For many, T20 is a no-brainer. All it requires is brawn, and moves along a predictable course right through to allow for any significant strategy or tactics.
The no-strategy argument holds water to an extent, given that T20, unlike the longer formats, doesn’t have to contend with changing conditions of the wicket and the ball – factors which have a big impact on planning in the other forms of the game.
Generally, it’s the behaviour of the wicket and condition of the ball at any given time that largely determine the approach and plans of a batsman and a bowler. In T20, however, the wicket usually stays the same for 40 overs, and the ball too doesn’t change much.
T20 isn’t completely devoid of plans, says former India allrounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi, who has played a bit of T20 in the Indian Cricket League (ICL). “There can’t be any game, irrespective of the format, that doesn’t require planning or some thought.
“I feel that T20 demands agility in thinking and decision making as the game changes on a over-to-over basis. One has to keep thinking of various methods and plans to wrest back the initiative which keeps swinging like a pendulum,” said Sodhi.
So does the fast-paced and high-intensity format calls for spur-of-moment plans, limiting tactics and strategising to quick bowling changes and field placements? Dinesh Mongia has something different to offer. “I agree we can’t plan strategies in T20 like we do in Test or ODIs. But then, there are plans chalked out, keeping in view the composition of the opposing teams and the strengths and weakness of an individual as we do in other formats,” said the former India batsman, who has also joined the ICL.
The best or the worst, depending on which side of the fence you are, one has heard in terms of strategy in T20 is the multiple-captain plan of John Buchanan. But will that ever see the light of the day remains to be seen.