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Maddy's guide to Twenty20
Darren Maddy
By Darren Maddy
Warwickshire captain and England batsman

When Twenty20 was first introduced I was as sceptical as anyone.

I did not think I would take to the game or enjoy it, but then I realised it is the same game we know and love - it is just played over 20 overs.

It is a fantastic concept and I was fortunate to be part of a successful side at Leicester where we won two Twenty20 Cups. I am hoping to be part of another successful side with England at the ICC World Twenty20.

Here's my guide to how to be successful at the shortest form of the game.


Pretty much everything we do before the game is the same as the build-up to a one-day or four-day game.

Born on 23 May 1974
Played three Tests and eight ODIs for England
Has scored more runs in Twenty20 cricket than anyone else (1,278)
Won the Twenty20 Cup with Leicestershire in 2004 and 2006
You prepare the same and you assess the pitch and the conditions the same way as you would in a 50-over game.

We do a lot of planning and as a captain you have to hope your bowlers and fielders understand your gameplan.

It is very easy to overcomplicate things and that often leads to you not being able to operate your plans.

You still have to do the basics well and the team that do the basics the best are the ones that generally come out on top.


Going into the game you have an idea about which bowlers you are going to go with at what stage of the innings.

But probably by the end of the game you will have had several changes during the game.

Twenty20 games are over so quickly that you have to captain on instincts.

The batsmen are generally going after it a lot earlier than in a one-day game.

It is important to think on your feet, stay calm and keep your mind clear when balls are clattering over the boundary.

It is especially important as a captain to stay composed.


As a captain you try to get a feel for how a batsman is trying to play.

The key is to work out who he would prefer not to face and try to get him to do things he doesn't want to do.

Darren Maddy
Maddy is not afraid to try different shots
You have to try and get him out of his comfort zone - one way or another.

You can do that by creating pressure with field placings or changing the bowlers.

Changing the pace of the game is another tactic we use - getting round your overs quicker than you would normally can disturb a batsman.

You have to constantly make a batsman think on his feet and hopefully get his mind ticking at 100mph, while everyone else tries to stay calm.

Most games are won because of the spinners.

They are more likely to pick up wickets because batsmen are coming hard at them.

When Twenty20 first started everyone thought the spinners would be the ones who were targeted and they would end up getting smashed out of the park.

But the bowlers who take the pace off the ball are the ones that seem to have the most success.


There is no right or wrong answer - the field depends on the batsman and the bowlers.

We talk about field positions before the game.

Batsmen hit in different areas and have different strengths, and it depends on whether a bowler will bowl a heavy back of a length or a fuller length to determine how straight or square a field is set.

Sometimes you can keep the fielders in to create pressure but in Twenty20 you have to protect your boundaries.


Playing domestic Twenty20 has provided different pressures for cricketers.

Not only do you have the extra intensity of the game but the pressure of having 10,000 people behind you in the stand.

It is not often you get to play in front of a big crowd and show off your skills.

It is probably the only time you get to play with the sort of intensity that resembles what the international players have when they play a one-day game.

You have personal pride to perform in front of those people - you don't want to make a fool of yourself.

It is important to have the confidence and belief to just go out and take the game to its most simplest form - which is watch the ball and hit it.

And also not be afraid to be inventive and try different things.

The players who exude that positivity are the ones that seem to have the most success.

Darren Maddy was talking to Andrew McKenzie


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