Latest play tells us that a T20 captain at times is no more than a ghost figure in the field
Compared to most other sports, captaincy in cricket still commands a front page story under a banner headline. But the tide seems to be changing as captaincy in T20 cricket may now be seen as an overrated position.
Latest play tells us that a T20 captain at times is no more than a ghost figure in the field. The events happen at such a breakneck pace and game plans get smashed in the blink of an eye that leadership has no time to act.
In fact, captaincy has been outpaced by the T20 game! A team that can think on its feet and individuals that can boss situations on their own is the modern version of T20 captaincy.
So when we look at the IPL leaderboard, it’s those teams who have 11 thinking cricketers that have moved ahead in the race from the rest of the field. Such teams have players who captain themselves, have plans and sub plans, and develop ability to read tricky situations to seize the moment as there is no time to be spoon-fed at every turn of the game by the man in charge.
Rashid Khan captains his skills quite magnificently. Not only does he set his own field, but bowling flat or giving flight is also his prerogative. He may also be calling his bowling spells. Kagiso Rabada at the death follows his own blueprint for success. He is generally been quite independent in his decisions. The line of attack which he wants to follow or defensive options he wants to exercise at the time is his call and choice.
An out of form captain in T20s can be released to the bench without much ado. The IPL has seen captains removed midway through the tournament. And there may be a situation brewing where we may see couple of them lose their crown at this year’s IPL also.
The best part is that the players are quite flexible in their approach to accept a new leader. There’s something humbling about T20s as all are prepared – captains and superstars – to take the bench in larger interest of the team.
It promotes equality and importance of winning even at the cost of sacrificing a star. What a priceless lesson for young guns who are jostling for positions at the IPL.