Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Twenty20 generates new spectator skills

There is a lot more to Twenty20 than big hitting: indeed the game demands a whole set of new skills from spectators as well as players.

With only twenty overs per innings, each represents a significant swing in the advantage. Indeed, every delivery generates a perceptible gain one way or another.

Each over is a game within the game. A dot ball first-up compels the batter to take greater risks in hitting a boundary; but a first-ball boundary force the bowler to aim for containment. As an over proceeds, the risk-benefit profile moves one way or the other.

Towards the end of an innings each succeeding ball accounts for an ever-increasing percentage of advantage. Yet at almost any point, accumulated benefit may suddenly be overturned by a catastrophic batting collapse or run haemorrhage.

As spectators gradually learn to track these ball-by-ball patterns of evolving superiority, so Twenty20 should continue to become both richer and even more enjoyable.