What’s the deal with T20 bowling?

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What’s the deal with T20 bowling?

How much does bowling matter in T20s and how does one measure the potency of a bowler in this format? What are the measures of excellence for a T20 bowler?

Talking Points:

  • How does one describe a good T20 bowler?
  • Is it possible to separate actions and outcomes for T20 bowling?
  • A format that offers the bowlers almost no leverage
  • What is the role of bowlers in a contest designed to be between bat and bat?
  • Does a great T20 bowler need any particular skills?
  • The value of bowlers with unconventional actions
  • What Jasprit Bumrah does well in T20s
  • Why T20 bowlers can’t be viewed in the same way as Test or ODI bowlers
  • Can we gauge bowling in T20s before hitting has reached its full potential?
  • The future of T20 bowling – and why some rule changes can bring bowlers into the game
  • The Harshal Patel problem for T20 bowlers
  • Are teams being inefficient when paying huge sums for bowlers?


Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)

Ashoka (@ABVan)

Karthikeya Date (@cricketingview) | Substack | ESPNcricinfo


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  • Hitting v Batting: the choice that dictates the shape of a T20 contest – 81allout podcast
  • Bowling doesn’t really matter in T20 – Kartikeya Date – Cricketingview
  • Ferociously fast and thrillingly direct: how Mayank went bang, bang, bang – Karthik Krishnaswamy – ESPNcricinfo
  • ‘If you go searching for wickets in T20, you’re playing into the batsman’s hand’ – Samuel Badree interview by Nagraj Gollapudi – The Cricket Monthly
  • ICC recommends ODI rule changes – Cricket Australia

Lead image from here.

One thought on “What’s the deal with T20 bowling?”

  1. Very entertaining and interesting discussion as usual.
    Maybe one aspect of T20 that you could have mentioned more is the pitch. In T20s, these are pure roads designed to break bowlers hearts.

    As you point out, batters take huge risks with their shots. This would not be possible if the pitches, and the ball itself, weren’t engineered so that there is no turn for the spinners and no sideways movement for the seamers.
    The game is designed and administered specifically to emasculate bowlers. All the restrictions like fielding limitations, free hits, leg side wides, narrow wides, etc. are in the batsman’s favour. There are zero restricyfor the batter!

    But dead pitches are perhaps the biggest handicap.

    Maybe to even things up for the bowlers you guys should start a campaign to introduce one top one hand to IPL!

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