#NewsBytesExplainer: Importance of bouncers in T20 cricket
A bouncer is the most common, yet profound weapon in the arsenal of fast bowlers. One intense bouncer could actually change the course of the match. However, the stock delivery has not gotten its due in T20 cricket with the advent of diverse variations. In this article, we discuss the significance of bouncers in the shortest format.
In T20 cricket, the slower ones and cutters seem to have taken down the impact of bouncers. Remember how Ishant Sharma outfoxed Ravi Bopara with a fierce bouncer in the 2013 Champions Trophy final? The particular wicket turned the game in India's favour later on. Timing a bouncer in an intense T20 game is always daunting for the batsmen.
Bouncers are always deemed intimidating even for the greatest back foot players in world cricket. Notwithstanding, the bowlers also use this delivery to instil fear in the batsmen. The fear of facing another short delivery makes the batsmen play a rash stroke. Although bowling a perfect bouncer does not always guarantee a scalp, but it can lay the foundation stones for a dismissal.
Bouncers carry a great element of surprise in the shortest format. The batsmen usually expect a wide yorker or a slower delivery in the dying stages of the match. To deal with such deliveries, they try to cover the line of the ball by anticipating in advance. A quick bouncer in such situations could perturb their rhythm.
Bouncers will hold utmost importance in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. The spicy Australian decks will undoubtedly turn up the heat. Wahab Riaz's famous spell against Shane Watson in the 2015 WC is a testimony to this fact. Moreover, fast bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Bout, Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada could easily make the opposition grovel with bouncer barrage.
T20 cricket favors batsmen over bowlers. Notably, the incumbent rules allow only one bouncer per over in a T20 game. As a result, the bowlers are usually under pressure as they get only a solitary shot to bowl the bouncer. In the opinion of this author, the ICC should add allow one more bouncer to strike a fair balance between the bat and ball.