Thursday, August 26, 2010

How good will the split innings format of ODIs be?

With the 2011 ICC World Cup round the corner, a new rule is under the scanner of World Cricket – some in favour and others not. Though, it seems like an interesting ploy to make One Day cricket more interesting and dynamic. With Twenty-twenty cricket being a prime attraction today, one day cricket had to change to draw more attention.

This new concept however was once proposed by Sachin Tendulkar in September 2009 after the rain-hit Champion’s Trophy 2002 Finals between India and Sri Lanka, where both the teams played for two days – 110 over, yet ending up with a draw.

The rules of this new version are as exciting as it sounds. There would be four innings, each of them to be played alternately by both the teams.  The first innings played by both the team would be of twenty overs, while the second one would be of twenty five. It seems to be like a test match, however limited. The most interesting aspect of this version would be – one player gets to bat twice in a single match. This gives a clear idea that the matches would be very high scoring and any team can make a come-back and win.
To make it clearer, below are the basic rules being drawn out:
  • Fielding restrictions would be only for the first five over of all four innings.
  • There is a big change in terms of the maximum number of overs allowed to one bowler. They are now allowed to bowl twelve overs instead of ten.
  • The bowlers seem to be getting a lot of advantages here. They would be allowed to bowl two bouncers here instead of one. So, we can expect a lot of fireworks around.
  • The team who leads the first innings would be awarded a point even though they end up losing the match.The One Day Internationals would be having twelve players instead of the conventional eleven. However, only eleven players out of them can bat in any given innings.
International Cricket Council however, is yet to decide on the implementation of the new rules of the road. They are in talks to multiple Cricketing Nations in order to have a feedback whether this style would help One Day Internationals restore their past glory. With the number of Twenty-twenty matches being played these days, and the number of spectators liking them, ODIs have been under a massive threat.

Today, people love to watch something which would give a result and a quicker result. In fact, there would be a higher chance of getting a result in this new style, even if half the match has been played. The intensity would be higher since the players would get two lives in a single match, which would lead them to take more risk and play more aggressively. Apart from that, captains would have a massive role to play in terms of strategizing on the field.

Looks like, cricket is moving in the right direction, provided ICC realizes that a revolution is required at the earliest – what better than implementing it during the upcoming World Cup!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

India Needs a Genuine Pace Attack

Success of a team in cricket is in the hands of opening batsmen and also the pace bowlers. The role of pace bowlers is as important as they can disturb the opponent batsmen with their pace and swing. Indian bowling department is not as impressive as it was in the past. Kapil Dev, a legend, is the best bowler of Indian cricket. In his captaincy India won the world cup in 1983 and it’s purely because of a bowler who cleaned the opponent. Few decades back Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad were the pace bowlers and they were the successful opening bowling pair for Indian cricket. The variety in their bowling fetched quick wickets and they were responsible for victory.

After their retirement from international cricket the bowling department of India was found helpless. Zaheer Khan is the most reliable pace bowler at present and he is prone to injuries most of the time. The left arm pacer is a perfect attacker with new ball and also expert in reverse and in swing yorkers that can surely clear the defense of a batsmen. There were many bowlers like Ajit Agarkar, Debasis Mohanty, Aavishkar Salvi, Sreesanth and Ashish Nehra who were in the team but couldn’t mark their presence permanently in the squad due to the loss of variety. Indian team suffered a lot without quality bowlers and faced many loses. Javagal Srinath carried the bowling till 2003 world cup. After his retirement there was no strong bowling attack in Indian team.

Irfan Pathan stepped in to the squad as a bowler and surprised everyone with the ability of swinging the ball into the batsman. He was successful in fetching quick wickets but lost his form and is out of squad for long time. Ishanth Sharma and Munaf Patel are the other bowlers picked for Indian squad who were admirable at the beginning but as days passed on they too failed at important situations.

On a whole the team fully relies on Zaheer Khan and his absence is noticed in all series. RP Singh has not found permanent place in the squad and Praveen Kumar is being impressive till now with his ability of swinging in air and troubling the opponent. Mithun another pace bowler has the ability to bowl well and he must be developed to be a star bowler for the team. Pace bowlers are the key players in any match and if players like Praveen Kumar, Mithun, Ishanth Sharma are trained well they could be the best in sharing the bowling attack with Zaheer Khan.

What are your views on Indian pace attack?