Watching David Miller smash the white ball to all parts of the stadium in Mohali sent shivers down my spine, and I am sure, down the spines of bowlers across the T20 league.
For sheer audacity and the regularity with which Miller found the boundary, it was an astonishing innings, made even more spectacular by the circumstances under which it was played.
The Royal Challengers had amassed 190, and Kings XI Punjab were stuttering at 64 for four, with the required rate in excess of 12. To haul his team out of that rut, almost single-handedly, and take them home with two full overs to spare was quite an achievement.
No stopping them
Miller’s century reiterated that as far as T20 cricket is concerned, sky is the limit for batsmen. The cultivation of skill in any facet of life is a slow and gradual evolutionary process, but things seem different when it comes to T20.
The one shot that I replay over and over again in my mind from Monday night’s match was the near-six that Miller produced off a wide short-pitched delivery from RP Singh. That shot summed up the approach and mindset of the batsmen in a T20 match. Miller stretched himself as far out as possible and simply smashed the ball even though it would perhaps have been called a wide had he not made contact. There was no intention of letting the ball go through.
You can’t say anymore than fortune favours the brave. It’s as if luck is favouring every batsman trying to throw the willow at the ball.
The trend in the last few games has been distinctly different from what we saw in the first half of the tournament, when there was bounce, swing and movement off the track. The dice was then loaded in favour of the bowlers, but with the tournament progressing, predictably, it’s the batsmen who are calling the shots.
I am beginning to wonder if we are really seeing a balance in this tournament. Who would want to be a bowler in these times, I also wonder.
The writer is a former India pacer