October 23, 2013

Eight ways to empower bowlers in ODIs

If we don't want limited-overs cricket to turn into one-sided massacres, we need to change some rules and encourage attacking fields
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Ishant may be wayward, but the rules are heavily stacked against him © BCCI

The run feasts of the India-Australia one-day series have provoked much thought among followers of the game. From the serious analyst to the crazy fan, everyone has an opinion. Most want heads to roll. Indian heads, of course.

At least three newspapers headlined the dilemma of Ishant Sharma on the same day - as part of curtain raisers, not match reports. And sure enough, the fast bowler fulfilled their dire predictions of yet another wayward spell in the match that followed. Nobody, however, paid any attention to the mauling some of the Australian bowlers received.

Short boundaries, better and heavier bats, the two-new-balls rule, and crumbling bowler morale have all contributed to the annihilation of attacks on both sides, reducing the bowlers to cartoon characters subjected to ridicule and worse - by media and spectators alike, who bay for their blood.

On any given day, 300 is par for the course, no longer an imposing total. Mishits go for six. A fast bowler can be traumatised in novel ways: by the batsman walking towards him contemptuously even as he gets ready to deliver; by being swept; by being undercut over deep third man. Slow bowlers can be reverse-swept, switch hit, dilscooped, and what not. The free hit for six can make you wish the ground would open up and swallow you; your team is already in desperate straits, and you have committed the crime of bowling a no-ball.

How do we restore the balance so things are not so lopsided against the bowler? Allow one wide per over, one no-ball per over, or best of all, one beamer per over? Legalise chucking (it already is half-way there, isn't it?), even underarm bowling? Permit dismissals through one-bounce catches?

Actually, the problem is no laughing matter. The humiliation of the bowler is so complete today that the SPCA should consider stepping in; better still, let's form an SPCB to offer succour to the poor benighted souls.

But something dramatic has to be done to prevent ODI cricket from degenerating into a massacre of innocents. What are the options open to the lawmakers, provided they are at all interested in reversing the trajectory of the game back from a mockery of its original values?

1. Let's take the two-new-balls rule. Its opponents complain that it hampers spin and reverse swing. So why don't we allow the fielding captain to use an old ball from one end? This way, the batsman would be really challenged, having to face a new ball from one end and an old one from the other. A choice of old balls of different ages and varying gloss, including those with one rough half and one shiny one, to favour reversing, could be provided to the bowlers to pick from at the start of the innings. Or scrap the two-new-balls rule altogether and give the fielding captain the choice of operating with new or used balls.

2. Bring back the substitution idea briefly tried out some years ago, and make it possible for the fielding side to bring in a fresh bowler at a strategic moment.

3. Reward wicket-taking bowlers by offering the option of keeping them on beyond their ten overs, adding one over to his quota for each wicket taken by a bowler. This way, captains won't be forced to take off a strike bowler and lose their hard-earned initiative.

4. Encourage attacking fields. This can be effected by removing all other field restrictions when the fielding captain has three close-in fielders, say, three slips, two slips and a gully, or two slips and forward short leg.This way, a new-ball bowler can have three fielders in close catching positions, bolstered by the protection of fielders on the boundary line. An orthodox Test match field, in short.

5. Exempt the bowler from being called for wides for height if the batsman has started walking towards him.

6. Exclude balls pitched on the stumps from the wide rule, provided they pass leg stump inside a line drawn very close to it.

7. Liberate the fielder on the fence by allowing him to touch the rope with any part of his body while preventing a boundary. All he has to ensure is that the ball is within the boundary at all times.

8. Declare the batsman out if a catch is held beyond the boundary, provided, of course, the fielder is inside the boundary when the ball is bowled. The distance between the boundary rope and the advertisement banner must not exceed a specified limit.

I know some of these suggestions could be seen as outrageous, even hare-brained, but unless we do some serious lateral thinking on empowering the bowler, one-day cricket will soon lose the label of a contest.

V Ramnarayan is an author, translator and teacher. He bowled offspin for Hyderabad and South Zone in the 1970s

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 27, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Just play with one Duke ball - or an alternative with an even more pronounced seam. And set a minimum boundary size.

    But I do like suggestion 3

  • Nampally on October 27, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    @Fleming Ambrose: The real issue here is the spinners have little or no chance to bowl with 2 New Balls. The ball shine remains for a long period making it impossible to introduce the spinners early. Even if they come on, 4 out fielders as opposed to 5, makes it difficult for spinners. So the first change should be bring in ONE red Kookabara ball - lasts 50 overs. As for other rules you have basically gone back to Test format rules + insisting that leg byes are not allowed (?). Why not just stay with the test format rules (Incl. 85 M boundary) with some modifications like: 5 bowlers - each 10 overs, 2 Power plays requiring the 30 M limitations for field placing. For the rest of the overs, no field placing restrictions. That makes it an even battle + introduces some new limitations to help the batsmen + make it distinct from Test rules. This should satisfy both the bowlers & batsmen- Win/Win situation.

