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Isam
October 22, 2010, 01:27 PM
Powerplay needs new philosophy
Mohammad Isam

Mahbubul Alam, an experienced off-spinner from Rajshahi, said a season or two ago that whenever his captain would hand him the ball during the Powerplay restrictions, his face would break into a smile. Not a rueful one but it was genuine happiness. Mahbubul, better known as Mustakim, really loves to bowl when the Powerplay is on.

His explanation, due to his confident nature, was simple: with the field up and a maximum of three fielders outside the 30-yard circle, the singles get cut off as the batsmen wouldn't risk a run-out with six to seven fielders inside the circle. That would force them to look for boundaries and try lofted shots, giving the bowler every chance of picking up wickets.

Not surprisingly, it is a common sentiment among bowlers (especially those who back themselves to do the job). In domestic one-day cricket, batsmen are less inclined to take risks for a number of reasons that vary from the prevailing club culture to the batsman's effort to secure his immediate future in the team.

Ever since the option of batting Powerplay became available, mid-level clubs decided that it was best not to mess with it while the top clubs are still having trouble making full use of it. From the batsmen's point of view, taking 'unnecessary' risks would risk his future in the team and frankly, who would want the official barking at him after getting out?

It seems that this defensive mindset has made its way to the Tigers dressing-room and by the looks of it, is here to stay. No matter what happens, they seem to be happy keeping the batting Powerplay "for later use", as if they will bash 80 or 90 runs from the last five overs. But the reality is that they hardly ever make full use of it and sometimes, end up being forced to take it. There are also occasions that the Tigers have gone through a one-day win without taking the batting Powerplay. As coach Jamie Siddons said during the series, the cricket played in the Powerplay (both batting and bowling) was one of his main concerns apart from his batsmen's strike-rate.

Evidently, these two factors -- Powerplay and strike-rate -- are closely related and if one is to explain the failings of the Tigers during the five-over field restrictions designed as a massive advantage to the batsmen, it is easy to point towards the strike-rates.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is on top of Bangladesh's all-time list of highest strike-rates, scoring his runs at 86.03 per 100 balls while the second in that list is Aftab Ahmed (83.04). Since Mashrafe and Aftab are the only players to score at a strike-rate of above 80, it can be used as a standard for batsmen from Bangladesh while the world-standard would definitely be above 95.

Even Mohammad Rafique, famous for his big-hitting, struck at 77.1 per hundred balls. But definitely, he provided the impetus late in the innings and in the course of his 106 one-day innings for Bangladesh between 1995 and 2007, Rafique kept a strike-rate of over 80 in 36 outings and in 22 innings, it was above the 100-mark. Even more impressive is the fact that out of his eleven innings that was above 30 runs, his strike-rate dipped below 100 only three times.

Sadly, he was never around when the Powerplay was a batting team's option (it became a rule in October 2008) because Rafique would have really enjoyed that.

But those who could enjoy this have miserably failed to do so. Mashrafe has certainly seen his batting stocks fall over the years and since Rafique's retirement when he should have taken the mantle as the late-order hitter, he maintained a 72.52 strike-rate with a highest score of 38.

Some would think that since Mashrafe was never a genuine batsmen, the onus would fall on the likes of Naeem Islam and Mahmudullah Riyad but the pair has also not done much apart from a good knock here and there. With a career strike-rate of 64.2 and 68.2 respectively, Bangladesh don't exactly have the best option for lower-order hitting but neither Naeem nor Riyad are bashers. They are genuine top and middle-order batsmen who are now asked to adopt a different game that is probably getting the better of them.

Naeem has always had the knack of hitting the big ones but as a proper batsman, the right-hander is sometimes all or nothing. Out of his top three scores in one-day cricket, his strike-rate has been above 80 just once, while Riyad has batted 40 times in the lower-order and 10 times above that.

It is also true that some of their effort to rebuild after the top-order has collapsed would hurt their overall strike-rate, but now things have changed somewhat. Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes and Shakib Al Hasan have almost regularly provided a good platform for those who bat in the last ten overs, the time when Bangladesh usually take their Powerplay.

Some say that it is important to have the right attitude to bat in the slog overs. Batsmen have to be unselfish and must have the adventurous spirit in them to throw the bat around, and at the same time, not think about giving away their wicket. Definitely it is hard for batsmen trying to cement a place in the team to have that sort of attitude so it falls on the tail-enders but Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam and Sohrawardi Shuvo all have strike-rate below the 80 mark.

A way out of this would be for the Tigers think-tank to give the batsmen assurance that they would be continued for a while even if they fail to hit out in the late overs.

