Chahal as pure bowlers to survive.

Girish TS / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

There’s still room for anchors
You would like to believe the era of two anchors getting together for a second-wicket partnership of 66 in 8.1 overs in a match that goes at near ten an over – as happened with India in the second semi-final of the last T20 World Cup – is over. To an extent it is: England, for example, will struggle to put together such partnerships because they will not play more than one anchor batter.

However, look at teams overall and there is no statistical indicator that the role of anchor batters, or even of anchor partnerships, has receded. The role of anchors in innings so short has been part of heated debates among followers, but as of now it appears teams don’t believe pure hitting ability has evolved to the point they can do away with the notion of one batter who tries to hold the innings together. This is good news for viewers: the longer teams retain this fear of losing too many wickets, the better it is for the format as a contest between bat and ball.

Courtesy : Espn/CM

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[…] The rise of specialists, super specialists, right-left pairs, six-hitting, wristspin, and more How long has it been since we last played a T20 World Cup? Long enough for R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to go from being persona non grata in the format to taking the place of the two wristspinners who replaced them. Long enough for […]  […]

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Pakistan’s Ahsan Ramzan wins World Snooker Championship title

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Ahsan Ramzan, a 16-year-old Pakistani cueist, has become the second youngest person in the world to win the IBSF World Snooker Championship title in a match that lasted more than five hours.

Ramzan defeated Amir Sarkosh of Iran 6-5 during a final played in Doha. At one point, Sarkosh was in the lead by 3-5 and only needed a single set to win the title. But Ramzan, the youngest Pakistani to ever win the title, kept his cool and ultimately clinched the championship title.

Following Ramzan’s win, several notable Pakistani figures congratulated him on the milestone. President Dr Arif Alvi said Ramzan had made his country proud by bringing in “outstanding honours”.

Pakistan cricketer Muhammad Hafeez also extended his congratulations to Ramzan, while Internet users called him “the pride of Pakistan”.

According to news reports, Hamzan, who lost both his parents at an early age, dropped out of school in Grade 8 and pursued a career as a professional snooker.

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Pakistan Climbs Up in World Test Championship Points Table

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Pakistan has climbed up to the second spot in the World Test Championship points table after Sri Lanka suffered a huge defeat to India in the first Test match between the two teams.

Sri Lanka has suffered their first loss of the current World Test Championship cycle, having won their previous two Tests against West Indies. India, on the other hand, stays at the fifth spot despite the win. They have, however, closed the gap on fourth-placed South Africa.

Elsewhere, Australia moved up to the top of the table having won 4 and drawn 1 in their 5 matches so far in the cycle. Pakistan and Australia will be looking to post crucial points on the table in their ongoing Test match at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

A victory for Pakistan will take them to the top of the table while a loss will take them level on points with South Africa in the third place. A draw will result in Pakistan going level on points with Sri Lanka in the second spot while Australia will extend their lead at the top of the table.

The first Test match of the three-match series is evenly poised at the moment and it looks like it is heading for a draw with rain delays on the third and fourth days.

POINTS TABLE

RankTeamPCT (%)PointsWonLostDrawnSeriesPenalty Overs
1Australia86.6652411
2Pakistan75.0036312
3Sri Lanka66.6624212*
4South Africa60.0036322
5India54.16655324*3
6New Zealand38.88282313
7Bangladesh25.0012132
8West Indies25.0012132
9England9.2510162210

Via PP

ALSO READ :  Pakistan's Ahsan Ramzan wins World Snooker Championship title
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Top 10 Most Famous Twenty 20 Cricket Leagues In The World

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Cricket Getting More advance and popular, Unlike test matches, we don’t need to wait for 5 days to get the result.  If you consider Test Cricket matches as classical then t20 is the jazz and pop of the game. It attracts people of all ages and every corner of the world. Attracting that much audience simply means more opportunities for advertisement and with advertisement comes to the money (and a lot of it). We will list here the Top 10 Most Famous Twenty 20 Cricket Leagues In The World. We all know about IPL today we will see which other league is more popular like the Indian Premier League.

#1. Indian Premier League

No doubt that the Indian Premier League is the no. 1 Cricket league in the world. IPL changed the entire cricket, More commercialized, More entertainment, and more Cricketer Brand Value. How you play, How much you will get Money it reflects in IPL. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007. The IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world and ranks sixth among all sports leagues. The Brand value of IPL is estimated at about  $4.16 billion.