  • on October 26, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    I feel that bowlers must be protected. My suggestions would be 1. Abolish the legside wide rule unles it passes the white marker line. Is it the bowlers fault that all batting geniuses cant play balls that are a bit wide on legside. 2. Abolish the freehit for a frontfoot no ball. Thats just ridiculous. 3. Remove leg byes. Sorry sir the runs have to come off your bat. 4. Abolish the one bouncer rule. Sure modern helmetd can take a beating. 5. Increase the size of the boundaries I 6. Decrease the edges of the bats. 7. Bring back supersub.

    These may sound ridiculous but hey the rules favour the batsman and why not give something for the bowlers

  • ball_boy on October 26, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    and pitch empowerment,.No excuses that India cannot produce anything but flat wickets.We havemany stadiums.Allow the lesser ones for usage in the Ranji AND THE MAJOR ONES FOR ONLY TEST MATCHES AND MAIN ODISS.BCCi has so much money a pitch dr can definitely be employed.Except they think the public to be stupid.Someday this tactic will backfire

  • vivkr on October 26, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    yup! get rid of fielding restrictions, and maybe the 10-over restriction on bowlers. Of course, I might even suggest getting rid of helmets for batsmen ;) but I don't want a massacre. You know that the tailenders will actually be getting bounced that way.

    I am tempted to agree with @Gloucsfan for scrapping ODIs but the problem is not with ODIs. I recall falling asleep watching the WI bowl 6 bouncer an over in the 80s Tests while there are gems of ODIs (think of Aus vs SA twice in the 1999 world cup among others).

    Other useless suggestions: Do away with covered pitches and watch the ball swerve wickedly. Or, just clone Waqar and Wasim and send them in to bowl...

  • on October 26, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    No need for all of this. Just remove field-restrictions...

  • on October 25, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    Introduce a bowling powerplay called lose a wicket, lose an over(LAWLAO). As it suggests, it provides added incentive for the fielding side to attack and take wickets. A block of ten overs of this powerplay at the end of an innings could deprive the batting side of, say, the last three or five overs of an innings, rewarding sides playing strike bowlers.

  • on October 25, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    It is simple. Go back to the way One day cricket was played in early 1990s, say 1992 World cup. Plus put a limit to bat's weight and dimensions. There is already a limit on length and width of bat, why not put a limit on thickness of the blade as well? Just do that and the bowling will be fun again.

  • InnocentGuy on October 25, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    I don't think we need to do anything besides making sure the pitches aren't pancakes for ODIs to become more balanced again.

  • TheCricGuy on October 25, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Well I think its time we looked at changing something related to batsmen's privileges. How about restricting couple of things 1 - Just like a bowler a batsman can bat a max of 60 balls 2 - Batsman cannot be standing out of the crease in advance of the delivery stride ( no parking zone :) ) tough one to to monitor but worth a try 3 - Finally abolish the free hit, come on already the guy has to bowl another delivery for cryin out loud .

    this should even things out especially the 60 ball per batsman

    Thanks

  • on October 27, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Just play with one Duke ball - or an alternative with an even more pronounced seam. And set a minimum boundary size.

    But I do like suggestion 3

  • Nampally on October 27, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    @Fleming Ambrose: The real issue here is the spinners have little or no chance to bowl with 2 New Balls. The ball shine remains for a long period making it impossible to introduce the spinners early. Even if they come on, 4 out fielders as opposed to 5, makes it difficult for spinners. So the first change should be bring in ONE red Kookabara ball - lasts 50 overs. As for other rules you have basically gone back to Test format rules + insisting that leg byes are not allowed (?). Why not just stay with the test format rules (Incl. 85 M boundary) with some modifications like: 5 bowlers - each 10 overs, 2 Power plays requiring the 30 M limitations for field placing. For the rest of the overs, no field placing restrictions. That makes it an even battle + introduces some new limitations to help the batsmen + make it distinct from Test rules. This should satisfy both the bowlers & batsmen- Win/Win situation.

  • on October 26, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    I feel that bowlers must be protected. My suggestions would be 1. Abolish the legside wide rule unles it passes the white marker line. Is it the bowlers fault that all batting geniuses cant play balls that are a bit wide on legside. 2. Abolish the freehit for a frontfoot no ball. Thats just ridiculous. 3. Remove leg byes. Sorry sir the runs have to come off your bat. 4. Abolish the one bouncer rule. Sure modern helmetd can take a beating. 5. Increase the size of the boundaries I 6. Decrease the edges of the bats. 7. Bring back supersub.

