The curious case of the random fill-in bowler
You know that point in Test cricket where everyone is enjoying themselves and then suddenly Mike Hussey, Paul Collingwood or Virender Sehwag comes on to bowl the 72nd over. I hate that bit.
I love it when random bowlers come on for a tactical reason. No one can hide their smile when watching Graham Gooch bowl, and angels giggle through giddy excitement every time Sachin bowls his off and legspin. It’s fun and different, and makes cricket at any level feel like it’s being played in a park.
But it feels like enforced fun gone wrong when in the last eight overs before the new ball anyone is thrown the ball and told they just have to get through their over’s as quickly as possible so the real cricket can resume.
Apparently I am the only one that thinks Michael Hussey hurrying between overs is a bad thing.
The ICC like it so much they have brought it into ODI cricket.
In a random attempt to make sure that the boring middle overs are less boring, the two moveable Powerplays are now being forced between the 15th and 35th overs.
I can see why some in charge would do this. ODI cricket is constantly being airbrushed and changed to make it a little more exciting and marketable. Australia put a pause between innings to make it more exciting domestically, giving the batting a team a chance to bat slowly for the break.
Administrators are looking for a way to make the game just that little bit more exciting. And the second and third Powerplays were being used generally in the least imaginable way by teams around the world.
It’s just that no one thought this new move to make the game more exciting would result in Ravi Bopara bowling the 12th over of an ODI, with a ball that is six-overs old.
You’ve got to admire the game of cricket for its ability to make any potential improvement into a bad thing so quickly.
Today Kevin Pietersen was used in this period.
Some people will see KP’s one over as something to be cherished, others will pine for Ravi Bopara.
You can’t please everyone.