Ian Bell: T20 generation's new tricks are widening gap between formats
View From the Middle: Potentially, in the future, you're going to get two styles of cricketers
Thursday 21 February 2013
The one-day series is set up for a big finish in Auckland on Saturday. New Zealand have shown yet again how outstanding they are at home. They do the one per-centers brilliantly; you're guaranteed to have a fight on your hands and it would be a real achievement for us to win with another solid performance.
In the last few weeks we have seen the changing nature of the one-day game. Changes to regulations have meant we've had to tweak a few things to deal with the two new balls, the extra man in the circle, and the amendment to power plays.
Even in India, where it was all about power up front, they were saving wickets and M S Dhoni was going ballistic at the end, so you can see what people are trying to do. You have still got to be very wary of just playing negative cricket up until the 35th over. I think you have still got to be positive in the first 10 and be prepared to run hard between the wickets, hit a boundary, or get off strike with a single.
But the general way about cricket seems to be that it's going to stack up at the end and then it's going to be a Twenty20 match in the last 15 overs. This is shown by the fact that Brendon McCullum goes in at six for the Kiwis and knows what stage of the game he wants to come in – as does Dhoni for India.
But we've got two or three players who can be just as exciting as those guys. In Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler we have batsmen not just with power but with the range and skill to hit the ball all around the ground. Across the world there will be bowlers who don't want to be on when Morgan and Buttler are in.
Maybe we're beginning to see the start of something very different. The young generation have grown up on a diet of Twenty20 cricket so maybe they're going to take a bit longer to get to Test cricket, whereas when I was growing up it was all about playing Test cricket.
You worked on your technique – playing straight, the cut shot, the pull shot – and then you gradually started on your one-day skills as you went along. Now kids are going to be growing up flicking the ball over their heads at 14 and 15 and using the crease. Potentially, in the future, you're going to get guys who go the T20 route and guys who go the Test route with two styles of cricket and two styles of cricketers.
We all know that to win a Test match is the best feeling in the game. It's the hardest form of the game. As an individual there is nowhere to hide if you have weakness, especially with the amount of background checks, research and scrutiny that is done now. In one-dayers, if you have a certain problem – say, with the short ball – you can get around that, but in Test matches you can't.
That's why the Test match is the biggest and hardest game.
I think it may be a great thing that Graham Gooch, the batting coach, has stepped aside to concentrate on Test matches. It will give him more time to work with young players on those basic necessary skills – good footwork, leaving the ball well, playing very straight – and going to watch the next generation of players.
Tomorrow's match will see the end of Ashley Giles' first spell as the one-day coach. We're getting used to him. Perhaps India wasn't a bad place for him to start because it's always going to be as tough as you're going to get there. We stuck together well as a group.
It gave Ashley an opportunity to get to know people a bit more because in India you're stuck in the hotel. He's been really good for everyone.
Our record at home has been fantastic but travelling our record hasn't been the same.
There have always been people who say there is not enough emphasis on one-day cricket and maybe this will help because it's his role. A new person can add freshness and energy and with proper communication it will definitely work out.
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