    These may sound ridiculous but hey the rules favour the batsman and why not give something for the bowlers

  • ball_boy on October 26, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    and pitch empowerment,.No excuses that India cannot produce anything but flat wickets.We havemany stadiums.Allow the lesser ones for usage in the Ranji AND THE MAJOR ONES FOR ONLY TEST MATCHES AND MAIN ODISS.BCCi has so much money a pitch dr can definitely be employed.Except they think the public to be stupid.Someday this tactic will backfire

  • vivkr on October 26, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    yup! get rid of fielding restrictions, and maybe the 10-over restriction on bowlers. Of course, I might even suggest getting rid of helmets for batsmen ;) but I don't want a massacre. You know that the tailenders will actually be getting bounced that way.

    I am tempted to agree with @Gloucsfan for scrapping ODIs but the problem is not with ODIs. I recall falling asleep watching the WI bowl 6 bouncer an over in the 80s Tests while there are gems of ODIs (think of Aus vs SA twice in the 1999 world cup among others).

    Other useless suggestions: Do away with covered pitches and watch the ball swerve wickedly. Or, just clone Waqar and Wasim and send them in to bowl...

  • on October 26, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    No need for all of this. Just remove field-restrictions...

  • on October 25, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    Introduce a bowling powerplay called lose a wicket, lose an over(LAWLAO). As it suggests, it provides added incentive for the fielding side to attack and take wickets. A block of ten overs of this powerplay at the end of an innings could deprive the batting side of, say, the last three or five overs of an innings, rewarding sides playing strike bowlers.

  • on October 25, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    It is simple. Go back to the way One day cricket was played in early 1990s, say 1992 World cup. Plus put a limit to bat's weight and dimensions. There is already a limit on length and width of bat, why not put a limit on thickness of the blade as well? Just do that and the bowling will be fun again.

  • InnocentGuy on October 25, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    I don't think we need to do anything besides making sure the pitches aren't pancakes for ODIs to become more balanced again.

  • TheCricGuy on October 25, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Well I think its time we looked at changing something related to batsmen's privileges. How about restricting couple of things 1 - Just like a bowler a batsman can bat a max of 60 balls 2 - Batsman cannot be standing out of the crease in advance of the delivery stride ( no parking zone :) ) tough one to to monitor but worth a try 3 - Finally abolish the free hit, come on already the guy has to bowl another delivery for cryin out loud .

    this should even things out especially the 60 ball per batsman

    Thanks

  • on October 25, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    all suggestions are rubbish. use the rules by which ODIs in 80s were played.

  • PFEL on October 25, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    A lot of people showing how little they know about cricket here . . . the outside leg stump LBW rule is necessary. It's very hard to play balls that pitch outside your legs, and if you got rid of that rule it would become impossible to play leg spin. Warnie would have had 5000 test wickets!

  • sanzen on October 25, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Sir! You don't have to do any of these. Just avoid making a flat pitch.

  • on October 25, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    My dear Mr Ramnarayan, It is nice to see you at cricinfo. All your 8 suggestion may motivate any bowler. I shall share my views soon. I would appreciate more if you think on D/L rulings in the event of reduced number of overs.

  • Gloucsfan on October 25, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    Just get rid of odi's and play more tests. Simple!

  • on October 25, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    We can also try this - in the 5 overs of PowerPlay, dont keep field restrictions, but reward batsmen if they hit BIG Sixes. If the Six Distance is upot 106 m, reward them six runs. If it is more than that, reward them runs equal to the Six distance minus 100. For example, if the batsman hits a 109 m six during this PowerPlay, reward him with 9 runs. This will make the batting team look for not just Sixes but BIG Sixes and they might mistime shots while trying to hit such Big Sixes and therein lies the chance for the fielding team.

    And I also agree with rewarding the bowler with more overs for every Wicket he takes - its a very good idea.

  • Vilander on October 25, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    lol. the one supreme rule of cricket is this.

    the batsman gets only one good delivery that gets him, then he is done. He can not walk back and take guard unlike the bowler. The bowler should use this opportunity, two new balls is rubbish though.

  • Arrow011 on October 25, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    The view is too lopsided the other way, all we all want to see is 50 overs of Tests match rule ODI & 20-20 just the wide rule should remain as it is. No need of Free hits, field restrictions & 2 new balls. I do appreciate the author's views on the feilding captain deciding to bowl with old or new ball, that is a good idea.

  • orangtan on October 25, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Agree with Manim2k2---- not just for ODIs but for all forms of the game, ball pitching outside the leg-stump should not be excluded from the purview of the lbw rule. After all if you can be dismissed bowled, caught etc., by balls pitching anywhere, why should the lbw rule exclude balls pitching outside leg stump.

