The shorter formats of cricket are often considered as tailor-made hunting grounds for batsmen to dominate bowlers and hit sixes and fours with ease.
However, in The Abu Dhabi T10, the battle between bat and ball is evenly poised. The batsmen have had their moments but the bowlers have devised fresh strategies and developed new variations to neutralise the threat.
Teams have also made it a point to assemble a squad that has enough bowling options to stop batsmen from getting accustomed to a variation, which has mostly worked until now.
For instance, out of 3,426 balls bowled in the last season, 1,000 were dot balls and another 259 resulted in wickets, meaning nearly every third ball was a dot.
We have also witnessed three hat-tricks in the history of this tournament. In the inaugural edition, Shahid Afridi became the first player to take a hat-trick by dismissing Virender Sehwag, Dwayne Bravo and Rilee Roussow, three world-class batsmen.
Indian bowler Pravin Tambe also got a hat-trick and Pakistan speedster Aamer Yamin claimed four wickets in four balls in the second season, proving it’s not always the batsmen that get to dominate.
The bowling in the second season was so good that the Player of the Tournament was also a bowler. South African Hardus Viljoen notched a wicket in every match, ending with 18 wickets and the trophy for Player of the Tournament.
These stats prove that batsmen don’t always have the upper hand in T10.
Legends’ guide to beat batsmen
Zaheer Khan and Wasim Akram, two of the greatest bowlers of all time, explained what it takes to get one up on the batsmen in the T10 format.
“The length, I think it’s better to be on the fuller side. If you can get good yorkers, that’s always a good delivery,” advised former Indian left-armer Zaheer Khan.
“But you need to be anticipating what kind of zones the batsman is looking to hit. And look to stay on top,” he added.
Pakistan great Wasim Akram, who has 916 international wickets, also believes that yorkers are the ideal deliveries to not only claim wickets but also cap the flow of runs.
“It’s very difficult to hit a low full toss for a six. You can hit a full toss for a six, but it’s difficult to connect the low full toss. So that’s why bowlers need to concentrate more on yorkers in this format,” said Wasim Akram. “Variations will get you results, especially on this ground where even the mis-hits can go for six.”It’s difficult to predict who will come out on top but we can guarantee that it is going to be a thrilling affair when The Abu Dhabi T10 gets rolling from January 28 at Zayed Cricket Stadium.