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T20 is a game of skills: Gibbs

Scorchers veteran batsman gives his take on the abridged format of game

A Twenty20 specialist now, Herschelle Gibbs is a critical component in the Perth Scorchers line-up. He was instrumental in their victories leading up to the finals in Australia’s Big Bash League. The former South Africa international is one of the finest cricketers to have played in all three formats of the game. An experienced campaigner, his form is vital to the fortunes of the Scorchers who lost their opening match of CLT20 2012 to the Titans. 

Speaking to clt20.com ahead of their second game of the tournament against the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gibbs spoke about the opposition and playing in the Twenty20 format.

Excerpts from his interview:

On whether it is just a matter of time he gets back among the runs

I think there are just fine margins of error, in Twenty20 cricket. I had a 100 percent strike-rate the other day but I need a few games and I would be good to go. I feel that I am hitting the ball well. You need to build partnerships up front. If we get going as a unit, anything can happen.

On the most difficult and most exciting thing about Twenty20 cricket

The most exciting part for me is playing on different venues. It keeps things fresh. It can be a little bit tedious and boring, sometimes if you play on the same surfaces all the time. So, that’s what I like, when you are a T20 specialist you travel all round and play in different conditions and that keeps it interesting. For me it is also the buzz and knowing what you really need to do and trying to live up to your reputation, which keeps it exciting and is the best thing of all.

You have to keep your style of play fresh. You can’t be too one dimensional. [Trying to keep it fresh] it keeps you working, keeps you sharp and keeps you on your toes. The bowlers are getting better so the batters got to adjust as well so, that’s probably the most refreshing and the most exciting thing about T20. It is just about staying with the times.

On how the Twenty20 format has grown

It is more of a skill game. It is very interesting just to see the skill levels improve. Your temperament is always questioned but it is more the execution of the skill under pressure that makes certain players stand out. There are guys that have made the adjustment really well, while there are others that are just finding their feet at this moment.

It has been interesting to see it grow. It has opened a lot of opportunities, especially for the younger players and players who haven’t really played a lot of international cricket.

The spectators love it. They enjoy seeing it grow over the last decade and it is definitely the flavour of the month as far as the popularity of a format amongst people is concerned.

On adjusting to the shortest format and advise to younger players

In T20 it is just the skill levels. It is about the ability to execute skills properly under pressure and there is no reason why you can’t actually make a name for yourself. There are various types of players. Ones that can hit boundaries at will and bowlers that can bowl fast; there is a fantastic array of talent on show and that makes it a great spectacle.

On the strengths of the Perth Scorchers going into the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders

I think the bowlers bowled nicely in the second half of the Titans innings but where we lost was when we lost two quick wickets in the first six overs. When you lose those wickets, it does set you back a little bit. But it is the game under the belt, and we are playing for the next game now. We just have to be a little bit sharper and execute our skills better than the opposition. Their confidence will be a bit low coming off two losses. If they lose this game they will be out of the tournament. So, we want to keep the pressure on them and try and get over the line. 

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