  • Manim2k2 on October 25, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    batsman can be given LBW even if the ball pitched outside leg stump and go on to hit the stumps

  • yoogi on October 25, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    My additions. Just like 20 overs of power play, there has to be 20 overs of protection play (where the bowler gets the fielding he wants without any restrictions), but never more than 5 continous overs, so there will be not much boring parts of the game. Yet bowling side controls the game a bit. !.

    Also allow a bowler to bowl up to three consecutive overs when he is on song. (good for spin bowlers to choke the batsman and even a good pacer make it count when the ball is new) . Once a batsman moves a bit before a delivery or stays out of crease he looses the right to claim bouncer counts and legside wides. Once he switch hit in an innings then he can no longer except strickter legside wides anymore in that innings.

    Allow one ball to age up to 35 or 40 overs and another ball to just 10 and let bowling captain decide when to use another new ball.

  • bobagorof on October 25, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    1. The 2 new ball rule was brought in to combat the discoloration of the ball that occurs when a white ball is used for more than 35 overs on certain pitches. Using an older ball would revert back to this problem. 3. Wicket-taking bowlers being rewarded is fine, but is there any acknowledgement for a bowler who bowls tightly and causes wickets at the other end? What we would see is a slow and boring first half of the innings. 6. This is supposed to be the case as it is. Why not enforce the rules? Umpires seem to call a wide if the ball shaves the leg stump but the bails don't fall off.

    Generally I am against adding extra rules that complicate things. Removing the 'power plays' would be an example of getting rid of a rule specifically designed to penalise bowlers, which would actually make the game simpler as there is less to keep track of. The rule has failed in its objective of encouraging captains to innovate or use extra tactics, and should be dispensed with.

  • TheDreadPirateRoberts on October 25, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    Interesting points. I like number 3. Giving bowlers an extra over for each wicket could lead to interesting captaincy decisions, e.g. your best bowler has one over left, do you save him for over 50 or give him over 48 and hope he takes a wicket?

    I've never liked fielding restrictions either (the obvious one aside).

  • Bombayorker28 on October 24, 2013, 23:18 GMT

    1. Improve pitches to provide more pace/swing/spin. 2. Make grounds big, don't bring the ropes in which is seen in most grounds. 3. Remove the new rule - Only 4 outside the circle.

  • cubersamy on October 24, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    90-100 m boundaries, no fielding restrictions, 2-3 limit on bouncers!

  • Kshitiz06 on October 24, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    Unfortunately, Rules of games will not be governed by what purists want. It will be governed by "what generates more money". So this idea of "remove any field restrictions" is not gonna work. Anyone remember why the concept of powerplays was introduced? Because the passage between 15-35 over was considered dull and boring where no side would take initiative.

    In the end its all about "what public finds exciting", and sadly enough, most of them wants to see 6s and 4s raining. One team getting out for 170 doesn't count as "entertaining" for majority of public.

    Some good points in this article though. I like the idea of rewarding a good bowler. But any rule that pushes down the scoring directly (like removing field restrictions), will unfortunately, not work.

  • Prasanna_310 on October 24, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    Even when we guys play Gully Cricket, we change rules to make sure the balance between bat and ball is never compromised. Ones popular in our areas are one-bounce-one-hand rule, modified LBW rule (where if ball hits leg any two times in one inning, batsman is out. Who needs umpires! ), no runs to off/leg side rules and a handful of others! The thing is, we do not need countless meetings and nonsense love for the present rules to change the rules. All players are consulted, a new rule is formed!

  • Prasanna_310 on October 24, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    Two balls rule should be like this- fielding captain must have rights to decide on time to use another new ball, making sure each balls do not age more than 25 overs. Start game with a new ball, same ball from both ends. And if fielding captain wants to attack at, say, 18th over,switch from older to new!

  • on October 24, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    I think its the Indians only who have problem with ODI rules.. ofcourse, pitches are not to blame.. I agree that bowlers from both sides are taking a beating, but why not blame pitches in India? Sehwag and Tendulkar both scored 200 in India.. So did Saeed Anwar.. what part of the world have we seen most 400+ scores in ODIs? Yes, India.. and before these new ODI rules.. so stop trying to paper over cracks with sheet of ODI rule and start looking at problem honestly.. And face it, you dont have quality bowlers.. Just like Pak can not find quality batsmen, you cant find quality bowlers..

  • Nampally on October 24, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Mr. Ramnarayan: I can understand your frustration re: the rules being totally inclined in favour of the Batsmen in the current format of the ODI's. You reflect the views of many which include guys like Dhoni, Raina, Chappel, to name a few. As a teenager, I played lot of A League Cricket in Hyderabad & abroad, later - under Test match rules including the use of ONE red Kookabara ball. In Yorkshire league 45 x 8 ball overs were used with the Test rules. Why not have a format with identical Test rules for boundary distance + everything else, with 5 bowlers -10 overs each, the only limitation. The side scoring most runs in 50 overs wins the match. You can use D/L rules or a modified format, for weather effected conditions. So the ODI will just be an accelerated format of Tests limited to one innings & 50 overs. I don't understand why ICC Doctored the rules of Test Cricket to create such a complex & unpopular ODI format. You need a Ph.D. even to understand the rules! Just keep it SIMPLE.

