Australia news August 14, 2010

Players not convinced by split innings


Cricket Australia could be sorely disappointed if it hopes its new split-innings format will eliminate the slow-moving middle overs from one-dayers. The concept was trialled in England's county second XI competition this year and it often resulted in a cautious brand of "handbrake" batting at the end of the first innings and the start of the second.

Cricket Australia's format will give teams only 10 wickets across the entire match, so the first innings could be a grind as the top order builds a platform without losing too many batsmen. The Victoria legspinner Bryce McGain has been playing with Essex this month and said the feedback he received from the men involved in the county trial was that momentum was difficult to generate.

"The tactics that they used here - and I spoke to quite a number of guys who experienced it - was that they really wound back those last four or five overs because they didn't want to lose a wicket," McGain told Cricinfo. "Then when you went back in, the batsmen had to get back in so it took four or five overs to get things started again.

"The experience that the English players had was that when you're building momentum it actually put a handbrake on. It will be interesting to see how it pans out. Maybe the Australians will do it tactically a little bit different, but it will certainly make it interesting."

The Australian board is adamant that moving to a split-innings 45-over format was prompted by feedback from the public, but the players remain unconvinced about the changes. The Australian Cricketers' Association said 78% of its surveyed members were against the idea, and there have been mixed responses in the Twitter-sphere.

Graham Manou, who took part in a split-innings practice match this week, wrote on his Twitter page: "Well I'm certainly going to need some convincing that the split 40 over games are good cricket and more importantly spectators."

One of Australia's most successful one-day bowlers in recent history, Nathan Bracken, tweeted: "Not a massive fan of it. Could make some games very boring if a team gets a bad start."

But it was not all negative reaction from the players. Aaron Finch, the young Victorian batsman who established himself as a strong limited-overs cricketer last summer, wrote that the format was "Something new and exciting for both fans and players! Can't wait".

One of the major sticking points for Australia's ODI players is the decision to implement the new format a few months before a 50-over World Cup. Australia's World Cup squad will be announced in December, before the seven-match one-day series against England, meaning that fringe players have virtually no chance to press their claims in the regular format.

During the planning stages, Michael Hussey was a vocal critic of the move and last month he questioned Cricket Australia's timing. After the Lord's Test against Pakistan, the Australian squad was briefed by James Sutherland on some of the possible changes, which were at that stage unconfirmed.

"We've got to be a little bit careful," Hussey said in July after the briefing. "We've got to make sure we try and get as many players prepared for the 50-over World Cup as we can. I'm not sure the timing is great. There's a lot of young guys out there that would see themselves as a chance of making the World Cup squad and they probably need as much exposure to 50-over cricket as possible."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • _Australian_ on August 16, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Cricket Australia's claim that they went for this concept after feedback from the public is misunderstood. Feedback from the public in majority was for a 2 innings split to match test cricket. i.e. 20 wickets per team not 10. This concept has promise if it was 2 innings of 25 overs per side with 10 wickets in each innings.

  • Danwalsh on August 15, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    hello this is my first commet

    STUPID IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • lucyferr on August 15, 2010, 2:12 GMT

    "The tactics that they used here... was that they really wound back those last four or five overs because they didn't want to lose a wicket" - that's a good point. Why split innings at all, when you can have two innings per team, like in Test cricket? With each innings 20 or 22 or 25 innings or something. Look, if you buy a sock that's too big, you don't snip it in the middle - you try to exchange it for two smaller socks. It's clear that ODIs need a change - because they are boring and predictable - but Cricket Australia should be trying out different alternative formats in competition, not just one alternative.

  • raoakram on August 14, 2010, 21:31 GMT

    hello.i have an idea to make one days more interesting.......Retain the first 15 overs remain as powerplay as it before.and make another 3 power plays divided each into 3 overs.and its necessary to take one into 20 to 30 and one from 30 to 40 and 1 from 40 to 50 it may make one days more interesting.or have the first 10 overs as power plays and make then 4 power plays.and make them necessary for each 10 overs.each pwer play is for 3 overs.and give each team two power play...hope u like it...thankss

  • gramedgar on August 14, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    whilst you cant be overly critical of anyone exploring ways to freshen up one dayers this seems like a messy convoluted way of playing the game and the timing is pretty grim too. it sounds like the kind of initiative the ecb would throw together, not the aussies.

  • ExpatZaffer on August 14, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    This has cricket administration FAIL written all over it.

  • GavtheKiwi on August 14, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    those australian players that want to push for the ODI team and the world cup this season should come and play in NZ! We'll have them gladly - and there are no such ridiculous manglings of the rules happening over here.

  • alichikhly on August 14, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    A.C.BOARD should acknowledge that the one-day format has had its recent challenges and as a collective they want to help those running the game find the best solution. However, the players don't believe the split-innings format is the best solution and as a result australia should follow what their players has to say who has being playing with lots of experience in present.Rest depends on on their team and captain.cant say more than that!!!!good bye australia n aaaalllll the veryyyyyy best.

  • XooX on August 14, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    I'm not a fan of tweaking the formats further. But even then, I think it is too early for anyone to comment on whether or not a format will be boring or not. Remember that the ODI format itself used to be a very defensive game where batsman kept saving on wickets to use during the slog overs - that was until Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana showed us how the first 15 overs could be taken advantage of..

    Unless you experiment the format in several tournaments with several different groups of players, you cannot actually form a conclusion..

  • dummy4fb on August 14, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    Well, well here we go again. How to get batters to throw there wickets away will not be easy. So may i politely suggest that "IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE ODI CRICKET BE DECLARED DEAD"

    The advent of T20 has actually just taken over 50/45/40 over cricket and why cannot the powers that be just accept.

    Just how many types of cricket can you will the public accept is the question the ICC should be thinking.

    Perhaps the spectators should have a say so:





    Maybe to have a full days play T20 should just become a double innings game like 1st class/test cricket

    I personally would like to see TEST CRICKET with a fully spectator understood LEAGUE TABLE which culminates in a WINNER/CHAMPION on at least a two year basis.

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