Sharjah: The second edition of the T10 League has turned out to be a fans’ delight — thanks to the stupendous batting from some of the most aggressive batsmen around the world.
Nicholas Pooran, the young West Indian of Northern Warriors, became the favourite of every fan through his effortless sixes.
Paktoons’ Andre Fletcher showed how easily he can demolish any bowling attack as Hazaratullah Zazai of Maratha Arabians announced that he is the rising star who can whip any bowler on his day.
Mohammad Shahzad of Rajputs, with his world record equalling half century in 12 balls, announced that he is among the best hitters in the game.
Kerala Knights’ Jonny Bairstow, who flew in here after his commitments with the England team in Sri Lanka, showed he can shift gears with a whirlwind unbeaten 84 against Bengal Tigers. Maratha Arabians’ Alex Hales bettered it through an unbeaten 87 against Bengal in the eliminator.
It was interesting to quiz some of these stars on the format and how they emerged successful. Pooran went out to bat with a simple philosophy: “I am always eager to perform for my team. I feel when things are going your way you need to capitalise and that’s what I’m doing. I’m happy that I’ve been consistent.”
When asked how could he take on even the renowned bowlers, he said: “Batsmen are not afraid to try different things. The game is changing every day. This (type of batting) is West Indies culture. We just like to enjoy our cricket. We love T20 and now with T10 we really feel at home.”
Hales, who created history in the T10 League, feels that his knocks in the T10 will turn out to be advantageous for him in international cricket.
“Playing in the T10 will surely have an influence on my T20 career and help me score faster like many batsmen learnt to score faster in 50 overs from T20. I really enjoyed this format, it is full of excitement. It does not give you much time like in T20 and you have to keep changing gears during your innings and I really loved it. If you can get yourself in, you can get big scores.”
When asked about how one can be successful in T10, the England star said: “You have to watch out not to get leg before or bowled and keep practising all the options and you will be successful in it.”
Bairstow, who played this format for the first time, went out to bat by telling himself that the game will remain the same even if the overs are reduced. “T10 is different. We have to play in different formats now. It’s different, but that’s what we do. But at the end of the day, there is still someone bowling and you are still batting. The basics don’t change.”
Zazai, the 20-year-old Afghan, summed up the opinions of all the stars by saying: “It is a short format and you need to hit every ball — hence must focus on how to hit every ball.”