  • on October 24, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    SuperSub was a brilliant option that no captain had the gumption to use properly. Imagine a typically I bat first condition, India's supersub is - Sachin Tendulkar & Australia's is Ricky Ponting OR West Indies is Brian Lara. What will the captain winning the toss do ? Imagine a green-top where the opponent's supersub is Dale Steyn / Mitchell Johnson. What would the captain winning the toss do ?

  • on October 24, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    Remove limits on how many overs bowlers can bowl, remove fielding restrictions. Introduce Aussie Rules football worldwide, so that all cricket fields are nice and big.

  • Samuel_Gunners on October 24, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    Add My Rule : You Don't restrict Batsman to bat only 10 overs. Why restrict bowlers? Let them keep bowling. So that Bowlers like Ishant can hide in the shadow of good bowlers.

  • on October 24, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    No limit for the bowler either. if a batsman can bat for 50 overs so does the bowler. Super sub might be worthy and one old ball and one new ball can be considered. No power plays.

  • on October 24, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Rule 2 and Rule 3 are the only decent ones. The rest of the rules hamper the very idea of the game. In short, not an article expected by you. Rules such as 2 bouncers are implemented. 2 new ball rules should be scraped and it should become like before again. Give the choice of the first 10 overs of Powerplay to the fielding side whenever they want to use it. Super sub idea NEEDS to come back. We also need to find unique ways to penalise the batsmen.

  • on October 24, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Just remove all field restrictions, from any point in the game! That is so simple, and is more than enough to bring better balance. One, two,or three balls... Old or new ball... scuffed or smooth ... nothing will matter... Captains and his players will all apply their minds on all aspects of the game, situation by situation! And the game would be more intriguing and enjoyable to watch.

  • on October 24, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Rule changes have to be simple. So picking from a set of old balls cannot be one of them since the degree of oldness of the ball is subjective. But I do agree that the balance has to be shifted towards bowlers. 2 new balls rule has to go. The rule was brought in since white balls tend to lose its color over the course of the match. R&D should be done to prevent this. A ball doesn't lose its color doesn't seem impossible. Instead of allocating more overs to wicket takers, i would suggest change the limit to 60 balls per bowler instead of 10 overs. So effectively, a bowler can be changed mid over and if he is good he can bowl 60 balls in a stretch if he likes. This gives captains more options.

  • Prabhakar.Sivanand on October 24, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Stick with 2 ball rule but one will new ball and another is 25 over old ball. It balances out things equally.

  • on October 24, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    I can understand the bowler-friendly pitch idea, but realistically, which home team will actually want to make a bowler friendly pitch? Maybe South Africa & England. Everyone else either haven't got good enough strike bowlers or just have terrible batting line-up who they need to protect...to save bowlers, you need good bowlers, but to get good bowlers, you need to give them a chance to survive...it's all an unfortunate cycle...only good domestic circuits full of bowler-friendly pitches can help this situation...

  • CricketMaan on October 24, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    sScrap ODI that iwill solve all these meaning less 7 match series. Just play Tests and T20s

  • on October 24, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    Most of the points mentioned are uni-perspective i.e. if seen from other perspective it will fail. Even shifting back to old rules will not help as strike-rates have got better over the years. One good way would be is to create more bowler-friendly pitches.

  • mjrvasu on October 24, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Why all this complication, let us keep it simple. The bowler has 10 overs max. So let the batsman also have 10 overs max, if he remains not out during the period.

  • Naresh28 on October 24, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Before India think of supporting any ideas, they need to work on their pace department. We are miles behind others. Our slow paced bowlers become fodder for batsman to attack. Yes I do agree that the two new ball rule is affecting bowlers and it has helped other teams because it makes them choose one less spinner in the team. India has traditionally won games on spin bowling. The sixes have also increased and bigger scores are being chased down. ODI cricket will eventually die with Test cricket as well for various reasons - ODI because the bowlers and Test because it is too long for spectator entertainment. One bowler India could have dealt with better is Sreesanth and I see Umesh Yadav worth a slot.

