As much as the cricketing fans anticipated otherwise, the World Cup has been dominated by the bat. The fact that the tournament was in Australia and New Zealand meant that the bowlers would play a much bigger part in the matches than they have up till now. 300 has been scored by teams batting first and second making it seem like it’s a stroll in the park. In fact, 400 has also been crossed twice. There are a lot of theories behind why this is happening. I have mentioned a couple in my previous columns relating to the rules favouring batsmen more than bowlers however, there is another reason. The attitude towards batting has transformed. A decade or so ago, if two batsmen got out in quick succession it naturally resulted in a slow partnership stabalising the team. The process of doing that possibly meant a low score in the end or at least not as high as it would have been if they had more wickets. Nowadays, the fall of wickets is not a big deal as far as scoring runs are concerned. We have seen this almost with every team in the World Cup. Yesterday’s match between Australia and Sri Lanka is the perfect example. Australia lost two wickets up front but they ended up with a score of 376. That is because they never thought of not scoring runs to avoid another wicket from falling. That has been a constant with all the teams which have been scoring high. It’s this change in approach towards batting that is changing the game of cricket faster than we realise. I think its time we stop thinking about the good old days. The game has changed.

–Shaan Tahir

shantahir@gmail.com