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Thread: End of the T20 specialist?

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    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    End of the T20 specialist?

    Looking at the performances as well as team selections in the IPL and the T20 internationals, we find a change in trends. Several stalwarts in Tests and ODIs are making their mark and their place in the shortest format of the game, while some T20 misfits are getting better, but the ones, who were just cut out for T20, are on the decline. Is this the end of the T20 specialist? Here are a few examples.

    In IPL's Royal Challengers, they started off with a whole lot of misfits (Dravid, Kallis, Chanderpaul, maybe Zaheer, maybe Kumble, possibly Steyn) and were second from bottom in the first edition. Since then, however, they've been in the top three twice, and have often depended a lot on Kallis. He's been a batsman who struggles to score quickly for T20 demands, but has been their lynchpin for the last two seasons. On the other hand, Roelof van der Merwe, who's a T20 specialist, may soon find himself on the "here Are They Now" list sooner than later.

    We see Michael Clarke as captain of the Aussie T20I side. This, despite a very unflattering T20 stat sheet. On the other hand, the more prolific Brad Hodge is not even in the final squad. Then there's Chennai Super Kings- they picked Doug Bollinger, whose pre-IPL stats were far from impressive. He ultimately turned it around for the struggling IPL team and they won the IPL. In the same team, Albie Morkel, the most-capped T20 player, is struggling for form. The team that was second-best, Mumbai, dropped Bravo and Sanath for the semis and finals, playing the less-explosive (and less productive) Duminy, and whether it made a difference is a matter of debate.

    IPL auctions had included useful T20 players Martin Guptill, Nathan McCullum, Tyron Henderson and Graeme Swann. All of them were left unsold in this year's auction, while lasy season, just Henderson got picked, and for a single game. He sat out the rest of the season, while Quiney, far from ideal in T20, made the cut regularly. And of course, there's Ganguly and Dravid, who've become relevant batsmen for their teams.

    So what's the cause of this trend? While the old saying of form and class does hold water, there are several players not cut out for T20 among them who are making it their own. Maybe it's the angle of reliability, as also technique. Most T20 specialist batsmen have been found out against the short ball or the sharp turner. Many of them don't have the temperament to play a long innings. A lot of them may not even have faced quality internationals. The bowlers who seem fit for T20 don't really bowl teams out, but just use a whole lot of tricks to get lucky wickets, or just try to stifle the batsmen for under seven or eight per over. Maybe the Test specialists come equipped with all the tricks needed for T20, as also better basics from Test cricket. Is there a chance for the T20 specialists to turn it around in some time? Or will there be too many left?
    Last edited by Arjun; 26-04-2010 at 06:07 AM.
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    International Vice-Captain Faisal1985's Avatar
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    Yaar TBH, and no offence to any Indians at all, barring the quality int'l players, the standard of cricket in IPL was quite low. I tried to watch couple of games but some of those bowlers were delivering simply trash...
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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    I suppose as established international players get more familiar with the format, the domestic guys who previously had their greater experience in T20s as a bit of a evener-upper will start to get shown up again.

    The "T20 specialist" often seems to be used as a bit of a shorthand for slogger who comes off once every five matches, a la Dave Warner. Its not surprising that players like Kallis move past him over a longer period.

    That said, a group of bowlers seem to have genuinely emerged as specialists because they've got their head around how to bowl in this format, the demands of which are quite unlike other formats. Sticking with the parochial theme, Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait fit into this category.

    Clarke's selection over Hodge in T20s has little to do with their respective merits in that particular format however.
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    What I think is that it is impossible for 2 youngster to become a 't20 specialist' and be consistently producing the goods year after year. Which is precisely why I want Pollard to play one dayers consistently and if possible try and get to the test team as well. The competition anyway is not too hard, and Pollard from what I've seen is not a blind slogger.

    We saw how much Symmo, Gilly, Hayden, gibbs, warne all have gone down a good amount of degrees as players after concentrating solely on t20s.
    So called t20 'specialists' like Dwayne Smith, Asnodkar, etc all have had terrible season and are in danger of not having any contract at all next year.

    They'd do well to take first class competitions seriously and start performing in them, and thereby retaining match fitness. In that aspect I have huge regard for Ganguly, who could've gone the Gilly or Warne way without playing anything and still play because he'd captain, but still slogged it out in the domestic competitions.


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    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79 View Post
    I suppose as established international players get more familiar with the format, the domestic guys who previously had their greater experience in T20s as a bit of a evener-upper will start to get shown up again.

    The "T20 specialist" often seems to be used as a bit of a shorthand for slogger who comes off once every five matches, a la Dave Warner. Its not surprising that players like Kallis move past him over a longer period.

    That said, a group of bowlers seem to have genuinely emerged as specialists because they've got their head around how to bowl in this format, the demands of which are quite unlike other formats. Sticking with the parochial theme, Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait fit into this category.

