Monday, 7 September 2009

two serves, anyone?

Not that it is really our format, but it begs addressing that Aus are now 2-0 up in the ODI (only dolts interested) comp in Blighty at the moment.

I missed the first game and was too tired to get into the 2nd due to a few days in the hills, but after reading a few reports and listening to the radio this morning it is interesting to see a team that plays with a lot more self belief... do we think this is due to Clarke at the helm? Or the quite different make up of the squad?

Ferguson has settled into his role there. The bowling team were consistent amongst themselves, with Hopes the only one going for more than a run a ball- admittedly only bowling 3 overs. Lee was frugal with 2 wickets and Jonno, Watson and Bracken all getting 2 also.

In the batting it was contributions all around apart from the skip, Hopes, and Hussey showing he is consistent with his form across all formats! Either Hussey is just the nicest bloke to ever strap on pads (possible from all accounts) or he knows of every crime and indiscretion every selector and member of CA has done and has made a list and is checking it twice!

Two more positive results in the yawn fests and Australia can then prattle on senselessly about how they have "redeemed themselves".

Talking of ODI's in the pejorative, it seems to me that the 'Little Master' has come to the same conclusions: ODI's in their current format are a fait accompli at the toss and so should be given a new structure to make them more competitive and hopefully more interesting.
Sachin has proposed a 2 innings game of 25 overs to ensure both teams bat under lights. I must say, i don't know why this hasn't been openly and broadly suggested before. I think it has the potential for a much more interest contest as it will bridge the gap between T20 and Test. Teams can go the tonk twice! Now i accept what it is about T20 that many out there dislike- the thoughtless crunching of the ball every ball; but as a "batsman" that only opens the shoulders my self, and as a bowler that like being taken on i think this is a serviceable way to preserve 50 over cricket.

I know i said around this time last year that ODI was dead and buried- and without some effective change it is- so as someone who was a captivated kid during the "Packer v ACB" days, i can't help being enthusiastic about this idea to rejuvenate the format.
It makes sense, but i'd like to hear why it won't work, anyone?

And because i haven't voiced an opinion elsewhere on this issue, let me say the in regard to Nielsen having a break now after the Ashes while the rest of the squad plays ODI cricket: i wish i received a holiday every time i failed to live up to my KPI's at work! In world sport, the cricket coach is the least called upon when it comes to on field activity and is therefore not much more than a skills coach/manager; if Nielsen needs a break after the Ashes and feels he can't do anything with the team to lift our standing in the next stage of the tour, maybe it should be a "permanent vacation".

stoph verismo
down the wicket


  1. The cynic in me cares little for the preservation of ODI cricket Stoph and a two innings 25 over game is just a 2 innings 20/20 in disguise. Having said that, if this stupid concept is to remain then something must be done. Sri Lanka plays only 6 tests in the next 18 months because of their cricket board’s infatuation with limited over rubbish. This is unacceptable and when people raise the demise of test cricket, it will happen because greed governs the cricket that nations play; such as Sri Lanka’s case. What the hell is the point of playing 7 ODIs after the Ashes? Talk about over-kill.

    I’m happy with Tendulkar’s suggestion but only if the amount of both formats (20/20 and 50 over) is limited. Currently we have IPL, World Cups in both, Champion’s trophy, limited over tours (!) and limited over games tacked on the back (or front) of test series. This is too much! The juggernaut is getting bigger and the ICC is doing nothing about it. The IPL is here to stay, fair enough to have World Cups, a tournament of the best 20/20 teams from around the world I’ll concede. If countries (or really their money hungry boards) want to include limited over cricket onto test series so be it. But this has to be all. It’s really too much already. Since when are world cups every few months? Bloody hell this is getting ridiculous.

    I’ve watched a bit of both games and it was some of the most boring cricket I have ever seen. It’s like the game has reverted to the old days where 230 was a good score with fields spread everywhere so batsman hit it down to long on for singles continually. Does anyone else think Swann is an arrogant twat? This Ashes win seems to have given him delusions of grandeur. He has a swagger now and when a fielder returns the ball in a way he’s not happy with he gives them a spray. Who does he think he is! I actually think he’s a racist, this may sound provocative but the way he’s treated Rashid is appalling. It’s like when Ntini first came into the South African side and some of the white blokes barely congratulated him when he got a wicket. This has changed dramatically now though. In the first game Aus got a two on Rashid’s arm (which isn’t very strong so why have him in the deep anyway) and Swann wouldn’t let up on it. He was swearing still as he was about to bowl the next ball.

