The game of Cricket is a sideways game and one-day Cricket is a different cup of tea like T-20 Cricket. In both the forms of the game, captaincy plays a stellar role. It is just like a game of chess and each and every move counts in instant cricket.
The common feature of this season’s IPL matches has been the twists and turns they take in the final phase of the matches. Kings XI Punjab defeated Delhi Capitals by 14 runs in a cliff hanger game. Captaincy played a crucial role as the Punjab outfit’s captain Ashwin did the trick for the second time. In an earlier game against Rajasthan Royals, the skipper affected a “Mankaded” dismissal of Butler and that changed the complexion of the game. Again, he did the trick by opening the bowling with the new ball and got the scalp of in form P. Shaw for a blob first ball to trigger a sensation. He used Curran for one over initially with the new ball and rotated his other bowlers and bowling in between to get the scalp of Shikhar Dhawan LBW. He brought left-arm seamer Sam Curran in the 18th over and he caused a collapse with 4 wickets in four balls and that includes a hat-trick. Thus captaincy twisted the tables in two games.
Hit and run game of Cricket is a fast-moving game and tactical moves can turn the tides in a close game at the World cup level. First and foremost is batting. To overcome this problem facing the new ball, we must always use the role of a pinch hitter. We should make to pad up two batsmen when the opener’s bat. One must be a left-hander and the other a right-hander. In the event of early loss of an opener a pinch hitter can serve the purpose and help to score fast instead of just pinning at the crease and crawling.
- If a right-hander is dismissed, then a right-hander should replace him as No. 3 batsman. If by chance a left-hander gets out first, then a left-hander should bat at No. 3. This will help the team to rotate the strike and confuse the opposition bowlers. The right-left combination is to be maintained throughout as far as possible. Australians were doing this during the recent tour to India and won both T-20 and ODI series with calculated moves.
- There is no need of a set batting order in one day cricket. Hence, we should have a batting option open. A useful cricketer should not mind going in as No. 6 batsman. He should make use of his experience in scoring quick runs.
- The bowling department is not safe in the hands of the five preferred bowlers. Both the spinner can be a mainstay in one day cricket since both are penetrative and can attack in tandem.
- Wicketkeeping is a key position. Better to play an experienced keeper and shift the second keeper as the main striker in batting. He can be sent in as No. 8 as we need to prop up the late order batting during the slog overs and score runs at a faster play when the batting power play is applied and that will help to hit out each and every ball during that crucial period.
- Senior players need to be placed inside the circle and the tall fielder should occupy slip and another close in positions and allow the youngsters to do the running.
- Running between the wickets is the key to the success of a team. One should be converted to two and two to three to provide a challenging target. Yes-No caution will take care of the proceedings perfectly.
Instead of allowing an opposition left-handed opener to prosper every time he comes to the wicket, we can make use of an off-spinner to use the new ball and unsettle the key left-handed players.
Forget about the recent defeats to Australia and plan well for the tougher World cup. Tough World cup matches are expected with teams like Afghanistan is doing well in the shorter form of the game and upsetting high ranked side.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)