It’s a double whammy

Will the new bat make the T20 more exciting? Chennai Times finds out

The T20 Champions League may have been postponed due to the terror attacks that took place in Mumbai. But the charm of T20 cricket per se refuses to die down.
The extent of the popularity of instant cricket (T20) can be gauged from the fact that people are coming up with innovative ideas to make this format even more riveting. And Sydney’s Stuart Kranzbuhler’s endeavour of coming up with a bat design which will enable batsmen to hit the ball with both sides of the blade, will (if accepted by the players) revolutionise the way T20 is played.
According to him, this type of bat will draw young hitters who look for an advantage in T20 cricket. Even Andrew Symonds is said to be experimenting in practice with the back of the bat. But then
the big question is, will budding young cricketers be game for this kind of a bat?
According to Swatantra Mishra — a budding batsman who has played U-15 state tournaments — there is no harm in playing with this kind of a bat. “Innovation should always be welcomed with open arms because it takes the game to another level. And if a player has the required batting skills, he will surely adjust while playing with a bat that is double-sided. One will have to mould himself in such a way so as to make the most of the latest innovation. And since the focus of most young players these days is on T20 cricket, this bat could well turn out to be a blessing,” says 19-yearold Mishra.
But not everybody agrees with Mishra. There are players like Aouj Naqvi — who has also played in the U-15 tournament and believes in sticking to the basics and playing orthodox cricket. “The double-sided bat will create nothing but confusion in the minds of the batsmen. And it will surely affect the technique of the player as well because the batsman will try to play more unconventional shots once he has such a bat in his hand. I believe the best way to score more and quick runs is by playing conventional cricket. With the right technique,runs will automatically flow,whether it’s in Tests, ODIs or in T20,” says Naqvi. The bat-makers claim that the two-sided bat will help those players who have purely developed their game for the T20 format. Former Ranji player Mohsin Raza, who now runs his own cricket academy doesn’t agree though.
“Adjustment while playing with this double-sided bat is not possible. The young batsmen will have to practice more with this bat, which eventually will result in a lot of time getting wasted. The technique of the players will get affected and they will end up playing more shots which aren’t in the coaching manual. This may even jeopardise their cricketing career. I don’t think such a bat will be a hit in Asian countries. Asians will prefer to play with the orthodox bat,”