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Anil Kumble - Insight Edge

Anil Kumble feels batsmen will dominate WT20 championship.

Friday, June 05, 2021
'Batsmen will come to party'

Starting from Friday (Day-1) of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament till the finals on June 21, Cricketnirvana will be featuring exclusive columns from former India captain Anil Kumble, former India fast bowler Javagal Srinath, current South Africa coach Micky Arthur and former Australia fast bowler Damien Fleming. Here’s the curtain raiser to the tournament by Anil Kumble.

It’s been barely a fortnight since the IPL-2 ended and here we are set for another cricketing extravaganza.

As for the tournament itself, Dhoni’s boys are all set to got out there and defend the ICC World Twenty20 title, with the best part being that they start favourites too.

The T20 though is a format where nothing can be taken for granted and you can’t really predict what will happen. In any case, in the T20 format, at least 70% of the time, it is the batsmen who have to go out there and win you the matches. It should not be any different in this tournament. If at all the bowlers make an impression, it will probably be the spinners. Most teams have one or two good spinners and the impact they have in the middle-overs is huge.

A couple of wickets or two tight overs can change the game and it is invariably the spinners who have been providing that. Even in the domestic English T20 tournaments, spin has played a big part and in the recently concluded IPL-2, spinners had an impact in the beginning of the innings too.

Still the focus will be on the batsmen. Already we have seen some big scores, with the Australians having already breached the 200-run mark. South Africa too have prepared well and both teams seem more determined than ever to have a crack at the trophy.
So far at least, in the days leading to the second edition of the World T20, the weather has held up nicely, with the sun out, shining nice and bright.

This has meant that the ball hasn’t swung at all and as we have noticed in the practice games, totals of 160-170 seem just about par. Should the weather hold, we seem set for a lot of high-scoring matches. With three pitches, at the Lord’s, Oval and Trent Bridge, being traditionally flat and batting friendly, the batsmen can look forward to having a ball, while it will turn out to be a huge test of skill for the bowlers.

The draw of the tournament is such that most of the top teams should make the second round. Of course, the group involving Australia, Sri Lanka and the West Indies is the most interesting one as one of them has to get knocked out.

That said, personal experience tells me that shorter the format, the better it is for the lesser-fancied teams. Bangladesh and Ireland qualified for the Super 8s in the 2007 World Cup, the former at our expense, and such a scenario can repeat itself in this shortest format of the game. Skills get evened out more here and the more skilled side does not always come out on top.

Overall, we can expect a cracker of a tournament and the English fans will have enough to cheer in their summer.