How many teams have put the batting powerplay to good use? Hmmm..very few..Batting powerplay has more often than not actually worked against the batting team.Teams have gone for glory and have eventually ended up losing wickets. In the recent India vs SA match where we won by a run, SA batting powerplay was the turning point!!
Most of the teams take the batting powerplay after 34 overs when the ball is changed. In an effort to up the ante batsmen actually throw away their wickets. I have seen a few matches where the batsmen have maintained a steady run rate of 5-6 till they take the batting powerplay. But they were unable to consolidate from that position. Mistimed shots trying to clear the inner circle, slog shots and premeditated shots caused the downfall.
With the world cup round the corner, teams will be mulling over when to actually take the batting powerplay. Should they take between 16-20,34-39, 46-50? It depends on a number of factors like wickets in hand, projected score, current batsmen at the crease,strike rate of lower order batsmen etc., If you have guys like yusuf pathan who can clear the boundary with effortless ease, there is no point in taking the powerplay during the death overs. My strategy would be to take it during 16-20 overs if you are couple of wickets down at max. If things go according to plan, run rate will shoot up. Incase if you lose a wicket, batsmen have to switch to safe mode and attack at the end of the innings.
Indian team has been specifically poor in making use of the batting powerplay. I remember one instance when Sachin took the powerplay at the 28th over vs Aussies. Aussies were caught unawares;we ended up making full use of the power play and eventually went on to win the match. This is only of the very very few instances where india made use of the powerplay effectively. On most occasions our batting powerplay has been characterized by the loss of wickets. India’s success in 3rd batting powerplay will be one of the deciding factors in the coming edition of the world cup. Ideally we should be taking the powerplay when we have well set batsmen at the crease who can play proper cricketing shotsWe should try to find the gaps instead of clearing the infield.With the likes of Pathan and Dhoni there is no use of delaying the powerplay till the end.
Let’s wait and watch in how many matches it will rain 4s and 6s!!