The pacers are out for the kill

There's a marked change in the thinking of fast bowlers: they're not looking to merely restrict scoring.

Vinay KumarIn T20, as a rule, batsmen are indemnified from getting out. The logic behind that is that there are only 20 overs, and you need to go hard at the bowlers from the start. The bowlers have generally concentrated on containing instead of looking for wickets. That has been the general T20 mindset - the onus is on restricting the scoring rather than trying to get wickets.

In this edition, however, the fast bowlers have gone looking for wickets in a telling change in strategy.

They have plotted to get batsmen out, which is why the first half has been dominated by the quicker bowlers and we haven't had many high-scoring matches.

DECISIVE FACTOR

I also believe that the pitches have played a part in the wonderful impact the quicker bowlers have had.

Across teams, a number of fast and medium-fast bowlers have picked up loads of wickets - Dale Steyn, Kevon Cooper, Siddharth Trivedi, Vinay Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Mitchell Johnson.

The fresh pitches have offered the fast bowlers some movement, particularly in the night games, but even otherwise, there is a kind of reinforced confidence in the fast bowlers.

To date, the spinners have not made much of an impact, mainly because of the pitches.

Even this late in the season, the pitches are fresh because the BCCI was very keen that pitches should be ideal for the T20 game, which is why most of the top surfaces are strong.

The pitches have been rolled well and most have a bit of grass. That has helped the fast bowlers, but as the summer picks up and there is wear and tear, I expect spin to have a bigger say.

STICKING TO STRENGTHS

What has caught my eye is that bowlers are sticking to their strengths and not trying too much.

It was interesting to hear Vinay say the other day, when he defended 10 runs in the last over against Mumbai Indians, was that all he did was stick to basics.

The fast bowlers have realised that it is better to work on their existing strengths than try and do something different.

Praveen has relied on movement and been fairly successful, while Steyn has not compromised on pace, bowling a fullish length and throwing the yorkers in.

Vinay has stuck to line and length, accuracy has always been his forte.

Cooper has bowled really well and has the uncanny ability of picking up wickets, which is why Rajasthan Royals find themselves well placed on the points table.

TCM/Hawkeye. The writer is a former India pacer. Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times. TAG:CYCSPL

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