Currently, the 13th season of IPL coming in the Indian Premier League.

#2. Australia Big Bash League

After the Indian Premier League KFC, Big Bash League is the second most popular league in cricket. BBL matches are played in Australia during the summer in the months of December and January. It is now placed eighth in the list of most attended sports leagues in the world with respect to the average crowd per match. 8 teams gilded with international and local stars provide sensational matches for the Aussie crowd in this tournament which was first initiated in 2011.

Big Bash league is Inspired by the success of the Indian premier league. It is slightly less only IPL in terms of audience and Entertainment.

#3. T20 Blast League

One of the most popular and entertaining full leagues. England is where it all started, the first test match, first ODI, first-ever t20 match, and first professional t20 league as well. But it is not so much popular like Vivo IPL and KFC BBL To some extent it still attracts crowd and attraction. T20 Blast League has done great in producing and grooming young talent, especially in a country where people love and follow football immensely. It has 18 teams that are playing the T20 Blast league.

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#4. Caribbean Premier League

The Caribbean Premier League (abbreviated to CPL or CPLT20) is an annual Twenty 20 cricket tournament held in the Caribbean. It was created in 2013 and replaced the Caribbean Twenty 20 as the premier Twenty 20 competition in the Caribbean. CPL is the only cricketing tournament in the Caribbean that gets a good response from both the crowd and the players. Even Hollywood seems to be interested in that with celebrities like Mark Wahlberg who have been seen in this league supporting West Indian cricket. CPL has 6 teams in total

It gets 4th rank due to popularity and entertainment in CPL T20.

#5. Pakistan Super League

Pakistan Super League Known as PSL is undertaken and governed by PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board). In September 2015, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officially announced the launch of the PSL. The tournament’s first edition started with only 5 teams on Feb 8, 2016. Due to the security situation in Pakistan, the first season of the league operated entirely in the United Arab Emirates.

#6. Ram Slam T20 League

The Ram Slam T20 Challenge is the premier Twenty 20 Cricket competition in South Africa, first contested in the 2003–04 season. It was previously known as the Standard Bank Pro20 Series then  MiWay T20 Challenge and now as RamSlam T20 Challenge.

6 teams playing in South Africa RamSlam T20 Challenge. This has been there for quite a time now and has grown pretty well. Large crowd, beautiful picturesque stadiums and sky-high sixes and broken stumps are the some of the many things from Ram Slam T20 league. In last few years Ram Slam may have lost his previous shine but still, it’s better than a lot out there.

#7. Bangladesh Premier League

Bangladesh Premier League known as BPL, Follow the path of IPL. The Bangladesh Premier League replaced the previous competition, National Cricket League T20, and features seven city-based franchises, instead of six division teams which had participated previously.

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It has given many good players and recent stars like Mustafeez ur Rehman are the products of BPL. High-pressure games and exposure to the bigger platform has induced confidence in the current Bangladesh players which has never been showcased by any Bangladeshi team before. 7 teams lock horn in every BPL edition in their quest for winning.

#8. Masters Champions League

Masters Champions League (MCL) is a Twenty 20 cricket league held in the United Arab Emirates and contested by former international cricketers. The inaugural season consisting of six teams was held in January and February 2016 and won by the Gemini Arabians. The MCL has received a 10-year approval from the Emirates Cricket Board but faced difficulties before its first season over the status of “retired” international players who were still contracted to other domestic competitions, as well as delays in player payments which almost led to players abandoning the tournament mid-season.

#9. Sri Lanka Premier League

The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) was a proposed Twenty 20 cricket competition in Sri Lanka. It was intended to be the premier Twenty 20 league in the country, held by Sri Lanka Cricket, replaced the Inter-Provincial Twenty 20 competition.

After the 2011 season was postponed, its first season was held in 2012. The 2013 and 2014 seasons have both been canceled due to organizational problems and lack of sponsorship. The 2014 Super 4’s T20 will be the replacement.

#10. Nepal Premier League

Everest Premier League (EPL) or Nepal Premier League was a professional cricket league in Nepal. It is played in Twenty-20 format. It is played in round-robin leagues from the groups. The first edition of the tournament was held in September 2016 with six franchises consisting of domestic and international players. The most awaited Nepal Premier League unveiled on 24 February in a press conference held at Hotel Radisson. NPL is undoubtedly a historical cricket tournament played domestically with an international touch. Zohra Sports Management and  Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) had an exclusive agreement to introduce

Which league is your favorite comment below !!!

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