Aussie overseas star Matt Nicholson says the key for bowlers having success in the Twenty20 Cup is being able to think on their feet.
Nicholson's only experience of the new phenomenon sweeping the cricketing world was Australia's inaugural competition last year.
And it looks like the 31-year-old has got the hang of it as he took four wickets at 19.75 in the three games to help New South Wales reach the final of the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash at the North Sydney Oval.
Unfortunately New South Wales lost by 93 runs as Brad Hodge smashed 106 in 54 balls to help Victoria to 233 for seven and they then bowled Nicholson's side out for 140.
But Nicholson is hoping he can make it to his second domestic Twenty20 final, this time with the Steelbacks as he tastes the English version for the first time tonight against Warwickshire Bears.
And Nicholson feels adapting to the situation is integral to keeping the number of boundaries down for a side.
"I've only played three Twenty20 games, so it is going to be exciting for me," said Nicholson. "I got to the final with New South Wales in Australia last year, so we did really well and had a bit of fun.
"We only had two groups of three, we played each other once and then went into the final, but it was pretty exciting stuff. Unfortunately we lost. For bowlers you have got to adapt on your feet and bowl in slightly different areas, but it's not rocket science. How you bowl depends on the wicket, the batsman and the situation, you've just got to be open to adapt to any situation."
The two most economical bowlers in last year's competition were spinners, be it exceptional spinners in Somerset's Mushtaq Ahmed who went for 5.34 runs per over and took 14 wickets in 21.3 overs and Lancashire's Muttiah Muralitharan, who bagged 10 wickets in 17 overs and cost 5.29 runs per over.
In fact the top of the 2005 Twenty20 Cup bowling averages are littered with spinners, which could see Northants being a force in the competition as in Jason Brown and Monty Panesar they have arguably the best slow bowlers in the country.
The most economical pacemen last summer were Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar and Naved-ul-Hasan, both superb exponents of the slower delivery. Playing for Worcestershire, Akhtar went for 5.70 runs per over and took just one wicket in 10 overs, while Naved's economy rate was 5.88 and the Sussex bowler took just two wickets.
So it seems Twenty20 could be reversing conventional one-day theory with the pacemen doing the holding job while the spinners take the wickets. Three of the top four wicket-takers were spinners last year, with Surrey slow left-armer Nayan Doshi finishing top with 17.
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