    Clarke's selection over Hodge in T20s has little to do with their respective merits in that particular format however.
    I was probably the only person on this forum to stick up for Kallis when Bangalore picked him, but Warner>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kallis at Twenty20s.

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/...und;view=match

    Doesn't look like 1/5 either, more like 2 failures out of 13.
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    International Coach GotSpin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Alex View Post
    What I think is that it is impossible for 2 youngster to become a 't20 specialist' and be consistently producing the goods year after year. Which is precisely why I want Pollard to play one dayers consistently and if possible try and get to the test team as well. The competition anyway is not too hard, and Pollard from what I've seen is not a blind slogger.

    We saw how much Symmo, Gilly, Hayden, gibbs, warne all have gone down a good amount of degrees as players after concentrating solely on t20s.
    So called t20 'specialists' like Dwayne Smith, Asnodkar, etc all have had terrible season and are in danger of not having any contract at all next year.

    They'd do well to take first class competitions seriously and start performing in them, and thereby retaining match fitness. In that aspect I have huge regard for Ganguly, who could've gone the Gilly or Warne way without playing anything and still play because he'd captain, but still slogged it out in the domestic competitions.
    To be fair, it's not like Warne, Gilly and Haydos have a domestic competition to slap it around in.

    it is interesting to notice that predominately 20-20 players lose a lot of their skills
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    Quote Originally Posted by Got_Spin View Post
    To be fair, it's not like Warne, Gilly and Haydos have a domestic competition to slap it around in.

    it is interesting to notice that predominately 20-20 players lose a lot of their skills
    Surely Gilly, Warne etc could get a gig atleast with the second rung county teams? Pretty sure he was supposed to be with Hants till this season, before IPL came along.
    The underlying moral is that players just cannot take IPL to fund their careers and take it easy otherwise. It's not a retiree's league to see one's career off either.

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasag View Post
    I was probably the only person on this forum to stick up for Kallis when Bangalore picked him
    Oi!

    You know I loved Bangalore when they had a T20 team consisting of Kallis, David and Wasim Jaffer!


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    Hall of Fame Member Furball's Avatar
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    There's been a decline in so-called "specialist T20" batsmen because as the T20 game develops, people are realising that there's more to T20 batsmanship than simply mindlessly slogging.

    First and foremost, good T20 batsmanship is about scoring runs off every ball you face.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasag View Post
    I was probably the only person on this forum to stick up for Kallis when Bangalore picked him, but Warner>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kallis at Twenty20s.

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    Doesn't look like 1/5 either, more like 2 failures out of 13.
    Yeah, when I read the thread title I immediately thought of Warner as a T20 specialist who's not the type of blind slogger Matt describes.

    Fair points though, just not the best example. I don't think we can conclude much based on one IPL, or even two though.
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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    ****, I don't know. I don't really like or know much about this T20 lark, and will henceforth restrict myself to discussions about proper cricket

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    Just on Pollard. Pollard CANNOT make the West Indies test tean. Let's not talk nonsense. Who's he going to play ahead of: Gayle? Sarwan? Chanderpaul? Nash? Bravo? Barath? Ad the two squad players on the periphery Dowlin and Deonarine? I don't think so. He's narely hanging on in the ODI arena and more than likely would not have made it had samuels been available. He needs to play more FC cricket and improve there before he can even sniff the Test team. Please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjun View Post
    In IPL's Royal Challengers, they started off with a whole lot of misfits (Dravid, Kallis, Chanderpaul, maybe Zaheer, maybe Kumble, possibly Steyn) and were second from bottom in the first edition. Since then, however, they've been in the top three twice, and have often depended a lot on Kallis. He's been a batsman who struggles to score quickly for T20 demands, but has been their lynchpin for the last two seasons. On the other hand, Roelof van der Merwe, who's a T20 specialist, may soon find himself on the "here Are They Now" list sooner than later.
    My views on Kallis are well known here. In my opinion his bowling record in the tournament in pathetic and his batting did more to cost RCB in the big games than it did to actually assist them. When you have 7 top quality batsmen, the objective should be to either hit or get out. Kallis does neither and hence his presence at the crease helps the opposing team.

    On Van Der Merwe, I'm not sure how you came to this judgment. Van Der Merwe is one of the most underrated t20 players in the world. He was instrumental in the fortunes of RCB last year and the only reason he didnt play much this tournament was because of his passport (4 overseas players remember?)
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm a van der merve fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Yeah, when I read the thread title I immediately thought of Warner as a T20 specialist who's not the type of blind slogger Matt describes.

    Fair points though, just not the best example. I don't think we can conclude much based on one IPL, or even two though.
    Actually Warner to me is one of the batsmen who most resembles a blind slogger.

    He does the basics of it right though. Keeps his head relatively still, clears the front leg and gets a big swing at the ball. Depending on the delivery he'll swing vertically or horizontally. He typically does this most deliveries in the power-plays. I remember one game in the IPL where he basically just did the same thing every delivery til he got out, think he made about 31 off 13 balls. He tends to get away with the odd mis-hit clearing the infield.
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