Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Batsman's Game

In recent years there have been changes to the game of cricket. Change is generally considered a good thing as the powers to be review and make ammendments based on the general widely public opinion. In sports in general, and in cricket in particular, this has been the case over the last some years as modifications (improvments?) to the game have been made.

I am all in favor of modifying the game and changing the rules, though I feel there should be more current coach input in making the rule changes as opposed to retired players who did not have much experience in ODIs. Coaches are close to the game and can make intelligent suggestions on improving the game. In American sports, generally coaches/managers/owners, etc have a say in rule changes to their respective sport.

The test game is pretty pure (still my favorite form of the game) and that is why most of the changes have been made to the ODI format of the sport. What is appalling to me is that all the changes, or almost all of them, favor the batsmen. Has the standard of batting fallen that these batsman need so much help?

A recent rule change has been the mandatory change of ball in the 34/35th over. The intention behind the rule change is to have consistency so that the ball is changed every time rather than leaving it up to the discretion of the umpires. While I think consistency is a good idea generally in the sport as it leaves less room for human error in judgement; in this case I think it is favoring the batsman too much and totally getting rid of the bowlers advantage of reverse swing. The umpires need to use their judgement and definitely change the bowl when there are visibility issues - maybe the idea of using pink balls as per Q's blog is not that bad of an idea after all! But if there are visibility issues then why change the ball? Give the bowlers the ability to use reverse swing as long as the batsman can see the ball they should be good enough to play any bowler who is reversing it!

The power play rule - what a ridiculous rule! I again like the intention of getting captains and teams to have a strategy of using the power play. But again it favors the batting side. Every team, with the exception of Fleming NZ's captain, uses the power plays in the first 20 overs reducing the rule to basically having the field restrictions for the 1st 20 overs. I would like to see the overs for power play reduced to 10 in total and have captains use them in spells of 5 with the rule that you cannot use consective 10 overs.

I am a batsman myself, but would hate to see myself given so much advantage in anything in life - you gotta earn it! :-)

Make your pitch on this post...


7 Pitched:

  1. Obaid said...

    I completely agree... and was thinking along the same lines after seeing where the comments were going for the pink ball post. In fact i was thinking that just like fielding restrictions are offered to the bowling side, the field team captain should also be offered the use of an old ball (which should be more conducive to reverse swing) for 2, 5 over bursts during the 50 overs.

    Imagine how much more exciting the game would get if a team bowls 10 overs with the new ball and the next 10 with the old ball and can then reuse the newish ball for the remaining 30 overs?

  2. Q said...

    Absolutely right Nazhar - the games totally in the favour of batsmen.

    Obaid - what a brilliant suggestion. I think this should be seriously considered by the ICC!

  3. Anonymous said...


    Good suggestion. However, you can also suggest using of 'pink balls'.

    It will definitely find favor with the MCC.

  4. obaid said...

    Great, Im glad someone likes my suggestion! Maybe we should start a petition or take a vote to see if others like it :)

  5. Q said...

    Agreeing with Obaid and others in favor of transferring certain advantages back to the bowlers, I think a few of the following changes could help:

    1) Compulsory power play 1 for first 5 overs. Power play 2 of 5 overs on choice of bowling captain between overs 15 and 30. Power Play 3 of 5 overs on choice of batting captain between overs 30 and 40.

    2) First 10 overs of a match - new ball. Overs 11-25, old ball. Overs 26-40, same ball that was used on first 10 overs. Overs 41-50, another old ball.

  6. Soulberry said...

    Nazhar, limited overs is essentialy a batsman's game and we musn't apply all the standards of test cricket to it. It is designed for a specific allow spectators to see batsman score and thus bring them in. T20 goes a step further and does away with the element of chess which the middle overs provided to a 50-50.

    So with such clear purpose for limited overs version, it would be natural for the game to be weighed in favor of the batsman so that they could play "fearlessly" or with lesser worry. I don't think we can change that basic philosophy of limited overs cricket.

    In test matches, I'd like bowlers to have a little more say, maybe an extra bouncer could be accomodated.

    Part of these rule changes came with the misuse of them by the players...negative bowling with a leg-side line by spinners, 4 or 5 bouncers in an over by pacers...made some of the restrictions come into test cricket. Leg side line will be increasingly penalized by the umpires.

    The pink ball is an effort to overcome the 35 over change issue. Best would be a yellow tennis ball color. Even color-blind players would be better off with that.

  7. Q said...

    I guess you're right Soulberry - ODIs and 20-20 are for entertainment purposes and thus in favor of the batsmen but recent rules such as free hit and a 3rd power play were not required.

    15 overs of restrictions and no free hit provided ample entertainment i think.

    Initially I thought to myself that a ball of the colour of a tennis ball would be difficult to pick up of the grass, but then I realised that its used in wimbledon and the aces there are far faster than Shoaib Akhtar's deliveries...

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