The best place to make a new start to the Powerplay and strike-rate philosophy would be the National Cricket League one-dayers and it is hoped that the Tigers would be the ones taking the initiative.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=159534

sheshprohor
October 22, 2010, 01:43 PM
Nice read !!! thanks for sharing.

roman
October 22, 2010, 01:49 PM
As usual very enlightening article by Isam vai. Thanx for sharing...

Dilscoop
October 22, 2010, 02:01 PM
Summed up everything we have been talking about in BC. Hopefully JS and BCB is reading these.

It's Ashraful time. He can be our Hussey, White, Pollard, Morkel, Morgen, Raina, Umar Akmal.

AsifTheManRahman
October 22, 2010, 02:03 PM
Summed up everything we have been talking about in BC. Hopefully JS and BCB is reading these.

It's Ashraful time. He can be our Hussey, White, Pollard, Morkel, Morgen, Raina, Umar Akmal.
Or our CS Martin with the bat.
<br />Posted via BC Mobile Edition (Blackberry)

betaar
October 22, 2010, 03:01 PM
No matter what happens, they seem to be happy keeping the batting Powerplay "for later use", as if they will bash 80 or 90 runs from the last five overs.

I am a little puzzled here, who do you mean by "they"........players or mgmt?

If you meant players then isn't it up to the captain and the coach to decide when to take powerplay based on the situation? Unless the batsmen in the middle are fully confident of taking powerplay at a certain stage of the game, it should be the captain's call.

If you meant mgmt, then what stopping them from implementing the proper timing of powerplay? I don't think coach or captain would worry about certain batsmen's future in the team whilr making power play decision.

I think these local players are looking at the powerplay thing all wrong. Instead of taking advantage of it and winning the match for their respective claubs and becoming a match winner, they are just happy to stay in the middle, bunch of rubbish.......always the short term gain...losers.:sick:

catstrophy
October 22, 2010, 03:29 PM
Thanks a lot Isam bhai, another great one.... hope this gets directed to BCB somehow.

RazabQ
October 22, 2010, 03:39 PM
Isam, this is your most thought-provoking and insightful article yet. Many of your other pieces are what I'd call "fluff" pieces; well written but not much substance or takeaways. This one is an eye-opener. And well researched to boot. You might be starting to give RI a good run for the money as the best English sports-writer yet :)

Holden
October 22, 2010, 09:37 PM
that was a good read, did the talk on this forum about powerplays, have any influence on you to write that article?

Eshen
October 22, 2010, 10:12 PM
Great write Isam!

I hope Naeem, Alok, Ashraful, Aftab, etc will realize their best chance to get back in the team is to gamble on powerplays.

godzilla
October 22, 2010, 10:18 PM
Explains a lot about our PP problems.

al-Sagar
October 22, 2010, 10:25 PM
one of ur best articles ... ...

Zunaid
October 22, 2010, 11:10 PM
Excellent read and write. Now we need to see if this helps with the execute. Needs to be read by our coaches and players.

reyme
October 22, 2010, 11:18 PM
Read this earler today. Awesome write! You are a smart man, Isam!

LBW103
October 22, 2010, 11:24 PM
The article doesn't solve the PROBLEM though of the batters in the PP, it just highlights the problem, which everyone knows about.

What would be more useful is for someone to resolve the problem. The batters are not good enough to hit long balls in the PP regularly. That is really the issue here. Its not about players being scared to hit out. Its the fact they do it like headless chickens.

RazabQ
October 22, 2010, 11:29 PM
@LBW, this article goes further than highlight - it goes and identifies the root cause, something that hadn't been done till then. Not being able to hit over the infield is a symptom. Local leagues not encouraging batsmen and them, in their formative years, playing to preserve wicket when that's not the best tactic - that my friend is root cause.

Murad
October 22, 2010, 11:37 PM
Excellent Article, Isam! Thumbs UP!!

BD d best
October 23, 2010, 03:30 AM
ISAM d genius
<br />Posted via BC Mobile Edition

LBW103
October 23, 2010, 04:08 AM
@LBW, this article goes further than highlight - it goes and identifies the root cause, something that hadn't been done till then. Not being able to hit over the infield is a symptom. Local leagues not encouraging batsmen and them, in their formative years, playing to preserve wicket when that's not the best tactic - that my friend is root cause.

RazabQ... we all know this fact though. They don't get good at PP in local cricket then forget it at national level. They simply cannot hit it at ANY level in PP. When the bowling is international standard as well, being able to hit the ball well to the fence is NOT the same as domestic cricket, which is easier.

