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T20 World Cup: Rewriting grammar of white-ball cricket | Cricket News


England skipper Eoin Morgan, no less an aggressive player himself, paid his best friend Jos Buttler the ultimate compliment, saying he was one of the ‘few’ who have revolutionised batting in the T20 era.
So who are the few of them apart from Buttler? TOI finds out..
Brendon McCullum: How many thank-you cards should the BCCI and the IPL send him for his 158, scored on the first day of the tournament for KKR vs RCB at a throbbing Chinnaswamy?. Brutal and ballistic, Brendon McCullum has been arresting to watch because he could scoop deliveries bowled at 100 mph for sixes, putting on notice all dentists for potential appointments if the shot goes wrong. McCullum carried that cavalier approach to Tests and ODIs and signed off from his international career with the fastest ever Test hundred, rewriting the rule books of batting. As a coach, he has tried to inculcate that same fearless approach into his charges..
Chris Gayle: The Universe Boss. Wonder what’s cooler. Him smashing quality bowlers out of the park with minimal effort, or Gayle referring to himself in third person in all his interviews. He is the face of T20 cricket and even when he is not playing, like it happened in the 2016 World T20 match vs Bangladesh, the crowd at Bangalore wanted to see a glimpse of him and after West Indies’ victory, he did a lap of honour of the ground. Gayle does not play fancy shots or reverse sweeps. Power and timing with minimal footwork are his strengths. He takes his time, but once he gets a hang of things, he neutralizes dot balls with sixes galore. Fittingly, the first hundred in T20 Internationals is credited to him that too in the first match of the T20 World Cup.
AB de Villiers: Proud Protea, Bangalore’s heartbeat, engineering the most ridiculous of jailbreaks with outrageous batting against quality bowlers like compatriot Dale Steyn. The term 360 degree player was first coined to describe the freakish De Villiers. Having been a multi-talented sportsman in rugby, cricket, tennis and hockey, he has a pre-emptive ball sense which allows him to get into positions early and execute the most ridiculous of shots. The flat-bat shot over cover off a length ball and the shot he plays by standing deep into the crease and manufacturing a full length to scoop balls or swat them are his trademarks. The hockey skills come to the fore when he reverse sweeps yorkers to third man without changing the position of his feet. A game-changer in every sense.
KL Rahul: India’s new man for all seasons. A man of slight build, but blessed with a sublime bat-swing that helps him make profitable connections. A classical batsman in Test and ODIs who leaves a lot of deliveries, he metamorphoses into this beast who clubs length and plays the scoop with a degree of expertise when the ball is pitched fuller. He can hit the biggest of sixes off spinners and can be brutal against finger spinners. Has a fierce square cut and can essay the lofted cover drive with a sense of theatre and grace. A must-have at the top of the order. After Rohit Sharma, he is the one player with multiple hundreds in T20 Internationals for India.
Glenn Maxwell: The ferocity with which he hits the reverse sweeps into the stands makes you wonder sometimes whether he started off his cricketing journey as a left-hander. Maxwell can murder spin and after the powerplay can change games with unorthodox batsmanship. Plays with power on the on side and can play the Federer forehand like slap over cover for six which has left many bowling figures bruised. People started bowling short to him with some success, but he has now sorted out his back-foot play by committing late and bringing into play the ramp shot over the keeper. He was called The Big Show as he used to play for the galleries. But as he showed with RCB this season, there is now a method to his madness.

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