I wanted to talk about this last night, but The Old Batsman beat me to it. There are a lot of things that cricket players need in the modern era — fine fielding skills, the ability to slog perhaps, ability to handle the short ball. But Shane Warne introduced another qualification during his commentary — “match awareness.” It sounds ridiculous, but it’s just a less fancy way of “good cricketing brain.” (That term, much more established and slightly frightening, always tickled me. Cricket IQ — a new way to measure human intelligence.)
Absolutely. In fact, you could’ve gone further by citing an example from Pakistan’s first innings. Afridi was out caught off the last ball of the over but since the batsmen crossed, it was Aamer who took strike to Bollinger who took just two balls to bounce him out. This when a set Salman Butt was at the other end.
There are times when batsmen need to be mindful of who will be on strike if a wicket falls. Usually it entails them to cross over but not when it’s the last ball of the over.