    Re Nielsen, couldn’t agree more. But the captain is even more in charge in limited over cricket so the coach has even less of a role. I don’t see why a coach is involved in 20/20 or ODI at all to be honest. What can they do? The nature of the game changes rapidly. I don’t really know much about his stature as a coach so can’t really comment on whether he should be sacked. Since Bob Simpson revolutionised the role it seems to have been reduced to stats and the things in place that Simpson instigated are taken by assistants.

  2. no doubt mate that SL are very crafty when it comes to their schedule. ODI dollars, series wins and Murali's stats are testimony of that.
    Then the way around this is? Do you think something along the lines of all nations must tour and host all other nations once ever (x) amount of years to retain whatever status; i say this because clearly countries like SL wouldn't feel threatened particularly by having "test status" removed given they clearly value other formats more.

    5 ODI's is enough for a series.

    do you think a 2 innings ODI would work better with say 30 overs an innings to differentiate it more from t20?

    what about 30 overs and only 6 batsmen?

    i suppose what i'm getting at is, the nostalgic part of me reminisces about the halcyon days of ODI from late 70's through to the early nineties and remembers the buzz associated with it. If something can be done to get a one day result with the best cricket involved, make fans happy and give players a chance to make a living i want to see it happen.
    the only thing that will stop the t20 juggernaut is result repetition and run away wins. how many times have we seen tests to and fro up until the last team batting? by this i say, a 2 innings ODI could offer more excitement due to a bigger build up, but with the bonus of some rapid play.

  3. Maybe I’m too conservative but the two innings idea seems silly to me. Making it two innings of 20/20ish? One of the problems is that we’ve lost many of the ‘hitters’ like Adam Gilchrist and Imran Kahn and teams seem to adopt for line and length bowlers (might seem silly when Lee and Johnson are playing but look at England’s team) so the Waqar Younis type doesn’t feature as much. Perhaps the glitz and glam has faded. It’s so formulaic and the efforts to encourage strokeplay, eg power plays, don’t really work. In fact they seem more likely to get wickets than sixes.

    I feel your sentiments regarding nostalgia. I went to the first day/night ODI at Adelaide Oval and it was the best cricket spectacle I’ve ever seen. Pure electric stuff full of noise. In saying ‘I’m conservative’ I suppose I sit more with going the complete other way. The ‘free hit’ rule is a step in the right direction but I think rules should be more ridiculous than that. Let’s say the batting team can nominate 5 overs where the fielding team can’t have anyone on the leg side and enforce strict off-side wides to prevent negative bowling. I noticed in the first Eng vs Aus ODI that the commentators remarked about a tactic of bowling around the wicket to right handers and pushing the ball very wide outside off stump. This is negative cricket and the opposite of the what the ‘spirit’ of ODI is all about!

    Watching Ferguson and Clarke bat in the first ODI was painful. Steers down to third man, gentle pushes into the covers for one – how boring!

    Punish the batting team for not going for shots. If you haven’t hit a boundary after a certain amount of time you have X amount of balls to do so or the team is penalised 10 runs. I think it’s these sorts of rules that keep it interesting. Compulsory risk taking may be the way to go.

    Once you start reducing the overs you are essentially recreating the advent of 20/20. It commenced for people with short attention spans, and money.

    Maybe two innings is the only way to go but I fear that it will just drag out boring cricket even further. The last IPL already saw the nudges for singles creep in when it’s supposed to be about sixes.

    Re Sri Lanka, the only way around this sort of ‘match fixing’ is for the ICC to regulate. Each test team must tour X amount and play each side etc. I just don’t trust the ICC to stand up to the BCCI or any 20/20 loving (ie beneficiaries) cricket boards. We probably won’t see Murali, Sanga or Jaywardene playing tests here again.

  4. If we win the fourth one can we come home early?