IPL 2014 newsfile May 29, 2014

Gavaskar suggests longer boundaries in IPL

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cricket has often been referred to as a 'batsman's game', and the advent of the Twenty20 format has only reiterated that claim. With batsmen making hay in small grounds and bowlers, in comparison, struggling to make an impact, Sunil Gavaskar, the interim president of the BCCI, has suggested longer boundaries in the IPL to reduce the mismatch between bat and ball.

"From the bowlers' point of view, I'd like to see the boundaries being a bit longer," Gavaskar told iplt20.com . "I do understand that certain distance is required between the boundary and the fence with all the sliding that the fielders do these days. But I still feel that the boundaries are being moved in a lot more than they should.

"That would be the difference between a lot of those marginal sixes and a wicket for the bowler. It would also mean that a six is really a six."

Surprised I have not been decoded- Narine

Sunil Narine's economy rate of 5.65 is the best in the IPL. As ably as he contains, the record he holds for the most four-wicket hauls (6) in the league confirms containment is not his only skill. A host of variations have helped him hoodwink most batsmen across three seasons, but the West Indies spinner wonders why his mystery hasn't been decoded yet.

"Sometimes I am surprised that they already haven't with all the technology available nowadays," he told the Hindu. "I do not fear that though, as I only concentrate on working harder and just focus on trying to do my bit as best as I can.

"I do try and be accurate more often as that's always the key. Variations in this format are always a very good option to have as they have the batsmen guessing."

His numbers in Tests are well below par. An average over 40 and a strike rate touching 80 contributes to him not being a regular member of the squad. "It's something I am still trying to learn and understand," Narine said. "I am sure if I work hard at it and continue to get opportunities I will get better at bowling in that format. Endurance and patience are the key [factors] in Tests."

Uthappa and Gambhir focused on IPL, not India berths

Robin Uthappa's upshot in form helped revive a flagging Kolkata Knight Riders campaign and also pressed a case for his ODI return for the Bangladesh tour. This comes on the back of a successful domestic season helping his side Karnataka lift the Ranji, Irani and Deodhar trophies. Despite the good news of his India return, his first priority remained the IPL final he said after Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab in the first qualifier.

"I am happy that my performances have given me a chance to play for my country and I feel proud about that fact," Uthappa said. "I want to win matches for India and perform my role as an opening batsman to the best of my ability. At this point of time though I am only thinking about the next game in the IPL. I have had a dream of a season, winning almost everything in the domestic circuit, and to top it up with the IPL title would be amazing."

His Knight Riders captain, Gautam Gambhir, exhibited similar sentiments after being selected as the only reserve batsman for five Tests against England. "I wasn't thinking too much about my comeback to the Indian team [during the Kings XI game]," he said. "I was focused on the match because it was a very important game for us and a lot was at stake. It is really important for a sportsman to stay in the present and I was trying to do the same."

Tendulkar obsession still thriving, says Time

Sachin Tendulkar is among the 100 most "obsessed-over people" on the internet according to Time magazine.

The list is led by former US president George Bush with 65.6 points and features Tendulkar at 68th with 23.98 points. The rankings were compiled by "drawing parallels" from Time's annual 100 most influential people in the world list, PTI reported, with data collected on the personalities online and from their Wikipedia pages.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ali on May 31, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    mind you..i am trinidadian and a big fan of narine ! ... but I would like to see the WI win.... the WI does have a VERY VERY strong bowling unit ....

    the selectors have destroyed WI's advances by picking mediocre and unbalanced attacks ....

  • Ali on May 31, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    @ TheMiddleStump ! Narine should not be playing Test cricket ahead of Nikita Miller .. Deonarine is the WI best bet for an off-spinner ,,he has an average of 28.... Making Ramdin the captain, clears the way for a 4th bowler as it will surely mean that Sammy is not selected ...

    3 pacers and a specialist spinner + Doenarine ...

    Now it would be a total SHAME if the specialist spinner was an offspinner .... Permaul and Miller SHOULD get the NOD...

