What's the story?
It isn't unsurprising in T20 cricket to send tail-enders up the batting order, to give a staggering start to the innings. One has earlier seen the likes of Sunil Narine and David Willey being used as pinch-hitters in the first 6 overs, and today, Umesh Yadav joined that list by opening the innings for Vidarbha as a pinch hitter during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
As the tail-enders usually do not add any value to their wickets, the batting team considers the runs scored by them as bonus runs. To add maximum bonus runs to the team's total, the teams started using the tail-enders as openers in the T20 format.
With only two fielders allowed outside the 30 yards circle in the first 6 overs, it has become very easy for the tail enders to score runs. And only do they score runs, they score them at a mind-boggling strike rate.
The heart of the matter
Two-time defending champions of Ranji Trophy, Vidarbha sent Indian pacer Umesh Yadav out to open the innings for them in their super league match against Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.
Umesh Yadav smashed a boundary of the first ball but lost his wicket on the next delivery to end his innings with just 4 runs to his name. This was the first time Umesh had batted in the top-5 in his cricket career.
The Vidarbha batsmen never got going as the Karnataka bowlers gained momentum right from the beginning of the innings. Vidarbha managed a total of 138/8 in their 20 overs, which Karnataka chased down with 6 wickets and 4 balls to spare.
A lot of teams have followed the trend of using pinch-hitters at the top of the order. One hopes that Umesh Yadav works on his batting skills as well, and contributes with the bat as well whenever he gets the chance for India next.Published 12 Mar 2019, 18:49 IST