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Ponting opens up on evolution of T20 cricket, strike rate and anchor role in short format game

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New Delhi, May 3: Delhi Capitals (DC) coach and legendary Australian skipper Ricky Ponting opened up on the evolution of T20 cricket, strike rate as a parameter to measure a batter’s effectiveness, anchor role in the shorter format, and said that the batters are getting more fearless and stronger and better in regards to range-hitting, 360-degree shots.
Ponting was speaking to ESPNCricinfo. Opening up on the changing times in T20 cricket, Ponting said that a 300 score is more likely in the T20 leagues, like the IPL. He said that the impact player rule has changed the game by giving batters more freedom to bat and make an impact since they always have an extra batter. “I did not think a 300 score would ever be possible, but it looks like it’s going to be. With this impact player rule as well, it is allowing more freedom to batters. They’re going out there and just going from ball one. There is no, you know, take five, six balls to get in and get set. It is go out and hit from ball one. And if you come off, you come off, and even if you only face 15 balls and you get 40, that’s a big impact on the game,” said Ponting.
“That is what we talk about with our boys all the time. It is about how big or small the moment is, how much time or how little time you get as a batsman, just really try and have an impact on the game,” he added.
Ponting said that the importance of strike rate depends on batting position but it is becoming more and more important and the impact player rule has given players a “safety blanket” to go out on the field and achieve a certain strike rate in certain balls.
“It depends on the batting position (strike rate). We used to work on a formula – a combined average and strike rate. If that was a certain number, then you would classify that player as being good. If your strike rate was 160 and your average was 20, it equalled 180 and that was okay. If your strike rate was 130 but your average was 50, at the top of the order, you’d probably take that as well. That equals 180,” said Ponting.
“But strike rate is increasingly becoming more important. Previously the big thing in T20 batting was, if one of your top-order players got an 80-plus score and then someone got a 40-plus score, you generally won most games doing that. But now it is probably the strike-rate thing. Every batter – it looks to me, anyway – is going to try and achieve a certain strike rate. It doesn’t even matter how many balls they face. Because they have got the safety blanket now in the impact batter coming in,” he added.
Speaking on the relevance of an anchor in T20 cricket, Ponting said that it depends on teams, with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) having an anchor in their top order for years to make life easier for their more explosive batters. (Agencies)

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