How has The Gentlemen’s Game changed in modern times?

The format of cricket has undergone some major changes since its inception. From Test matches to modern-day T20 how players approach the game has shifted drastically. With such drifts, players need to constantly adapt to the dynamic environment. With T20 format Batsmen need to make most of the deliveries which they face. There is no time to settle down on the pitch. From the first ball, a batsman has to set his target for boundaries. On the other hand, bowlers need to execute different variations to keep the batsman guessing. It becomes easy for bowlers to get wickets if a batsman fails to understand the variation he is about to face. This is one of the major reasons for Rashid Khan’s success in the T20 format.

Just like a bowler, a batsman tries to come up with a different variety of shots, trying to score even in the best deliveries a bowler can produce. Mr 360 degree A.B. De Villers has always enhanced his game from time to time in order to cope up with the demands of the format. In T20 and ODI’s Di Villers uses his skills by using a reverse sweep or chipping the ball over the keeper on a bouncer. Dhoni smashing boundaries on Yorker by playing his favourite helicopter shot. Suresh Raina dominating bowlers with his inside outshot. Each player has their own unique skill set which helps them to improve from time to time.

For test format rotating the strike is becoming more popular as time continues to progress. In terms of chasing strikes, rotation eases off the pressure over the batting team. Bowlers have to rethink their plan as strike rotation can disrupt the rhythm of the bowler. Moreover, if a batsman is not able to keep his nerves in check, strike rotation gives him time to understand and settle down on the pitch. Every single run gives him more confidence. Another dimension of strike rotation is running between the wickets. M.S. Dhoni one of the quickest between the wickets showcased the importance of this dimension. Converting singles into doubles and doubles into triples is a way to keep pressure on the fielders. A miss-field, overthrow or slacking off are the best available opportunities for the batting team to highlight their quickness and force out runs from the fielders.

As the batsmen bring a new weapon in their arsenal, fielders have taken one step closer to nullify their advantage. It is not possible to avoid mistakes while fielding. There may be certain factors that may not be under their control. However, minimising one mistake is another way to keep things in check. Jonty Rhodes could be seen as the pioneer who revolutionised fielding. Making catches which seem impossible, saving runs by diving on the ground. Every single aspect of his fielding was a reminder of why fielding is relevant.Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, David Warner, Ben Stokes, Faf Du Plessis and many more are players who take fielding to another level. Running between the wickets never seemed so hard until the ball falls in the hands of these players. Many more changes are yet to come as time slips away in front of our eyes. Elements of cricket will continue to evolve as a certain set of challenges arise in front of players.

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