September 7, 2009

English cricket

One-dayers need a new ingredient

Brydon Coverdale

Stephen Brenkley writes in the Independent that one-day cricket needs something to spice it up, as the game has become predictable and formulaic.

It is the manner in which the players approach the game. Between roughly the 20th over and the 40th in most innings of one-day internationals the game is put in a kind of suspended animation in which the bowlers bowl and the batsmen bat, but only way, as if by unspoken agreement.

Defensive fields are set, runs are nurdled and squeezed rather than struck, it is risk-free on both sides. Anything beyond is a bonus. Things start to happen again in the 40th over. It was like that at Lord's again yesterday. Australia, having reach 75 for three off 20 overs, were 169 for six from 40 and then added 80 in the final 10. Perfectly innocent Sunday afternoon slumbers were disturbed all round the ground.

Michael Henderson in the Daily Telegraph argues that the England v Australia one-day series serves no purpose.

Be honest now: what was the last one-day international you can recall? Outside the World Cup (and the last one, in the Caribbean two years ago, was possibly the biggest balls-up in the history of international sport), how many one-day matches linger in the mind for longer than a day?

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Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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