Much has been made of the fact that MS Dhoni wants seven batsmen and four bowlers in his Twenty20 side, even though you have to use at least five bowlers.
‘Sacrilege’, people cry. Not really. Batsman number seven might not contribute much, but the value of a specialist bowler isn’t always so great in Twenty20 either.
Actually, let’s clarify that a little. A really good bowler is fantastic to have and may well win you the game. A pretty good bowler is often neither here nor there. Dhoni clearly feels that there isn’t much to choose between his fifth bowler and his part-timers. He might have a point.
It’s odd that Yuvraj Singh isn’t considered to be one of five bowlers. He seems to be kept in the ‘fiddling through some overs’ category, but his Twenty20 record’s pretty solid and he’s taken over a hundred wickets in one-day internationals.
Watching him bowl, you kind of feel that the batsman should be carefully selecting a stand in which to land the ball, but it never happens. He’s the irritating non-spinning spinner who you for some reason can’t slog. Twenty20 teams are built around those guys.
Yuvraj took 3-24 off four overs against Afghanistan today and other than Afghanistan’s fielders, he did as much as anyone to prevent an upset.
Don’t give us that ‘if Afghanistan had fielded better’ crap, by the way. They played pretty well, but fielding’s part of the game.