    IF the WI selectors KNEW ABOUT CRICKET ..

    (which the obviously don't)

  • Xiong on May 30, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    @Masking_Tape There's this newfangled thing some old dudes invented called physics. Cricket bats only weigh slightly more than baseball bats but the mass is more spread out because, surprisingly, cricket is a different sport and you have wickets and pads and whatnot to worry about. Baseball bats have a very small sweet spot but it is much more of a sweet spot than a cricket bat. The baseball bat is also longer, and gripped in a much more extreme fashion because you're only swinging one type of way with a baseball bat (excluding a bunt) whereas with a cricket bat you have a variety of different shots to play because if the bowler doesn't bowl it in the EXACT spot you want to hit it it doesn't count against the bowler. He has to be quite some way off the exact spot where you would like it to be. In baseball, a strike is pretty much the perfect area for someone with a baseball bat to hit the ball. Still, not many home runs get it. The trade off is that when they do, they go really far.

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2014, 19:41 GMT

    Another Indian trying to protect poor bowling.................Good bowlers Narine & good strategists Wasim Akram r still leaking runs in the same order as in 90s.............................If u ball full tosses on leg stum like RCB the no point to blame pitches bcz full toss never touches it & no point to blame small boundaries coz full toss can be hit anywhere in the ground for 4 anyways

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Tendulkar the real Big match player with most runs in not 1 not 2 but 3 World Cups ...............Come the big game comes the man.......................With tournament finals & WC avg of 55 + ..................Lara stands at just 40...................Hence Sachin the finest ODI player ever

  • aditya kumar on May 30, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    Boundaries are a good start. But more than boundaries ICC needs to do something about the bats. They cannot be allowed to have a face on the side. The real reason mishits are travelling over the ropes has more to do with the fact that bats no longer have edges. They just have a slightly less meaty portion. Once bats are weaned of the steroids, everything else will fall in line.

  • Amit on May 30, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    I have made few comments on this site arguing for longer boundaries. Longer boundaries will make it much more interesting to watch. It is pathetic and pretty boring to watch miss hits going for Four Or Six.

  • Ashok on May 30, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    I totally agree with Gavaskar. A 65 yard boundary is like a joke. It should be at least 80 yards. Currently the game is heavily tilted towards the batsmen with field restrictions, Power plays and shorter boundary. Longer boundary will make it more challenging especially when Guys like Maxwell, Anderson, Miller, are all thriving on hitting sixers- most of them should really be catches on full fledged 85 yard boundary. Longer boundary will also make the batsmen run to compile their score instead of standing their bashing Sixes. With a longer boundary they will not risk getting out by focussing more on ground shots.

  • Steve on May 30, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    Gavaskar is right about the boundaries, but not just because of the disadvantages to the bowler. The spectacle of mishit slogs clearing tiny boundaries is to me less exciting than batsmen manoeuvring the field on bigger grounds, chipping into gaps and picking up hard run twos and threes, bringing athletic ground fielding and run outs into play. A well hit 6 will clear most boundaries, but giving the batsman the opportunity to go big or use placement is much more skilled. Also agree about pitches; the most exciting games are those where the bowler has a chance. Incidentally, bigger outfields make these low scoring games more exciting too, by opening up gaps in the field. Cross bat 65 yard thick edges just don't entertain me!

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    @Masking_Tape, I am a normal guy with an average build and aptitude (but great passion) for hitting a ball with something. On a normal day I can hit a baseball ball over 300 feet easy. On my best day I barely manage to hit a cricket ball over 65 meters. That's just the way it is. Different paraphernalia. Give a man a stick and he can break a painting. Give him a hammer and the same guy will tear down a wall.

    Besides, how many home runs do these steroidal monsters in Baseball manage on their best day? :) To a cricketer Baseball is a '100% full toss only' game...technically the easiest situation to hit a ball. So why do baseball games have single digit scores 99% of the time? :) If my argument sound stupid, then yours is the exact same argument in reverse, yet equally stupid :)

    Basically apples vs oranges. Lets eat what we like.

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