T20 Cricket Explained: What You Need To Know About Twenty20 Format
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T20 Cricket Explained: What You Need To Know About Twenty20 Format

It's no secret that the Twenty20 cricket has been hugely successful today. Every pure fan of cricket will confess that T20 cricket is his favorite. This short format of cricket attracts the attention of even those that otherwise are not interested in cricket. To make remaining people fall in love and easily understand the T20 format of cricket, we will provide an account of all aspects of this format.

How is T20 Cricket Different from Test and One-Day? 

The difference in the Outlook: International cricket is mainly played in two forms- Test matches and limited-overs. It’s easy to understand that T20 cricket is a limited over game. In T20 and One-day international cricket, the players wear colored clothing and play with the white ball whereas in the test match players are in white clothing and play with the red ball.

Short Duration: The most significant difference is the respective length of the game. Test cricket needs over five days where each day's play lasts six hours with a limitation of 90 overs per day. When we look at the ODI cricket story, the ideal ODI has been set at 50 overs per side. A typical One-Day cricket match requires a whole day to complete.

T20 is the shortest format compared to ODI and Test cricket format. A typical T20 match completes in around 3 hours including a short break between two innings.

Like One-Day matches, white ball is used in T20 formatPicture: Like One-Day matches, white ball is used in T20 format (Credit: Gettyimages)

The difference of Rules: Besides the above-given differences, T20 differs in rules as well. Let's have a look at some of the rules given below. 

The Rules of T20 Cricket

Indeed T20 Cricket rules mainly follow the general rules of a one-day cricket match. For example, in the T20 cricket match, each team gets one inning each to play and score as many runs as they can in limited-overs. In all three formats, one over contains only six balls unless a wide or No-ball is thrown.

Besides so many similarities, the T20 format has some prominent rules that differ from other formats. Let's have a look at some of these rules.

The ‘Free Hit’ – Good omen for the batter, bad for the bowler, the ‘Free Hit’ is a name of penalty for a bowler when he or she delivers N0-ball. During ‘Free Hit’ the batsman will not be given out for that delivery unless he or she is run out.

Five-run penalties – If umpires feel a team is needlessly wasting time, they may grant five bonus runs to the opponent team. This rule has been designed mainly to fast speed the game because after all, the twenty20 cricket match is the shortest format of cricket.

75-minutes time limit – The bowling teams will get 75 minutes to complete 20 overs. It means three minutes and 45 seconds is allotted for each over. If the bowling side cannot start their twentieth over before this time limit, the opponent team can be rewarded a bonus of six runs.

Bowling restrictions of Twenty20 – In the international Twenty20 cricket match, each bowler is allowed to bowl a maximum of four overs out of the total 20 overs.

The 90-second rule – When a wicket falls, the next batsman is given only 90 seconds to reach on the pitch and prepare him/herself to face the bowler. He can be disqualified from batting if fails to uphold this time limit.

Fielding restrictions of Twenty20 – T20 Cricket rules allow a maximum of five fielders stands on the leg side of the batsman. During the first six overs of the inning, only two fielders are allowed to stand outside the circle. The number of fielders increases to five in the rest of 14 overs.
Bowl-outs – As like a penalty shootout in other sports, Bowl-outs come at the end of a tied T20 match. In this stage, five bowlers from each side are allowed to bowl twice at the wicket with the no batsman standing on the way. The team that routs the most wickets wins the match.

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How to Play T20 Cricket

Hitting sixes and fours is the core aspect of T20 cricket. If you've watched a T20 match, there is hardly any over without a boundary being scored. These Fours and Sixes don't come without any effort, there is the whole method behind it. Let's see how to play T20 cricket effectively.

The opener batsmen should start playing cautiously (and not slowly because of the limited-overs) to save their wickets. At the very beginning, the batsmen should not focus on punishing the bowlers for more sixes and boundaries. After a good foundation and multiple wickets in hand, the batsmen can quickly score runs. Generally speaking, more wickets in hand, prospects of scoring more runs are higher.

Batter trying to score runs in a matchPicture: Batter trying to score runs in a match (Credit: Unsplash)

Coming towards the question, how batters can quickly score runs. There are two ways for a batsman to score runs:

Runs between the wickets: Batsman hit the ball towards the boundary and both batsmen run between the wickets to score as many runs as they can before the ball hit the wicket.

Scoring Boundaries: If the fielding team fails to stop the ball before it hit the boundary rope, the runs are counted either 4 or 6 depending on how the ball crossed that boundary rope.

For bowlers strategy is very clear, don't allow the batsman to hit the ball or at least boundaries. Save as much as runs as you can to secure a comparatively lower total to chase.

T20 Leagues

The T20 leagues have a huge fan following from all over the world. Australia’s Big Bash League comes first as famous worldwide for its high voltage T20 competitions. After the Big Bash, the T20 storm starts in India named as Indian Premier League (IPL). It's hard to find a cricket fan who didn't hear the name of IPL! Indeed IPL T20 is the festival of world-class cricketers! At the same time, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has already won a large number of fan's attention.

Other countries including Bangladesh, West Indies, and South Africa have their T20 leagues as well.

IPL is one of the most popular T20 leagues in the worldPicture: IPL is one of the most popular T20 leagues in the world (Credit: Gettyimages)

Best T20 International Cricket Teams 

Achieving the First spot in the T20 ranking is a matter of great pride for any team. Currently, Pakistan, Australia, and England are the top-ranked teams according to International Cricket Ranking as of 1st January. Have a look below at the top 10 T20 cricket teams in the world with current rating points in brackets.

T20I Rankings as of 1st January 2020
RankCountryPoints Rating
4South Africa262
6New Zealand252
8Sri Lanka236
10West Indies223

Learn more on: ODI Cricket, Test Cricket.

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