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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Cricket - ODI Pitches

I'm one of those who believes that pitches are crucial to cricket.
A lot of people seem to think they know what people want from cricket, and it often differs a fair bit.
I remember Bob Willis ranting that people didn't want close and exciting games, they wanted boundries that that was all. I totally disagree, i think a close and exciting game is far more interesting than just boundry hitting.

Javid Miandad has weighed in on the ODI pitches thing. He says ""People want to see fast-paced cricket and lots of runs and excitement and that is lacking generally in this tournament because of the inconsistent nature of pitches." "
which i'd disagree with, because it seems like the games have actually been exciting. I've even enjoyed them, and i'm not really into limited overs cricket so much.
And he may have his facts wrong: "Miandad said the toss at the venue gave an unfair advantage and made the matches one-sided. However, out of the eight completed matches so far, the sides winning the toss have won only four times."
Balance between bat and ball is what it's all about for me, and an even game between two well-matched sides


Rana said...

I also think JM is wrong - what we want to see are close games and good cricket, not endless 6 hitting. (though I also dislike 50 over games)

But the point about the toss is valid - it can make a big difference, and that for me can spoil a game - particularly in a day-nighter, flat pitch, win the toss, score 300+, batting under lights almost impossible to chase.

Yet there is a very easy solution. As already suggested for test matches, each captain should "bid" for a score instead of tossing, for example allow the other team a start of 20 in extras. The team that wins the the bid chooses to bat or bowl.

It reduces lottery, increases strategy, should make for closer games, it's win-win-win. So why don't the ICC implement it?

Bearded Socialist said...

that's pretty radical, though i've heard it before.
In Go, having first move in penalised in a tie as the player who moves first is said to gain a significant advantage from having first use. This is perhaps true of cricket.
I am not convinced that the toss always makes a big difference, by and large the better team will win, though that's not always the case.

In neither this Champions trophy, nor the England Vs Australia ODI series, was the toss overly significant.
That inconsistancy poses further problems when trying to get it right