Never has a format of cricket provided more opportunity for tactical debate than Twenty20.
I love tactical thinking and these are a few batting tactics that play a part in this T20 World Cup.
1. Left-right combinations
Last week I spoke of spin in the powerplay overs. It will be interesting to see how many teams opt for left/right batting opening partnerships to throw off the power of spin in this initial and crucial first 6 overs.
The presence of a lefty and righty may force the fielding captain to shift his plans: he can revert to more standard seam fare or persist with spin.
The first option provides pace onto the bat and the second option gives the batter who has the ball spinning into the bat the option of hitting over the legside into space as only 2 men can be out of the circle.
Australia’s Warner and Watson are a great example of this tactic. They have been explosive. Expect more teams to go this way in their opening batting partnerships to counteract spin options.
2. Manage energy
Sri Lanka is the most humid and sapping climate to play cricket. In these conditions you can opt to take a different approach to running between the wickets. Humid conditions make players gasp for air after running a series of 2s.
The commentators may find themselves criticising the running between the wickets from their air conditioned broadcast boxes yet in this case, the batter knows best!
Batters who are tired lose concentration and are more likely to get out. You need to be focused each ball to take good decisions and bat well. If you are more cautious when you run you conserve energy, increase the ability to focus each ball and therefore increase hitting potential.
It will be interesting to see if players manage their energies to maximise the clarity of their decision making and precision in their execution of their boundary options during the majority of each innings.
I dealt with the backload technique a few weeks ago and it has been interesting to watch the likes of Kamran Akmal, Shane Watson and others load their weight onto their back legs to unleash their power and momentum forward into the ball.
Watch how the players shift their weight back in order to come forward.
Keep an eye on how they stabilise their bases to maximise the transfer of momentum up the body. Energy goes from larger muscles groups to the smaller hands and finally the bat.
There are some great examples of backloading going on, see how many batters you can spot working this into their power-games.
4. Exploit the back foot game
If you think the only way to hit a boundary against spin on slow, low pitches is to step out, you are wrong.
Many excellent players mix their footwork ploys effectively by springing back into the stumps and hitting the slower paced deliveries over extra-cover and straight midwicket off of the back foot.
The shot that will play a huge part in winning the tournament will be the pull off of spinners over straight midwicket into that vacant area.
Spring back; get Low in your body/head position, pull the ball over the man and pick up boundaries with ease.
Is there anything in here that challenges conventional thinking?
Could these tactics apply to your team, your players?