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Enjoy the six-hit show while it lasts as bowlers can roar back into the World Cup – News

With over 1,000 sixes, batters have completely dominated the IPL

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Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Travis Head hits a six during the IPL match against Lucknow Super Giants. —AFP

Published: Thu May 9, 2024, 3:50 PM

The 2024 Indian Premier League looks set to revolutionize modern cricket given the way batters in particular have approached the game and turned it on its head.

There is no hiding the fact that the T20 game is being played like never before, with batters pulverizing the opponents to death in almost every match.

Six-hitting has been taken to a whole new level by the likes of Abhishek Sharma, Travis Head, Heinrich Klaasen (SRH), Sunil Narine (KKR) and Jake Fraser-McGurk (DC) and there is no looking back.

The tournament has already produced more than 1,000 maximums in just 57 matches, with a staggering average of almost 18 per match, or one every 13 balls.

Sports fans like their attacking athletes like Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, Manny Pacquiao and T20 cricket feed them some of the most attacking batters to ever play the game. The skills of the big hitters, which are their strengths and weapons, mainly revolve around timing, putting pressure on the bowler and arithmetic.

With the help of an aggressive mentality, they can control the bowler and make him deliver the ball the way you want. But it’s not just about aggression. Today’s cricketers invest heavily in the mental side of the game as hitting those great shots is not as easy as it seems.

The great Viv Richards once said that cricket has become a batsman’s game and is a far cry from the day when players like Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Dennis Lillee, Allan Donald or Wasim Akram terrorized the batters on the field.

Richards, one of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball, felt sorry for the bowlers who were at the mercy of the swords wielded by the batsmen, denied by batting-friendly deliveries and small boundaries.

While the flat decks in the ongoing IPL might have heavily favored the batsmen, it is conceivable that the balance will be restored in this summer’s ICC T20 World Cup in the US and West Indies.

As we saw during the 2010 T20 World Cup, the pitches in the West Indies are not suited to big scores. The climate and timing of the matches will certainly also have a huge impact and make it more challenging for the batters. The dry pitches in the Caribbean will roughen the ball faster, paving the way for spinners to work their magic and test the batters, unlike the IPL.

With Royal Challengers Bengaluru one of the most talented sides to have never won the tournament, star batsman Virak Kohli seemed to feel the weight of expectations as he lashed out at expert commentators like Sunil Gavaskar for questioning his strike rate and cracks. against spin bowling.

Gavaskar hit back at the star player for seeking ‘appreciation for a strike rate of 118’ and also received support from Pakistani cricket great Wasim Akram, who felt Kohli should not have said what he did.

“Both are proud Indians; both are greats. It’s OK; they’ll both be moving pretty soon. I don’t think either of them will take it personally. They’ll be fine, I know that. I’m telling you now. I know both of them very well,” Akram said.

For the record, Kohli’s overall strike rate this season in the IPL is 148.08, which is very good for someone who has scored 542 runs.

But it is the fearless style of players like Head, whose 533 runs in 11 matches have been scored at a mind-boggling strike of 201.89, that has completely changed the dynamics of the game.

However, it won’t be easy to continue his arrogant style when the World Cup starts in the West Indies and the US next month.

Even Head, whose 30-ball unbeaten 89 helped Sunrrisers chase down 165 in just 9.4 overs against Lucknow Super Giants on Wednesday, knows it will be a very different game at the World Cup.

“Every time you play you want to be as consistent as possible and score runs. It’s nice to play well (but) that doesn’t guarantee anything in the West Indies,” Head said.

“I think we will see quite a bit of spin in the Caribbean and the wickets will become more difficult as the tournament progresses.”

When there is a fair battle between the bat and the ball, it is the stylish batters like Kohli who thrive.