  • Ritesh1985 on October 24, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    His Ideas are preposterous and it will turn ODI's into Tests!! Its time cricket purist accept the fact that commercialization is necessary!! Crowds come to watch 4's and 6's being hit . No body likes watching a boring match where scoring is difficult and 230-240 is considered a winning total !! Also its not just because of the change in rules, bowlers have started bowling badly !!! Just check the economy rate of Ajamal/Jadeja/Steyn ?? they all under 4.5 or near about which is very acceptable !! Bowlers like Ishant, Vinay Kumar and Faulkner have been either bowling short or rank long hops ! They will be carted for runs no matter what !! Coming to the point of extending the boundary lines?? Just check out the average distance of the 6's hit in the tournament ? Its about 90m. This is way beyond the boundary ropes!! No matter what the rules are , Mr. V Kumar and Mr. Sharma will be tonked all around until off course they learn to bowl well!!

  • Anwar-Lara on October 24, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Excellent!! i would agree with 2 new ball rules, rewarding wicket taking bowlers and the leg stump wide rule.

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    The 2 new balls rule should definitely be the first to be scrapped; its just made the need for spinners to be selected redundant! We can also remove the boundary ropes altogether and let the advertising boards be the boundary lines (I remember this happening for a while in England and/or Australia). This can be done at least for the smaller grounds if not all of them. For the number of overs per bowler, both sides should be allowed to bowl at most 2 bowlers for a maximum of 12 overs but with a rider that they will have to bowl those extra overs to a restricted (powerplay) field. Its important that the advantage of more overs from a better bowler is also balanced out for the batting side. The restriction on the number of fielders outside the circle during the non-powerplay overs should also be removed. It just just make sense to give batsmen practically open outfields for the entire innings!

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Use of two balls has taken the teeth out of spinners , which is unfair . Secondly , restricting the number of fielders outside the 30 yard circle to 4 has made all bowlers ineffective . India is suffering mainly because of brainless bowling of Ishant and Dhoni's persevering with him . If a bowler has not learnt the basics even after playing 50 tests and countless ODIs , it is common knowledge that the bowler is unfit for international cricket . I always thought that Sandip patil was good at his job but the repeated selection of Ishant makes me think otherwise . If India wants to do well in the next world cup , let the selectors and the captain be wise in team selection and not continue with dead woods.

  • zamanmk on October 24, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Ram has provided fresh ideas and if the appropriate committee seriously take up these as well as some others in comments, ODI format will be a lot exciting. Good job but afraid the BCCI guys may take a few years to act.

  • morgie1982 on October 24, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Super sub is a good idea because there are some days even no.1 bowler go for plenty If I'm right if the batsman advanced down the track no ball and wide for height is out of contention but others are simply outrageous

  • CodandChips on October 24, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    1. Remove all field restrictions- encourages attacking or defensive captaincy

    2. Like the idea of adding 1 extra over for a bowler per wicket, it's certainly unique and does reward good bowling, and makes it harder for captains to choose how early to bring of death bowlers because you may end up under using them.

    People seem to forget that in England, the 2 new balls often helps opening bowlers.

  • ladycricfan on October 24, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Make the pitches bowler friendly. That will immediately solve most of the problems the bowlers face. Remove free hit. Most of the time bowlers overstep one or two inches. And for that they are penalised twice unfairly. It makes such an impact in the limited over matches. In a close match one noball can be the difference between winning and losing.

  • FAB_ALI on October 24, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Just go back to nineties...Initial 15 overs of powerplay with 3 fielders outside and remaining 35 overs max 5 fielders outside anytime. Use a single ball from the start subject to change when asked/complained by one of the captains, the ball changed should be half overs older than the replaced one (if it is changed after 32 overs, replacement ball would be 16 overs old). And last, get rid of the free hit and don't call a ball one bouncer for the over when its already called a wide.

  • Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on October 24, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    I believe the rules are too lopsided in favor of the batsmen,and I don't say this just because I am Indian(you look at the comments here and its almost as if Indians are thought of as being incapable of having opinion that's not neutral,or isn't jingoistic!).For ODIs the international standard is flat decks,and with very little support from the wicket,two new balls and very little cover close to the boundary ropes,the bowlers are left helpless and out of their wit's end.While it still maybe all right for the quicks-they will occasionally have the new balls from both ends assisting them if the conditions are favorable-it will mean the death of spin bowling as we know it in ODIs.If you have a Herath,or Ajmal bowling you would ideally want to bowl them against the top order bat,in between overs 15 and 35,but with two new balls will they extract the amount of turn that spinners of past eras could extract?

  • QTS_ on October 24, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    If bowling quota is increased, then teams will pick fewer bowlers. It is still important to have atleast five bowlers complete the 50 overs.

  • QTS_ on October 24, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    Remove or reduce powerplays. Maybe 5 overs of initial powerplay followed by 5 overs of batting powerplay. Note that the 400-plus scores started occurring in 2006 after the 15-over initial field restrictions were converted to 3 blocks of powerplays equivalent to 20 overs.

  • on October 24, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    We don't play ODIs and the international players don't see these blogs...i guess!!!

