If Twenty20 is a Lottery: What Does That Make Super-Over Cricket? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

If Twenty20 is a Lottery: What Does That Make Super-Over Cricket?

We now see sides progressing into World Cup Semi finals on the back of 1 over innings; the penalty shoot out of cricket.

So it possible to become a great 'super-over' player and a great 'super-over' coach?

Here is the main attribute that I believe you need to be successful in the new shortest format of the game.


Critical Moment Control

In the first ball of the West Indies innings in the Super Eight stage of the World Twenty20 we saw one player with 'Critical Moment Control' (CMC) and one who without it.

Tim Southee missed the white line by 3 inches at one end and his target area by 6 inches at the other end which meant that the West Indies had scored 41% of the total runs required off 0 deliveries, game over!

Meanwhile at the other end, Chris Gayle, the worlds best T20 Batter, slammed the delivery efficiently over the boundary fence.

Now is that down to physical preparation?


Tim Southee is the best practicer of his skills in the NZ set up, that's why they went to him in that situation, he can hit his yorker targets in practice like no-one else yet bowled:

  • No ball 1/2 volley (7)
  • Yorker (1)
  • 1/2 volley (2)
  • 1/2 Volley (1)
  • Wide (1)
  • Yorker (1)
  • FullToss (6)

Only 2 well executed balls in his 7 deliveries (5 legitimate ones).

Players who display high levels of CMC make good decisions under pressure, they are able to be clear state of mind under the highest of pressures enabling to execute their skills with unnerving accuracy.

So lets break that down.

Good decisions under pressure/clear state of mind

Southee had a single plan and nothing else to Gayle; the wide yorker.

Gayle knew this as he would have watched Southee bowl earlier in the tournament in less pressured situation and also the field setting gave Southee no option of deception at all.

It was an all or nothing approach against the best striker of a ball In the world. It feed his strength as as Gayle has more control of a cricket ball when it's outside the line of his core.

At this point Southee was simply not thinking straight, the game was slipping away and he chose to go around the wicket and deliver balls into leg stump to Marlon Samuels.

Earlier in the tournament, Southee had bowled an over in match play (17th over) to right handers from over the wicket mixing wide yorkers with slower balls and bouncers and gone for 4 off the over to bring New Zealand back into the game vs Pakistan in the group stages.

To move to around the wicket under extreme pressure to the right handed Samuels took him away from his strength and opened up the pre-dominant leg-side strong shots of Marlon.

Tim missed his marks at both end of the pitch and the game was over.

Training the super over

Firstly, it's vital, as I have said before, to have a complimentary other option to ensure that the batter can't just line up against your single ball plan.

Deception is key and throwing in the potential for another delivery type will offer a point of mental interference if nothing else.

Middle practice with fielders in a super over scenario helps develop both your batter's and bowler's CMC.

Keep a league table of the top batters and bowlers in those 1 over games, provide a reward over a period of time for those who finish top, or top 3 as batters and bowlers over a series of 1-over middle practice sessions.

Often, 20 and 50 over games come down to winning or losing a single over, whether that be the last over or the 17th for example so it is good practice.

Make it competitive, your players will be motivated by the reward and bragging rights that come from strong performance under pressure and - more importantly - it will provide you with information on whom can handle that pressure at critical moments of a game when the pressure is highest.

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