T20 cricket is about bold gambles that can turn the match on its head and make the difference between victory and defeat. The 2016 World T20 saw quite a few innovations that worked out well for the teams. Cricwizz looks at these gambles that paid off in the World T20.
New Zealand’s playing the trio of spinners and benching their pacers: Benching your main bowlers and going for an all-spin attack needs some kind of conviction and boldness. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson deserves applause for trying a horse for course policy and picking up a team combination that best suited the conditions during the tournament. The result: They were the best team in the Super 10, winning all the four games and being the first team to enter the semis. However, they flopped when it mattered most, losing it once again in the semis.
Bowling Hardik Pandya in that last over against Bangladesh: During that thrilling victory over Bangladesh India skipper MS Dhoni had bowled out all his top four bowlers. The equation had boiled down to 11 off 6 balls. Hardik Pandya who had a terrible game till then, having conceded 20 runs off 2 overs was asked to bowl. Pandya conceded 9 runs off 3 balls, but brought India back into the game with three wickets in last three balls. Although it was more to do with Bangladesh’s hara-kiri. Pandya’s teasing line and length propelled the Tigers to go for big shots and eventually, they paid the penalty for it. Dhoni’s gamble paid off big time in this match.
Dhoni removing the gloves and sprinting to run out Mustafizur Rahman: Bangladesh needed two runs off 1 ball. Indian skipper MS Dhoni decided to remove his gloves in order to collect the ball cleanly. He anticipated it perfectly and then ran towards the striker’s end to run-out Rahman. Although Dhoni covered more distance, his quick running to outclass Rahman and gave India a memorable win.
Joe Root’s bowling during the power play in the final: England skipper Eoin Morgan took a big gamble by having part-time spinner Joe Root to bowl the second over of the power play in the final against West Indies. West Indian opener Chris Gayle and J Charles looked to go after the bowling, but only got a mishit and lofted easy catches in the deep. The two quick wickets in one over put West Indies on the back foot and had England dictate terms in the rest of the innings, only to lose in the final over.
Bowling Virat Kohli in the semi-final against West Indies: When Indian bowling was getting carted all over the Wankhede stadium in the semifinal against West Indies, Indian skipper MS Dhoni handed over the ball to Virat Kohli who for the first time was asked to bowl in the tournament. He broke a big partnership off the first ball and brought some ray of hope for India. He was asked to bowl the final over as well with just a handful of runs to defend. It was asking too much of a miracle from Kohli then.