Unconventional format gains global popularity

Apurv Shukla – Unconventional format-Apurv Shukla Web

West Indies won their second ICC T-20 Cricket World Cup beating England by five wickets at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 3.

Let us now look back at the semi-finalists and what is in store for them.

West Indies: A glorious year so far for this winning Men’s team which was joined on the podium by their Women’s Cricket Team (which won the concurrently-run ICC Women’s T20 Cup).

Earlier in the year, their Junior Team had also won the ICC under 19 World Cup, beating India in the finals at Dhaka.

This winning streak contradicts with their form in Test Cricket. Here, the senior team has had a wretched run for long (losing eight and winning just one Test Match last year). It is important that the Board and players sort their differences and work together to ensure that Test Cricket is accorded its due respect in the Caribbean, and the first choice eleven always takes the field – a seldom occurring event of late.

England: T-20 Cricket was born in Britain and is close to adding to its championship win of 2008, before a ‘Craig Brathwaite Hurricane’ (4 sixes in the final over) cost the team victory. In Eoin Morgan, England has an able T20 leader whose vision is clearly backed by Coach Trevor Bayliss and England Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss.

The nucleus of the side is strong to succeed across all formats of the game.

Christchurch-born Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali are shaping up as good all-rounders, and Yorkshire’s Joe Root has scored runs in all conditions.

India: The tournament favourites lost to England in the semi-finals.

The Indian team should revisit its T20 Team make up to succeed in future games.

The inclusion of bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya earlier in the season solved India’s bowling woes to a degree; maybe batting needs a re-jig.

Batsmen like Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson, who have performed credibly in the Indian Premier League (IPL) should be given more opportunities.

As current India Coach Ravi Shastri’s term comes to an end, his successor could perhaps work with the selectors to make this a winning T20 team.

New Zealand: Black Caps were unbeaten till their seven-wicket loss to England in the semi-finals in New Delhi. Kane Williamson captained the side admirably in his first major assignment after Brendon McCullum’s retirement.

The tactics and adaptability of Black Caps impressed all. Playing three spinners against India in the tournament opener bamboozled the hosts who lost by 47 runs.

Northern Districts spin-twins Ish Sodhi and Michael Santner had an eventful World Cup, and look set to be a permanent fixture in the limited over’s/ T20 scheme of things.

The experienced Ross Taylor disappointed, especially in the semis.

Increasing popularity

This World Cup was a roaring success with the crowds and sponsors alike. It attracted a large number of spectators at the venues and on television across the globe, proving again that T20 is the most popular form of Cricket today.

On the field it showed again that innovative and evolving tactics, coupled by excellent fielding will ensure a team’s victory.

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