Should bowlers be expected to attack in pairs?

The IPL 2020 has shown us that innovation and unpredictability are still very much part of T20 cricket.

A new tactic that some teams (Royal Challengers Bangalore being one of them)are starting to use during the Power Plays is bowling 3 or 4 different bowlers in a row. This is a very astute tactic as this gives the bowling team the option of maintaining the unpredictability and having the option to switch ends for the bowler who is deemed most effective.

Batsmen who previously used to take a few balls to gauge the nature of the pitch and the bowlers lines and lengths are suddenly exposed to a lot of variety within a short time leaving the batsmen very little time to adjust and capitalize on the limited time afforded during the Powerplay. This effectively reduces the batting team’s run rate and increases the chances of wicket taking for the bowling team.

The usage of this tactic seems to have various possibilities :

  1. Should bowlers continue operating in pairs for a spell in Tests and ODIs?
  2. Can having 3 or 4 bowlers operating in tandem force the batsmen to commit errors?
  3. Will this reduce the effectiveness of the strategy of having a left-right batting combination to induce mistakes due to frequent line changes.

Let’s hope that the COVID-19 pandemic is over soon so that more cricket is played across the various formats for us to check if this strategy will evolve and be adopted.


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