Red Bull Campus Cricket World Final 2014 UK
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Top 5 differences: T20 vs ODI tactics

Where lies the difference?
Written by Manish Verma
4 min readPublished on
The ODI and T20 formats in cricket are similar in some ways, but they are entirely different in others. T20 started only about a decade ago and has caught the public imagination in a big way. All the big cricket playing nations now have a domestic T20 league in their home countries. The Indian domestic T20 league and the multi-nation T20 league of champions are now huge global entities.
T20 Batsmen In The World Right Now
T20 Batsmen In The World Right Now
Though both the ODI and T20 formats are limited overs formats and favour the batsmen more than bowlers, there are certain important factors, strategy-wise, which create stark differences between them. Let us look at those differences:

Power hitting more prominent in T20s

Though both formats encourage power hitters, the T20 format is especially more encouraging to big hitters. Because of the nature of the format, one or two overs can decide the outcome of the game here. That increases the importance of having players like Yusuf Pathan and Kieron Pollard in your side, who can win you a game with 4-5 lusty blows in the space of one or two overs.
In ODIs, you generally need a prolonged spell of controlled aggression to take your team to victory. In T20s, one over of madness can win a game for your side. That makes having power hitters imperative in the shortest format.

In T20s, more proactive captaincy is needed

T20 is a very fast-paced contest. The game keeps changing every few overs, and captains need to always be proactive, planning for ahead and making swift changes to their plans based on the real action. Unlike ODI cricket, where the fast bowlers often bowl big opening spells and spinners bowl in middle overs, T20 often sees frequent bowling changes and out-of-the-box ideas. Captaincy thus becomes more crucial in this format.

T20 cricket rewards more variations in bowling

Bowling in T20 cricket is a difficult art. The batsmen are always looking at going after the bowlers, and give no respect to the quality of experience of the man facing them. As such, having more variety improves your chances of getting slowing batsmen down or even getting them out. If you keep the batsman guessing, you prevent him from going through with premeditated slogs and no-holds-barred attacking strokes. It’s no wonder that bowlers like Sunil Narine are so tough to face in this format.
In ODIs, on the other hand, batsmen have time to settle in and treat the ball on its merit, thereby reducing the importance for a bowler to try and bowl six different types of deliveries every over.

Fielding is a top, top priority in T20

In most T20 games, the margin of victory and defeat is often very small. That means runs saved through brilliant fielding efforts are worth their weight in gold. All teams want to have young fresh legs in the field to ensure that not a single slip-up occurs.
While good fielding is also important in ODI cricket, a few runs donated through misfields do not usually harm the side as much as they would in a T20 game.

Reading the pitch accurately is of tremendous importance in ODIs

In ODI cricket, we often see the pitch changing colours in the second innings. Several matches have been decided because the ball swung prodigiously in the early morning first innings, but failed to do so once the pitch got worn out a little. That makes the toss all the more crucial too; if luck is not on your side in an ODI game, you may end up facing the worst of the conditions.
In the T20 format on the other hand, due to the shorter duration of the game, the pitch remains more or the same in both the innings and as such, winning the toss doesn’t give any side an unfair advantage to any side.
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