Back in the 1970s to 1990s, batting was a tad arduous and run-making wasn’t an easy task by any means. The batsmen had to ground tirelessly to get their teams off to decent scores. These days, targets of even 350 don’t seem to be on the safe side. Bowlers have very little room for errors and spraying the ball around can be costly.
In the last few years, plenty of power-hitters have emerged. Achieving a strike-rate over 100 isn’t alike a climb to the mountain top. The boom of T20 cricket in the last couple of decades has also given rise to many brutal strikers of the cricket leather.
Nevertheless, at times even they had to pay respect to the gravity of the situation. Instead of going for the ambitious and booming shots, they resorted to the defensive mode to get their innings going.
In the article, let’s take a look at five slow knocks from explosive batsmen: –
1. David Warner- 100 off 140 against Sri Lanka, 2012
David Warner has the game to demotivate oppositions within a blink of an eye. The southpaw plays at a strike-rate of 95.76 in ODIs and is a dangerous customer to deal with. But in March 2012, he played a knock, which may not have exhibited his fluent self.
At the Adelaide Oval, Warner scored 100 runs off 140 balls with four fours and one six. He was there in the middle until the 46th over. He tried hard for over three hours before Lasith Malinga got him caught in the deep.
In the end, it was owing to Michael Clarke’s 91-ball 117 that the Aussies managed to reach 271 for six. But it wasn’t enough as the Lankans tracked down the target with eight wickets and 34 balls to spare. Warner’s knock was a tad on the strange side as the home team never lost wickets in heaps.
2. Jos Buttler- 28 off 60 against Australia, 2015
Jos Buttler, technically, isn’t the prettiest by any means. However, a strike-rate of 119.83 speaks volumes about his destructive style of play. It hasn’t affected his consistency as he has an average of 40.88 to go with nine centuries and 20 half-centuries.
Even the Somerset cricketer once played a knock, where his strike-rate was lower than 50. It was against Australia at Sydney back in 2015. He came to the middle after England were reduced to 69 for five in 15.3 overs. Buttler tried to put his head down and scored a mere 28 off 60 balls.
The astonishing fact was that during the innings, he didn’t hit a single boundary. James Faulkner pinned him to pick up the sixth English wicket. The Brits managed 234 courtesy Eoin Morgan’s 121, but lost the encounter by three wickets with 61 balls left.
3. Virender Sehwag- 35 off 59 against Australia, 2004
Virender Sehwag doesn’t prefer to complicate his game much. He doesn’t mind taking the attack to the opposition from ball one. But back in 2004, he played a knock against Australia in Melbourne that cost India the match by 18 runs. At the MCG, Sehwag scored 35 off 59 balls when the Men in Blue were chasing 289.
His cautious approach meant that pressure was built on the other batsmen. Though he hit three fours, he was unable to get the ball away. In the end, Ian Harvey castled him to cut short his stay.
It also broke the 103-run stand for the opening wicket between batsmen Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. Needless to say, that the Master Blaster was the more attacking off the two, scoring 53 out of the 85 runs off the bat. Overall, Sehwag played at a strike-rate of 104.33 in ODIs.
4. Chris Gayle- 41 off 86 against Zimbabwe, 2000
There’s generally no dull moment when Chris Gayle weaves magic in the middle. However, there have been instances, when the Jamaican bided his time in the middle. Once such instance came in West Indies’ ODI against Zimbabwe in Bristol.
The left-hander played until the 29th over of the innings, managing only 41 runs off 86 balls, striking at less than 50, with the help of six boundaries. His painful vigil came to an end after Guy Whittall and Grant Flower combined to run him out.
Due to the uncharacteristic knock from Gayle, the Caribbeans could score a mere 232 despite fifties from Wavell Hinds and Brian Lara. Zimbabwe had no troubles whatsoever in chasing the target down as they did it with five overs and 30 balls to spare. Gayle has an impressive strike-rate of 87.19 in ODIs.
5. AB de Villiers- 69 off 112 against Bangladesh, 2008
AB de Villiers has an ODI strike-rate of 101.09, depicting his potential to smack the leather. But even the former South African batsman had to grind hard at times. Back in 2008, Bangladesh made it mightily tough for him to score freely. The Proteas were chasing 174 and they took 48.1 overs to achieve the same.
ABD came to bat after Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs were dismissed early. The Pretoria-born also saw Hashim Amla perish with the visitors score at 60 for three in Dhaka. However, De Villiers curbed his natural instincts and stitched together a 119-run stand with JP Duminy.
After getting his fifty off 87 balls, ABD made sure that he saw his team over the line. He eventually went on to score 69 off 112 with two fours, one six and plenty of singles and couples.
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