Former Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth has opined that T20 cricket is heavily tilted in favour of batsmen and something must be in the wicket to make it a better contest between bat and ball. He also praised Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan for their explosive batting against Pakistan.
There’s hardly any doubt that T20 cricket is tailor-made for batsmen, with scores of 200 being easily chased and bowlers bearing the brunt all over the park. Wickets have also been made flatter to suit explosive batting so that the crowd can remain entertained at all times. However, all this comes at the cost of bowlers, who seem to have lost their importance in T20 cricket.
Ruing that the game is getting tilted in the favour of the batsmen, former Indian captain and opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth opined that a fair balance between bat and ball must be struck by having more bowler-friendly pitches. He pointed out that the pitches should not be as favorable for bowlers as was the case in CPL, where 92 runs were defended not should it be the other extreme end, where 196 runs were easily chased by England against Pakistan in the second T20I.
"As expected, England's firepower with the bat carried them through. No total looks safe these days, especially against England who seem to have cracked the limited-overs code at last. At no stage were the hosts in any trouble against a daunting target. This brings to focus where this format is tilting heavily in the favour of the bat. There must be something in the wicket to make it a better contest. On the same day, we also saw a total of 92 defended, despite the opponents not being bowled out. It can't be that extreme either. Low and slow turners do provide gripping contest, but again, that should not become the norm,” Srikkanth wrote in his column for TOI.
In the second T20I, England captain Eoin Morgan arrived at the crease on a hat-trick ball of leg-spinner Shadab Khan after he had reduced England to 66/2. But Morgan made a blistering 66 off just 33 balls and with fellow left-hander Dawid Malan (54 not out) took the game away from Pakistan during a third-wicket stand of 112, easily chasing the target of 196 with 5 wickets in hand.
Srikkanth further iterated his point that the bowlers must be made as important as the batsmen or else T20 cricket will suffer the same fate as ODI cricket. He also praised Morgan and Malan for their explosive match-winning innings, reflecting upon the advantages of playing free-flowing cricket.
"When 50-overs cricket was still in its infancy, even flat wickets produced only four runs per over on an average. Then with the advent of heavier bats, complete transformation to white ball, afternoon starts and even more docile tracks ensured the new normal was run-a-ball. In my opinion a score of around 150-160 and giving the team batting second an equal chance would make for quality viewing. After all, the fans deserve it. Now that T20 is a part of the regular mix in international schedules as well, stakeholders should ensure interest is kept alive, else it would go the same way one-day cricket has," Srikkanth said.
"All said, it was fascinating to watch Eoin Morgan and David Malan play fearless cricket. The scoreboard pressure hardly had any effect on their free flowing game. Backing your instincts and playing your natural game does have its advantages."