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T20 cricket is now data driven: Sehwag

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 14-03-2018 HT Correspondent

NEWDELHI, March 14 -- Kings XI Punjab have often shown a tendency to blow hot and cold in the last 10 seasons of Indian Premier League (IPL). They have had their share of success but have also lacked killer instinct.

It's a fresh season of IPL and team mentor Virender Sehwag has his one-liner ready. "It's a much stronger team and this time we are loaded with more hard hitters."

Like his team, IPL has also come a long way since its inception in 2008, feels Sehwag. EVOLUTION The investment is huge and the number of brains in each franchise have also increased manifold. Cricket has evolved and so has T20. So much so that someone like Sehwag, who wasn't the most conventional of players in his heyday, believes in data to gauge the performance of players.

"The dynamics of T20 has changed completely since IPL started. Team work and rely a lot on data. For example the conditions on offer, the average scores at different grounds.

"Earlier, teams used to rely on strengths and weaknesses of opposition teams, which isn't the case anymore. You can actually predict how and when a particular batsman or bowler will perform, that's how strongly teams rely on data these days," said the former India opener.

Sehwag points to a few cases. "There are bowlers who can bowl well between overs 7 to 14 but aren't good when they bowl during power-play or death. On the other hand, there are bowlers who are exceptionally good in power-plays and death because those particular bowlers trust their ability there."

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