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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

End to a bizarre India Australian series

Bangalore was the venue of the frenzied end to what was a bizarre series between India and Australia. The Cricinfo has interesting statistics on the series. What is more interesting is the fact that no one can pinpoint the reason for the run-glut in this series. Few mentioned the four-fielder rule while others spoke about the smaller grounds and flat pitches. It cannot be the pitches since most of the subcontinental pitches are very similar in nature for quite a while now. The rule-change is not appropriate as the same rule applies to the ODI series in Abu Dhabi where sub-200 scores are defended easily! What else is happening?

I am not ruling out the above reasons but my contention is that these are not new or not applicable only from this series alone. It is much more than just these. The batsmen have gained extra arms and legs that have given them the power to dominate the opposition bowlers to such an extent that there is no place for hiding. Imagine the situation of Vinay Kumar in Bangalore (Local state captain conceded more than 100 runs in his 9 overs). If the T20 format showed that run-chases can be achieved on flat pitches even if they are in the realm of 8-9 runs per over, the ODI format is now evolving by stretching the same confidence over the duration of 50 overs!

No longer are teams worried about chasing 350 - they feel that if they can keep wickets in the initial overs scoring at a fair clip, they have a good chance in the later overs. If the equation for the last twenty overs mandate that a team needs to score 180 runs (with 8-9 wickets in hand), the situation is very much akin to that of a regular T20 match. To reach this position, the team has to score the similar number of runs (170) in 30 overs at a much more easy run-rate of 5.7 on a flat pitch. Isn't it easy now? I know that you must be thinking that it is easier said than done. But, teams seem to think that they can do it today.

It is the turn of the bowlers to innovate - what will they do now?
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