The batting powerplay—is it a boon or a bane?
Teams have benefited and teams have suffered in this crucial period of the innings.
There are two schools of thought as to when the batting power play should be taken.
The first school says that if the two batsmen at the crease are set and have their eye in, the power play should be opted for.
Ideally, that would allow the batters to make the most of the fielding restrictions and up the scoring tempo.
This, of course, implies that the power play is opted for in overs 31-40.
However, theory has not always translated into practice.
Teams have lost both wickets and their way; India, especially, has not really made optimum use of it. Indian fans do not have to be reminded of when throwing caution to the wind has not quite worked.
Another reason is that the bowling side uses the power play, when taken early, to bring on their most experienced hurlers. They can and should put the brakes on any forced foolhardiness.
The second school says to wait until the end of the innings, when playing with fire is needed to set (or re-set) the innings alight.
This, of course, assumes that the batting side has the requisite wickets in hand.
It still has its perils, but they're less in comparison.
India’s best batting in this World Cup, specifically when batting first, has come at the top of the order.
Let me sound out a third option.
Since the first two power plays usually end up being used up in the first 15 overs, is there any harm in opting for the third batting power play from over 16?
Specifically, when you have a Sehwag and/or a Tendulkar going strong?
Surely 150 - 200 after 20 overs will lead to a score of around 350 even if the run-rate does not touch stratospheric heights again?
It also means that the best bowlers in the opposition side will not have much rest between overs. The batsmen, too, will not have to switch mindsets and tactics.
Mayhem can then resume in overs 45-50.
Worth considering? Worth a shot?
Quote of the day:
He’s turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he’s miserable and depressed. – David Frost