Glenn Phillips, the New Zealand batsman, has said that he decided to crouch like a sprinter in the crease at the non-striker’s end against Sri Lanka so that he could run faster, while keeping an eye on the bowler as the possibility of getting run out was also on his mind.
“It was very much spur of the moment,” centurion Phillips said after New Zealand’s 65-run win in the T20 World Cup in Sydney. “I actually had my three-point start wrong, which my best mate’s going to probably give me a little bit of stick for later on. It’s supposed to be the other arm and other leg.
“I guess the position was to be able to see the bowlers and take off as quick as possible from a sprinter’s start when you’re trying not to be out of the crease as much as possible — there’s been a lot going around about Mankads and leaving the crease.
“At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility to make sure that I’m in the crease and leave at the right time. If the bowler is doing his job, then he has the right to be able to take the bails off.
Phillips crouched with only his left foot inside the crease, and his right hand holding the bat, which lay on the turf, with his face tilted to watch Sri Lanka pacer Lahiru Kumara running in to bowl. He felt he’d be able to get off the blocks quicker with this approach, than if he would have kept his bat grounded in the crease in the conventional manner.
“For me to be able to get into that start, that position as quick as possible, it just made sense. The real reason I did it was the position I was getting into, if I had my bat behind the crease, I thought it was actually slower to turn and accelerate off. Hence the reason for having my foot inside the crease and going from there,” Phillips said.
When asked if his innovative method could come to be used by more batsmen in T20 cricket in a year’s time, Phillips said, “Who knows? Maybe some people will use it. Maybe some people won’t. Obviously the extension of the bat being in the crease gives you another extra foot or two, but at the end of the day, I’ve got little arms. So my speed is probably going to get me a little bit further than my reaches.”