When Indian Premier League, the world’s largest T20 league, is all set to begin, question on who is the greatest in the shortest format of cricket is inevitable. But to find one person, who satisfies all the conditions that make him the Greatest Of All Times (GOAT), is virtually impossible to find. (FULL COVERAGE | NEWS)
T20 cricket needs skills of various kinds. Critics argue it is a batsman’s game and it takes a lot of innovation to play this category of cricket. While there are white-ball, especially T20 specialists, one can safely argue that the basic grammar of batting remains the same. (FULL SCHEDULE)
You still have to find the sweet spot to hit the 100m long sixes. While power helps to find both elevation and distance, the hand-eye coordination is the most important thing in T20 cricket. This comes with lot of practice and real-time match exposure on all types of batting conditions.
While batsmen have dominated the shortest format of cricket, bowlers have not been far behind. When teams splurged millions of dollars during the IPL 2022 auction in February this year, a large chunk of this was spent on bowlers.
The likes of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Jofra Archer, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah and even the veteran warhorse Bhuvneshwar Kumar continue to command a fat cheque to assist teams win an IPL. While their primary job is to take wickets, containing runs by bowling dot balls are no less important.
Pundits like Ian Bishop, Kevin Pietersen and Aakash Chopra agree that there has never been anyone like Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga, whose toe-crushing Yorkers and his ability to bowl them with precision even in the final moments of a humdinger, make him extra special and the GOAT of T20 pace bowling.
Lasith Malinga, who last played for IPL champions Mumbai Indians, is back as a fast bowling coach in IPL 2022. He will be part of Kumar Sangakkara’s coaching staff at Rajasthan Royals. The 38-year-old Malinga was a key member in Sangakkara’s Sri Lanka squad and he add a lot of knowledge to the RR bowlers.
The popularity of the T20 format is what keeps cricket going and some of the biggest names of the game have shown in IPL. Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Sunil Narine and Malinga are some of the greatest in cricket and interestingly, they are all-format players.
In this video Pietersen, Bishop, Chopra and South African batsman Rassie van der Dussen and paceman Lungi Ngidi discuss:
- The most consistent T20 run-scorer of all time.
- Why Chris Gayle is the most destructive batter ever.
- Which mystery spinner was the most difficult to face?
- The genius of Lasith Malinga.
- A 'mind-boggling' South African fielder.