Twenty20 bowling tactics and Twenty20 batting tactics

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We don’t have a great deal to say about England getting beaten. We’ve been writing this website for a few years now and it would do us no good at all to dwell on every underwhelming England loss. So we’re not going to. Not on a Friday.

What we did strike us while watching the game was the differing tactics each team has been employing during the World Twenty20. While Test cricket and one-day internationals have a sort of template for how to play, teams are approaching Twenty20s in all sorts of different ways.

Bowling tactics

South Africa use their fast bowlers from the off, as they would in the other formats, whereas England often use Dimitri Mascarenhas’ medium-pace, almost daring their opponents to have a slog. Other sides have opened with spinners.

Batting tactics

England have gone with one willing slogger (Luke Wright) and one attacking batsman (Ravi Bopara). A lot of the other sides have adopted a similar approach.

South Africa use Kallis and Smith, their two best batsmen in other formats, but not who you’d think of as being Twenty20 batsmen. They then bide their time and stick Albie Morkel in for some sixes late on.

Who’s right?


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  1. More thought and cricketing nous have gone into this pretty bog-standard post than seems to go into England tactical plans for 20/20. Which tactics are right? Dunno, but it’s a pretty safe bet that whichever tactics England ‘choose’ are, by definition, the wrong ones.

  2. We don’t actually think England’s tactics have been that bad. Bopara is the right choice as opener and Wright is a suitably risky foil. Having Mascarenhas opening the bowling is canny and largely effective.

    Mostly they’ve just not batted well enough. Shot selection has been very poor.

  3. I think England need to clear their front legs more and action their skills. I have no idea what this means but, according to Dermot Reeve, it’s very important.

    The quality of commentary on TMS is getting so bad that I’ve had to start listening to the cricket with the sound turned down.

  4. I’d agree, KC. It’s not the tactics that are the problem. It’s the execution. And an inability to change the plan while in the middle. It’s almost as though they are stuck in Fletcher mode, playing premeditated shots at every ball.

  5. Why have a slogger and an attacking batsman, when you can have a pirate and a Dilshan?

    I think the over-riding concept, that England (surprise, surprise) haven’t grasped, is that they should play to the strengths of each player, rather than deciding on the slots first and then shoe-horning some hapless sods into them.

    If I was either Wright or RavBop, and the Holland game had just been lost, I would have taken my Bat Of Furious Anger back to the dressing room and smote down every middle order batsmen I could find.

    Oh, and bringing Sir Robert of Key along just to sit on the bench eating pies. Or perhaps Colly just wanted a go on his massive capybara?

  6. You’re right, String. There is no flexibility or adaptability as the game situation changes. Too many are still locked into the Fletcher forward press and sweep shot percentages modes, and there is an inability to regularly clear the ropes in the middle order. All too often Collie & Shah focus on run a ball singles and waste vital overs. After KP, we only really have Dimi who can consistently hit the big shots. Batsmen in other teams have adapted their game e.g. AB de V, Boucher, Chanderpaul, M Clarke, M Hussey, Duminy, K Akmal etc etc to up their scoring rates – heck, even Murali can throw the bat . I can’t think of any English batsmen who have been good enough to make the same noticeable changes to their game.

    I guess you can’t criticise Shah after he’s top scored in a poor total, but he frustrates me because he seems to think it’s alright to score 30 at a strike rate of 100. I think he just plays for his place the whole time by trying to accumulate runs regardless of the strike rate. But in T20 you need to be aiming for consistently getting a strike rate of 130 and above as a specialist batter.

  7. Sorry about that last post. My England-fuelled apoplexy led me to me ignore the rules of tense and general sentence structure.

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