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Case of predictable unpredictability

IPL-IV seems to be quashing all claims of 20-over cricket being incredibly unpredictable and dreadfully volatile. Where is the unpredictability when 14 out of 18 games (at the time of writing this) have been won by teams chasing? Aakash Chopra writes

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2011 02:04 IST

IPL-IV seems to be quashing all claims of 20-over cricket being incredibly unpredictable and dreadfully volatile. Where is the unpredictability when 14 out of 18 games (at the time of writing this) have been won by teams chasing? Make no mistake by calling it an aberration, for the statistics are too overwhelming to ignore.

Miscalculating it
Most teams, right at the onset of this season, failed to identify the par score for the wicket and hence found themselves guilty of aiming too high and ending too low. This often happens in a T20 game, for you're never satisfied with what you've achieved. Most batsmen, at the start of this IPL, believed that since balls are at a premium in T20, it's blasphemous to consume a few deliveries to get their eye in, which in my opinion proved fatal. This was the primary reason that we saw teams losing three-four wickets inside the first six overs and subsequently posting a paltry total, which was chased down without much fuss.

But, as the tournament progressed, batsmen became wiser and started batting more sensibly. Now 160-plus scores are a norm and not an abnormality; the wisdom though isn't restricted to the team batting first, and that's why teams have started chasing the totals down successfully too.

Five bowlers a must
While this is a format perceived to be made for batsmen, bowlers have demanded a bigger say in the fortunes of the game. You may not need six quality batsmen to consume 20 overs, but you can't do without five more-than-decent bowlers to pitch in with four overs each.

The inclusion of two new teams in this edition of the IPL has changed the dynamics with regard to the bowling resources. The requirement of 10 quality bowlers to take care of the demands of the new entrants has started pinching, with the paucity of quality bowlers already showing. Hence, it may not be a bad idea to play another bowler instead of having the cushion of a batsman at No. 7.

www.cricketaakash.com