Jul 5, 2005

New rules in One-dayers -What would be the strategy??

The ICC cricket committee has decided to introduce some more new rules into one-day cricket, which, many thought, were becoming very predictable. First, one substitute would be allowed, who, like in soccer, can replace a player of the playing XI any time during the match. When I think of its impacts, this is what I get:

The current scenario:
A few substitutes are allowed, who can do only fielding. Usually you get some athletic fielders coming in place of sluggish ones, especially in the second innings. Most teams choose 4 bowlers, a wicket keeper and 6 batsmen, two of whom can bowl reasonably well. So, a genuine alrounder gives many good choices to his captain. Teams such as South Africa and Pakistan go in sometimes with only 3 regular bowlers, with players like Kallis or Afridi or Razzaq being good enough to bowl 10 reasonably good overs. More the alrounders, better. Rarely do teams choose 5 specialist bowlers, as in case of what India did for the TVS cup final in 2003 (which we lost, failing to chase a reasonable score).

What would the rule do to the teams?
The teams would announce the playing 12 before the toss. The team batting first would go in with 7 batsmen and the bowler with least batting capability (such as McGrath in Australia or Ntini in South Africa or Sami in Pakistan or Harmison in England) would be the 12th man. The fielding side would go in with 5 specialist bowlers and one of the batsmen would sit out. He could be (a) least athletic and/or (b) most precious batsman, but having a minor injury and/or (c) worst support bowler.

How does it affect the quality?
The effect of an alrounder would be surely lowered. In addition, players such as Shane Watson and S Sriram, who are more of utility players with both bat and ball, would not be considered. They would be replaced by better batsmen and better bowlers. So, the quality of cricket for the entire 50 overs would be surely better. A fifth bowler or sixth bowler, who operates in the middle order is not usually serious or not taken seriously.. that would change..

So , I would prefer the super-sub to be a bowler, who will remove the 'weak link' in the team, viz. the fifth bowler.

How will the teams look like?
Let us see two examples, the world cup finalists.
Aus – Batsmen: Gilchrist, Hayden, Ponting, Martyn, Symonds, Clarke, and Hussey; Bowlers – Lee, McGrath, Gillespie, Kasprowicz, Hogg. 12th Men: Batting – McGrath; Fielding – Martyn.
Imagine an Aus bowling line-up with all the four fast bowlers and Hogg, backed up by Symonds and Clarke..

India – Batsmen: Sachin, Sehwag, Dhoni, Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj, Kaif; Bowlers – Zaheer, Bhajji, Balaji, Murali Karthik, Nehra /Pathan. 12th Men: Batting – Nehra or Bhajji. Fielding – Dravid or Sachin.

So, overall, the new 'substitute' rule is sure to make one-dayers more interesting.. Anything can happen anytime.. uncertainity is increased.. Quality would go up.. Some players would get some much needed rest. Bits-and-pieces players would be compelled to go either way - either become specialists or alrounders or perish..

About the other rule on the fielding restrictions, watch out this blog in the near future.


ada-paavi!!!! said...

yen policy, give rule time, wait and watch.

GP said...

Vatsan, yeah.. one can wait.. but sooner we get used to the evolved version of one-dayers, better.. Prem had suggested in his blog that, during the practicins period, we can have a few one-dayers between, say Ganguly XI and Sehwag XI with the new rules, so that we can get an idea of the finer details..

The faster we get accustomed, the better.. right? We have a triangular series coming up at the end of this month, against a good one-day team (Srilanka) and an unpredictable one (west indies).. Even if West Indies are without their key players, to come out with our heads high, we need to win the finals against srilanka.. Without Sachin and probably even Saurav, we need to make sure that we play to our stengths. It is important that Team India begins the season on a winning note, as is the case with our new coach.

Nitin said...

so when is the next tournament that India is going to play in. I hope Ganguly does better in teh coming tournaments. he has been playing so bad, its horrible to even watch him play.

GP said...

Nitin, the next tournament would start this month-end in Lanka.. Its a triangular also involving Srilanka and West Indies.. I too wish Ganguly gets into some form, if he is allowed to play.. If he doesnt play, in the absence of Sachin and Saurav, it is a good chance to take a look at some fresh blood.

tt_giant said...

My interest and respect to one-dayers have been dwindling. Call me old-fashioned, but I would rather prefer test match cricket.
That being said, these new rules sounds interesting - more options. Especially, when you have 2 or 3 spinners and you want to give them a chance.

GP said...

I too like tests more than one-dayers.. But, with very few tests expected by India this year, I am forced to worry about the remaining cricket.. Still, Sachin's absence makes me less interested in one-dayers too.. Ashes would be more interesting than the tournament later this month..

Rahul said...

ok GP, I am confused... are you sure the captains have to declare the playing 12 before the toss and not the playing 11 + 12th man? If it is the latter (as I think it probably is) then the captain doesn't really have it as simple as you make it sound.. he does not know whether he is going to field first or bat first.. so he doesn't know whether to declare Laxman as his 12th man or Kumble... If he declares Laxman as the 12th man and gets to bat first then he can't get him in at the expense of a bowler who would be needed later in the day to bowl...

GP said...

Yes, Rahul.. u are right.. That is a stinking rule, which i am sure, would change.. Before the play starts, I feel that all the 12 should be available for selection.

If they dont change, the rule wont be as exciting.. Huge factor of luck would come to play, rather than tactics.

Rahul said...

actually no... now that i think about it, it really doesn't make much of a difference.. you ALWAYS declare a good batsman as your sub and then substitute another batsman (who might already have batted!!) by him... this will always work no matter what the result of the toss...

GP said...

Rahul.. thanks.. it does seem to solve the problem.. but when you think more of it, it doesnt..

Suppose you bat first and, with ur 6th wicket fallen, replace an 'already-out' batsman by the super-sub.. then, one of the bowlers, who was not replaced and hence 'potentially has his right to bat' doesnt get to come to the middle even if his team lost all 10 wickets..!! Does this make sense?

GP said...

Rahul, your idea of playing an extra batsman by playing him substituting a already-batted batsman is not acceptable according to the rule. So, you need to remove a bowler and bring in a batsman if your team's batting is pathetic and you are badly in need of runs.