  • Vipul_Kaushik on October 24, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    IMO, the most outrageous rule is the FREE HIT. The bowler is already penalized when he bowls a no-ball by giving an extra run to the batting side. Why do you have to penalize the bowler, the next ball as well. I just hate this rule and is putting undue pressure on the bowlers.

  • MiddleStump on October 24, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Yes it is important to bring the bowler back into the ODI. But how about the spectator as well? He should be getting value for his money The most suffocating rule in the shorter format is the limitation of 10 overs per bowler in the ODI. This means a fan can only watch Dale Steyn bowl for 10 overs but he may well be subjected to watch Chris Martin bat forever! With expensive ticket prices, that is a rip off. Most genuine cricket fans want to see the best bowler go against the best batsmen with no artificial limitations. Get rid of field restrictions and have a minimum boundary distance of 80 metres. For more action and balance, bring in a baseball like rule when a batsman is declared out after three consecutive dot balls. That will introduce genuine excitement.

  • Whatawaste on October 24, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    1.Disallow the batsman to cross over if the catch is complete and allow the "double play" like in baseball, where you can catch the ball and the run the non-striker out as well..

    2. Allow a batsman a maximum of 100 balls to bat for... (if a bowler can have limited overs, surely a batsman should have limited number of balls to face)

  • Pacelikefire_Samrat on October 24, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    How about removing the rule that maximum 2 bouncers can be bowled per over?How about allowing more than 2 fielders behind square on the leg side..pack the leg side with fielders and allow a tear away bowler to bowl short at the batsman from around the wicket.How about making ball tampering legal?How about amending the LBW rule a bit?Why not give a batsman out for balls pitching outside leg when batsman attempt so many things today like the switch hit etc?how about doing away with the front fool no ball rule allowing bowlers to bowl from less than 22 yards?the possibilities are many...

  • on October 24, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    try making better wickets indians .... thats the answer ...

  • wrenx on October 24, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    It's a fair point to fret for the role of bowlers in limited overs contests, but the author is making one blinding error here - his evidence is based on the failures of entirely one team: India. Are we saying that because India are struggling, we need to change the rules of the game? Other teams are learning to adapt, and around the world ODIs are still being closely fought. Ajmal has talked about the new fielding rules forcing him to l more attackingly, creating more chances for wickets. The loss of reverse swing has created a longer examination of bounce and conventional swing with 2 new balls. I'm all for a closer contest between bat and ball, and proposals like increasing individual quotas of overs to 12 or 15 per bowler would be great to see. But there's no real reason to declare calamity just because India are struggling with a poor bowling attack on flat pitches.

  • on October 23, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Another big issue is team combination................ if u r a part timer getting 15 runs of u is no big deal............Play with 11 batsmen & I bet both the teams will score 1000 runs..............So if u r leaking too many runs & u have reliable batsmen with high avrages like Ind has u can afford the luxury of playing with 5 bowlers & that will bring scores down to 250 & u will trust 5 batsmen of 40 avg to chase down 250 lot more often than not

  • on October 23, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    It is simply a case of poor performers having excuses................................................ODI game always had these rules if not more batter friendly eg no bouncer allowed, pro batsman umpiring to name a few but scores used to be low in 80's & 90's .....................WHY??......................Avg scores continue to be very low against PAKISTAN in spite of them playing on roads too...................The reason is that world wide batsmen have evolved but bowlers except Pak bowlers have declined. Most top sides had at least 2 150 kph fast bowlers. Bowlers used to be strong tall & intimidating who would extract pace & bounce out of deadest pitches. Remember Ambrose & Walsh were impossible to score in WC 1996 in Ind

    Even today we see any bowler who balls with around 150 kph at reasonable accuracy, with fine leg & third man fine is very hard to hit. Take example of Johnson

  • on October 23, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    Or just make the pitch larger, unlimited overs per bowler, no new ball and less powerful bats. If we continue the way we are now, we will lose both talented bowlers and baatsmen.

  • WC96QF on October 23, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    First off, I am 100% with the writer - we need to bring the bowler back into the game ! Among 8 suggestions, except 5 and 6, I wud support all. These two look too difficult to call by umpires. Also, on 1, how do determine a wide variety of balls ? Simpler to go back to one new ball per match. On 8, we cu d try a variation- if a fielder makes a catch when he was within the ropes, batsman is to out, even if fielder happens to stumble beyond - I think not too controversial. Further, why not make rules for (1) max wt of bat (2) min diameter of cricket ground ? Shud not be too diff for ICC to pass a few rules there ,

  • on October 23, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    not really interesting options, there are some simpler changes which can be tried before we mess up with new ball rule. each match start with new ball. period. none of these suggestions actually help bowlers, try more like this - minimum boundary should be 75 Mtrs. some grounds have 65 mts boundary. ridiculous - allow max of 15 over for any bowler - 5 man out side the ring in middle overs - only 15 over powerplay, remove batting powerplay (though it generally produces wickets) - last 10 overs- allow 6 players outside the ring.max of 3 on either side

  • Selassie-I on October 23, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    say 12 overs per bowler, meaning that teams would need only 4 bowlers, plus 2 overs from a part timer.

