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High scores no more?

Updated on: 29 May,2024 06:10 AM IST  |  Bangalore

Pacer Mitchell Starc believes T20 World Cup will see bowlers dominate batters as there’s no Impact Player

High scores no more?

Mitchell Starc

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High scores no more?

Put through the wringer in the IPL, can bowlers hope to breathe a bit easy in the T20 World Cup next month? The genesis of this question lies in the transformation that T20 batting underwent in the latest edition of the IPL.

Eight 250-plus totals in IPL 

The 250-mark was breached only once in the league till this season, but teams went past that point eight times in the just-concluded edition.

Many of the batters who led that revolution, such as Australian Travis Head and West Indian Andre Russell, will be seen in action in the ICC showpiece in the Americas next month.

So, it’s quite natural for fans to expect another batting waltz.

But their approach cannot be as one-dimensional in the World Cup as it was in the IPL for a variety of reasons.

To begin with, teams will not have the luxury of an Impact Player in the World Cup. So, they will have to be ready to switch to an attritional style of cricket as and when the situation demands. Mitchell Starc underlined that point after playing a big role in guiding Kolkata Knight Riders to their third IPL title.

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“There is an Impact Player Rule here [in IPL] and not in the T20 World Cup. You are going to rely more on your all-rounders. You cannot put your batting all-rounder at No. 8, like you did in the IPL. I don’t think that you’ll see these kind of high scores in the T20 World Cup, purely because there will be one batter less,” said Starc.

In the earlier part of the IPL, Chennai Super Kings used Shivam Dube, a pace bowling all-rounder, exclusively as a batter through the Impact Player rule, though he usually walked in at No. 4 or 5 in place of a bowler. Dube produced a couple of match-winning knocks against RCB and KKR.

Dube may have to bowl

But in the World Cup, the left-hander will have to showcase his bowling skills too to get a slot in the eleven as vice-captain Hardik Pandya plays a similar role and remains the first-choice. 

Skipper Rohit Sharma has made that bit quite clear already. “I will be expecting if we need Shivam to ball a few overs, he will. Same with Hardik, he has come and bowled whenever needed. All-rounders must do that whatever their role is,” he had said after the announcement of India’s squad.

The batters will also have to negate pitches that will be very different from the ones they got used to in the IPL.

“The West Indian pitches are no longer what they used to be in the ‘80s or in the ‘90s. They are now slower, and at times gripping,” a veteran curator told PTI. 
“I am sure the bowlers, particularly spinners, will have much more say than in the IPL, especially from the second week of the tournament. India have included four spinners in their squad. It was maybe because of the nature of the pitches in the West Indies. Hence, I don’t think we may see all those 250 totals there,” he added.

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