Saturday, June 12, 2010


Cricket Australia's news that it will be staging a new format of List 'A' cricket by splitting one 50-over innings into two 20-25 over innings has attracted a lot of comments and blogs on the blogosphere. Well, I have a few suggestions...

I have had these suggestions ever since Sachin Tendulkar made the comment that ODIs should be split into 2 innings of 25 overs each. If an official from Cricket Australia ever stumbles upon this blog, you may want to try out some of these suggestions, mate!

Suggestion No. 1: Allow new balls for 2nd innings -

In ODI cricket, the balls are changed after 34 overs and newer 'old' balls are brought in to replace the used ones. Instead, I would like to see 'new' balls used at the start of 2nd innings. This will allow pace bowlers a chance to get more purchase from lifeless pitches, and for batsmen, it will mean better pace on the ball on slower pitches. But this suggestion makes more sense when you read my Suggestion No. 2...

Suggestion No. 2: Allow different batsmen to resume the 2nd innings -

There are talks that the 2nd batting innings will be resumed exactly where the 1st one ended. I have a different opinion. Let the score remain as it was. If Team A was 140-2 in 25 overs, they will resume at that score. But if the team does not want to resume with the batsmen who were unbeaten at the end of the 1st innings, it should be allowed to change. The unbeaten batsmen can be qualified as retired and can come in some other time later during the 2nd innings.

Coupled with the earlier suggestion, it brings a whole new set of strategies in place. Should you go in with 2 sets of openers? Should the middle order be shortened? Where to play your slog over specialists? In fact, the concept of slog overs itself may see a change. To those who think that the idea of two sets of openers is insane, read on the next suggestion...

Suggestion No. 3: Allow all bowlers a maximum of 12 overs -

I heard suggestions somewhere that 2 bowlers should be allowed to bowl a maximum if 12 overs in an ODI. My question is: why stop at 2 bowlers? Why are we so miserly when we want to create rules that favour bowlers? Allowing 4 bowlers a quota of 12 overs (assuming a 50-over game) means that only 2 overs have to be managed out of your part timers. And if your regular bowlers are taking a beating, it will pay to have a genuine all-rounder.

Now, how does this compliment my Suggestion No. 2? If both the suggestions are implemented, then teams can go in with 3 genuine bowlers, 2 decent all rounders, 1 wicketkeeper, 4 openers and 1 solid middle order batsmen / another all rounder / bits-n-pieces player. There will be a lot more scope for flexibility if teams do not opt for 4 openers. They may even want to go for 3 openers and open the 2nd innings with the 3rd opener and one of the unbeaten well set batsmen.

There is a lot of scope for new strategies and there will be a need to change the laws relating to Powerplays as well as Duckworth - Lewis Method. A lot will need to be done. My suggestions might not go down well with everyone and I'd be delighted to read my readers' views on the same. I, for one, definitely feel, that it might just help One Day cricket survive.

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