    The main things here though are some pitches that are clearly too small, with 50m boundries, sometimes this might be touch when playing on pitch shares like in NZ, but in a purpose made cricket stadium a 50m boundry is obscene when you can see there is plenty of room the other side of the rope. Make all pitches mimimum of say 75m.

    I did think that the two new balls might assist bowlers, but it apperas to not as the white ball only ever seems to swing for a handful of overs, get back to one. and just get rid of the powerplay completley.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on October 23, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    not outrageous, icc should try something. Giving extra over ie 12 overs for one bowler and 11 for another is a good option. Unlimited bouncers are two things i want.

  • py0alb on October 23, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Oh and get rid of the powerplays altogether. Allow 4 men out from ball 1 to ball 300.

  • py0alb on October 23, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    No need to mess around with the rules, just improve the pitches and make the outfields bigger.

  • srihari_vn on October 23, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    Only the 3rd option seems interesting and practical to me.

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  • srihari_vn on October 23, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    Only the 3rd option seems interesting and practical to me.

  • py0alb on October 23, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    No need to mess around with the rules, just improve the pitches and make the outfields bigger.

  • py0alb on October 23, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Oh and get rid of the powerplays altogether. Allow 4 men out from ball 1 to ball 300.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on October 23, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    not outrageous, icc should try something. Giving extra over ie 12 overs for one bowler and 11 for another is a good option. Unlimited bouncers are two things i want.

  • Selassie-I on October 23, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    say 12 overs per bowler, meaning that teams would need only 4 bowlers, plus 2 overs from a part timer.

    The main things here though are some pitches that are clearly too small, with 50m boundries, sometimes this might be touch when playing on pitch shares like in NZ, but in a purpose made cricket stadium a 50m boundry is obscene when you can see there is plenty of room the other side of the rope. Make all pitches mimimum of say 75m.

    I did think that the two new balls might assist bowlers, but it apperas to not as the white ball only ever seems to swing for a handful of overs, get back to one. and just get rid of the powerplay completley.

  • on October 23, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    not really interesting options, there are some simpler changes which can be tried before we mess up with new ball rule. each match start with new ball. period. none of these suggestions actually help bowlers, try more like this - minimum boundary should be 75 Mtrs. some grounds have 65 mts boundary. ridiculous - allow max of 15 over for any bowler - 5 man out side the ring in middle overs - only 15 over powerplay, remove batting powerplay (though it generally produces wickets) - last 10 overs- allow 6 players outside the ring.max of 3 on either side

  • WC96QF on October 23, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    First off, I am 100% with the writer - we need to bring the bowler back into the game ! Among 8 suggestions, except 5 and 6, I wud support all. These two look too difficult to call by umpires. Also, on 1, how do determine a wide variety of balls ? Simpler to go back to one new ball per match. On 8, we cu d try a variation- if a fielder makes a catch when he was within the ropes, batsman is to out, even if fielder happens to stumble beyond - I think not too controversial. Further, why not make rules for (1) max wt of bat (2) min diameter of cricket ground ? Shud not be too diff for ICC to pass a few rules there ,

  • on October 23, 2013, 20:25 GMT

    Or just make the pitch larger, unlimited overs per bowler, no new ball and less powerful bats. If we continue the way we are now, we will lose both talented bowlers and baatsmen.

  • on October 23, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    It is simply a case of poor performers having excuses................................................ODI game always had these rules if not more batter friendly eg no bouncer allowed, pro batsman umpiring to name a few but scores used to be low in 80's & 90's .....................WHY??......................Avg scores continue to be very low against PAKISTAN in spite of them playing on roads too...................The reason is that world wide batsmen have evolved but bowlers except Pak bowlers have declined. Most top sides had at least 2 150 kph fast bowlers. Bowlers used to be strong tall & intimidating who would extract pace & bounce out of deadest pitches. Remember Ambrose & Walsh were impossible to score in WC 1996 in Ind

    Even today we see any bowler who balls with around 150 kph at reasonable accuracy, with fine leg & third man fine is very hard to hit. Take example of Johnson

  • on October 23, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Another big issue is team combination................ if u r a part timer getting 15 runs of u is no big deal............Play with 11 batsmen & I bet both the teams will score 1000 runs..............So if u r leaking too many runs & u have reliable batsmen with high avrages like Ind has u can afford the luxury of playing with 5 bowlers & that will bring scores down to 250 & u will trust 5 batsmen of 40 avg to chase down 250 lot more often than not