I didn't see this article as any kind of answer. It was well written but didn't tell us anything we didn't know.

It needs the players to learn from the National coaches. When they learn that they then need to keep their heads and do it in a match. This is the real answer.

Eshen
October 23, 2010, 12:56 PM
Sylhet, Barisal, and Chittagong went with tradition today -

Sylhet Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 46 (170/7) to 50 (210 all out in 49.4 overs)
Barisal Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 46 (192/5) to 50 (211/5 in 47.5 overs)
Chittagong Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 46 (180/5) to 50 (215/10)

Dhaka took it little earlier and had Anamul Haque and Mohammad Sharif to take advantage of it. Both failed to capitalize and Dhaka lost the match -

Dhaka Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 43 to 47 (26 runs scored)

Rajshahi was the only team that today made a successful use of the batting pp. They had Sabbir-Nasir-Shuvo trio to capitalize on it, who helped the team to post 301!

Rajshahi Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 42 to 46 (45 runs scored)

http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/BDESH/2010-11_BDESH_National_Cricket_League_One-Day_2010-11.html

Habib
October 23, 2010, 02:19 PM
It's pretty clear that to be successful in batting PP, you have to have the big hitting ability. Otherwise taking the PP early might backfire.

Zobair
October 23, 2010, 03:04 PM
Excellent work Isam. Clearly we need a new approach to PP in domestic cricket.

One suggestion:

Create an award category for best individual performance in PPs e.g. best batting or bowling average in PP, Best batting strike-rate in PP, Best economy rate etc.

FagunerAgun
October 23, 2010, 03:12 PM
Another Isam classic with excellent analysis and insightful thoughts.
However, I agree with Dr. Z, when it comes to the point of execution by the players.
Management and coaches should emphasize on it with strategies and training.

LBW103
October 23, 2010, 11:19 PM
It is clear the answer is to take singles and twos and the boundaries will come. Ask Sakib how it is done. He played at worstershire and batsmen run hard and make a run each ball in their PP.

PP is 30 balls so at least 30 runs must be scored without risking. If a boundary comes each 10 balls that total becomes 39 runs. If a boundary comes each over that total becomes 45 runs.

This is how to look at PP and not just hitting in the air and swinging the bat when missing the ball.

PP is turning out to be bad for losing wickets and then new batsmen have to start all over again. I think Siddons bai is correct in not taking PP too soon and just leaving it. Unless we can start to place the ball into gaps where there are no fielders and run fast then what is the point of PP? The players must listen and learn.

max410
October 23, 2010, 11:28 PM
we need power play batting practice as soon as we can before the world cup and Zimbabwe series

BANFAN
October 24, 2010, 01:09 AM
Good article Isam.

Basically, our entire 50 overs batting style was like PP untill 2007, full of lofted shots. But now most of those players have been replaced by differenr kind of players / attitudes. I think we need to have a mix of some of those PP type players in the middle/lower middle order. A player with instict & ability of hitting over the infield.

I think, Ash has lost his capacity of big hitting due to change of batting style, Alok, Aftab, Nayeem could be a few to pick from.

Sohel
October 24, 2010, 03:49 AM
Good article as usual.

All I have to say is: less estrogen, more testosterone and NO crack please.

Isam
October 24, 2010, 11:58 AM
Good article as usual.

All I have to say is: less estrogen, more testosterone and NO crack please.

To EVERYONE who commented..THANK YOU

PS: please explain Sohel bhai...bujhi nai!

Nocturnal
October 26, 2010, 02:23 AM
Offtopic:
hey Isam - is there any way we can get periodic NCL one dayers update through DS Sport Twitter Page.
http://twitter.com/dssport

from BD you can get update through sms (# 2345->NCL as text).
Thanks.

Eshen
October 29, 2010, 09:41 PM
In the last NCL round, teams made much better uses of the powerplay (except for Sylhet-Khulna match where Sylhet was too miserable to worry about pp and then Khulna chased down the target in 32.4 overs).

Chittagong Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 46 (171/6) to 50 (218/9)
Barisal Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 41 to 45 (48 runs scored)
Rajshahi Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 44 to 48 (51 runs scored)
Dhaka Division powerplay 3 (chosen by the batting side): overs 43 to 47 (45 runs scored)

http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/BDESH/2010-11_BDESH_National_Cricket_League_One-Day_2010-11.html

Ajfar
October 29, 2010, 10:16 PM
^ Dhaka and Rajshahi did really good in the last round too. Even Barishal made a good use of it and Nirala was batting at the time. I will post my table at the end of all the games.
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