Did England vs Australia make a mockery of the ODI format?
World cricket is evolving continuously, it always has. Be it in terms of rules or the game formats, it has touched new heights consistently. The change has always been welcomed. Before anyone tries to label this piece as a rant, it is of utmost importance to know the status of the game in the current scenario, where it stands, where it is heading.
We just witnessed England score a mind-boggling 481/6 in the 3rd ODI at Nottingham against Australia, and eventually going on to win by a mammoth 242 runs, a margin which was once considered to be a winning total by a side batting first till the last decade. No doubt the bowling was way below the standards, but there is a lot to ponder over for the bowling think tank.
T20 cricket being the trendsetter
With the induction of T20 format, the game has changed and how. What was supposed to be a boon has also now become a devil in its own closet, with the T20 approach and attitude making its way into the ODI format, and even Test cricket at times.
The size of the grounds have become smaller, batting techniques have become aggressive, the batting powerplay has taken away the sting from the bowlers, the size of the bats is such that even the thinnest of the edges flies over the boundary line. Add to that, the outrageous and innovative shots produced from time to time. Was cricket the real winner today? I doubt it.
In an age and time where Test cricket has to be saved so that the future generation understands the essence of the game, the other formats are consistently setting wrong examples. The purpose of entertainment has taken over all other emotions.
It must be fairly noted that there is no taking away from the brilliance of England batsmen in this case, nor from the sides that have piled up runs like these in the past, but a fair evaluation is necessary. Was cricket the real winner this time around I ask again?
The bowlers' misery
The bowlers bear the brunt more often than not, in the limited-overs format. Gone are the days when a team defended a modest 190 or a 200 and the bowlers called the shots. The Man of the Match performances are often garnered by the batsmen.
Barring variations like the slower one and knuckleball, the bowlers have hardly anything to play with. The efforts are on to make cricket a global sport which is fair, but that should not come at a cost of one department of the game staying in shambles or inviting pity.
The bowling department needs assistance, somewhere, somehow. Being able to concede such huge scores is not an offence, it’s a crime. If you are in the Australian team management, even a bad day in the office can’t be as worse as this.
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly also took to Twitter to express his concern on where cricket stands today, tweets which he later deleted. As true fans, we are not disappointed by the high scores, but it surely puts a question in our minds – is the game turning out to be lopsided?
All in all, matches like England versus Australia are a treat to watch, the players are the real heroes, but will it inspire a child somewhere in the remotest part of the world to run in 15-20 yards day in and day out to bowl, and represent his nation in the years to come? Probably, not!
Do you think modern cricket is becoming too harsh on the bowlers? Tell us in the comments below!