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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Cricket Columns

In T20, close battles spur creativity
Javagal Srinath
April 08, 2013
First Published: 00:39 IST(8/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:41 IST(8/4/2013)

We are still in the early stages of the season, but there already have been many exciting contests. Such is the nature of T20 that games can change quickly on crucial moments, like a high-scoring over, brilliant catch or extraordinary run out. We have already had such moments and I’m sure many more are in store.

RCB’s win over Mumbai Indians is the tightest game thus far, decided as much by Gayle's brilliant batting as Vinay Kumar’s excellent last over when he had only 10 runs to defend. Nothing fires up a player like a close finish does. Vinay saying that basics helped him do the right things sums it  up and sends a message to fellow competitors.

Tense finishes
A one-sided match can sometimes make the winner complacent and the vanquished downcast. Not so a tense, last-ball finish. Speaking from experience, I can say even the players on the bench are caught up in the adrenaline rush. A team that loses narrowly bounces back in the next match. That’s what we saw with Mumbai against CSK. Rajasthan Royals held their nerve in the last over bowled by Kevon Cooper, consigning  Delhi to a second defeat in a row. Brad Hodge’s athleticism made the difference as he ran out Warner.

Such close contests can provide lessons not only for the teams involved but for the teams watching too. It’s in a very even battle that the character of the players comes out. You can see a great deal of creativity with the bat and ball and the scope to innovate and improvise is tremendous. You have to be bold, aggressive and decisive, elements synonymous with the T20 format. This edition thus could not have asked for a better start.  TCM/Hawkeye

The writer is a former India pacer


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