Two Test batsmen in Twenty20

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Get 'em in ones

When you’ve already taken five wickets in a nine over match, as England did, you’d hope to have worse batsmen at the crease than Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. England’s six and seven were James Foster and Graeme Swann, for example.

Needing 10 an over is no cause for panic for Sarwan and Shiv. Most batsmen’s kecks get heavier with every passing delivery with that sort of run rate and overs fast running out. They increasingly try and launch every delivery with all their might. Sarwan and Shiv take the other approach.

You watch Sarwan glance the ball into the legside and think: ‘Well, at least it’s only one.’ But then the ball keeps rolling and gently plods over the boundary with no fielder in sight. He’s only gone and put it where the fielders aren’t. How ingenious.


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  1. To be fair, 80 in 9 overs & 10 wkts in hand was easier than it seemed. West Indies just almost made a pigs breakfast out of the whole thing.

  2. Maybe, but things looked pretty dire for them when these pair started out but they made the runs and even had a few deliveries left over.

  3. well said king.

    great example of the fact that you dont have to whack the cover off every ball to score quickly.

    takes me back to the days of michael bevan.

    simpler times.

  4. Probably for the best. It’d only have made the whole competition look even sillier if a team as bad as England had made the semis anyway.

  5. I’m already looking forward to next year’s ICC World Nine9 tournament. People these days just don’t want to sit through more than two hours of Twenty20, and it’s better for the TV companies, revenue, young people, blah, blah, blah…

  6. Agreed, Bert. The trouble with Twenty20 is that you get those dull middle overs (7 to 15) which are all too soporific. People just don’t have the attention span for this sort of stuff these days.

    Even Nine9 has those dull middle overs (4 to 6) during which you only get a predictable 25 or so runs and a small clutch of wickets.

    I’m a Five5 man myself. It’s the way of the future.

  7. What’s a good Five5 score in modern cricket? 180 seems about par. 178 looks a little light.

  8. England just don’t bat positively enough. If we hit a boundary early in the over there are too many guys content to take singles for the rest of the over regardless of whether the ball is there to be hit. However, I don’t subscribe to the argument we should have played Dimi – the same Sky pundits who were querying why we lack big-hitters and didn’t play him were literally 24hrs early criticising him for scoring too slowly. And the Windies have looked vulnerable against spin over all the games we have played against them in the last 6 months, so it was fair enough to pick Rashid. But we don’t think during the games sometimes. I couldn’t believe Broad didn’t get promoted up the order when Swann came in with 3/4 overs left and we hadn’t hit a boundary for 5/6 overs.

  9. To be fair to The England’s think tank, Greame Swann can and should have been hitting big. Before the tournament started, he hit 90no from 47 balls, against Lancashire in the 20/20 cup..
    That’s probably more of an indictment of the state of county cricket though.

  10. Swann often opens the batting in Twenty20 and Pro40 for Nottinghamshire.

    Think it was the Nottinghamshire coach, Mick Newell, who said:

    “Graeme Swann doesn’t bat. He just hits fours.”

  11. The clear threat to test match cricket comes not from the alternative formats per se, but from its inability to lend itself to a catchy name / number / lackofspaces combination.

    Twenty20 cricket
    Pro40 cricket

    Test-minimum-90-overs-in-the-day-for-each-of-the-possible-five-days-unless-weather-or-slow-over-rate-prevents-that-in-which-case-the-overs-can-be-made-up-and-the-offending-captain-fined cricket

  12. I think they should go back to the good old days of HoweverBloodyLongItTakesUnlessTheBoatIsAboutToLeave cricket.

  13. Yes Mahinda – you are the most right on this blog – the right-est.

    And they should travel to every destination by boat.

  14. A lot of sense being expressed on this thread.

    Instead of “start the car”, Bumble could ejaculate “weigh the anchor” twelve or so days in, when there is only one wicket still to fall or 4 runs needed for the win.

    But if we must stick to five day tests, couldn’t we simply call them: FourHundred&Fifty450 matches.

  15. Mahinda, D Charlton – Travelling by boat, quite right, top comments. I’ve been thinking hard about this, and I have found that it is mathematically true that your idea is perfect. Consider the advantages:

    1. Weather in the Western Approaches is always bad. Simply scheduling a test match to start on the day the boat docks will mean that any touring team will be sick as dogs and unable to play. Result, England win first test.

    2. Britannia Rule The Waves (I’ve heard). This means that opposing teams can be made to fear for their very lives as they approach Britain – hardly ideal mental preparation (see Matthew Hayden articles for the importance of being mental).

    3. Sense of Superiority. When England travels abroad, the team will experience an unavoidable connection with the Days of Empire, thus giving them a Victorian-like confidence in their own abilities. They will stand at the pointed end of the boat, chest out, moustaches neatly trimmed (these will be compulsory, obviously), ready to dominate all with nothing more than a resolute belief and a stout spirit (and an army equipped with guns instead of sticks). This will be especially true for Andrew Strauss, who I suspect already has these dreams.

    4. End of pointless cricket. If you spend three months of the year on a boat, there just won’t be time for the Sharja Cup, the two-test series against Bangladesh, 20/20 World Cup, IPL, ODI World Cup, etc.

    5. As a consequence of 4, county cricket will become much more popular again, ready to produce a new generation of high quality players for all the other teams but England.

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