Is it that the grounds are small? clearly not in Australia at least, maybe it's all down to the bats? well yes technology has enabled larger bats with less weight but I don't think that is the real reason. Personally I think it is the 20/20 impact, players have got used to going big! and more importantly keeping their form as they strike with increasing ferocity. So from a coaching point of view "Balance" is still important.
What I feel is equally important is the mental aspects, in 20/20 a run a ball gets you to 120 which we all know just is not enough in 20 overs, really teams are looking at 150 -180 from the 20 but even then this often gets chased with alarming ease. Is it a surprise then that 300 is barely competitive in the current climate, as we can see a run a ball in T20 is rarely enough so the natural next step is for this mentality to move into the next form of the game, makes it tough to be a bowler...I'm thinking back to a interview is saw with Ricky Ponting last summer and recall his thought process, "where can I hit this ball for 4? or 3 or 2 or 1?" his only thought was runs, never survival, never "I mustn't get out" it is this kind of mentality that 20/20 has brought to the 50 over format.
My other observation and i'll unfortunately pick up on England here is the power hitter, we have them in the squad and in the team ( Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, James Taylar, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales "remember him?") but they seem nervous and lacking confidence in not only their ability but that of those around them, I wonder how much of this is the pressure placed on them by the constant press analysis of every stroke, mis-hit or poor run option. If you then look at the top teams there is that positive approach through the whole top order and beyond, they back themselves and they back the next man. Whilst England look to make 300 which is par at best and "unleash" Buttler for the last 5 overs South Africa, Australia, New Zealand have their game changer in with 20 overs to go and expect them to bat the 20 and score at 150%+. Support and team spirit, confidence in your own ability and playing from the heart are qualities that are evident in this world cup more so than ever before.
Where do we go from here? well we play 20 over cricket at junior level, what do the kids think is a competitive score? do you the coach tell them or do you ask them? I would like to think Under 15s would be setting their targets and the coach providing support on how they achieve it. At the lower age U9/U11 and U13 I think targets provide too much pressure, I'd like to see more shots less concern, pairs cricket is good here, don't get hung up on getting out just think "where can I hit this ball for the most runs".
Lets bring the fun back into the game this summer and show the pros how it's done.