The IPL's new 'tactical timeout' is hampering the momentum of a team in a Twenty20 match, Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar has said. The seven-and-a-half-minute break in the middle of an innings has also been criticised by Mumbai offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who told NDTV he did not like it because it "breaks the rhythm".
"Yes, we have done well in our last match but I think the strategy breaks are hampering the momentum of a team," Tendulkar said. "The seven and a half minute breaks are a bit too long."
Mumbai began their IPL campaign by beating Chennai Super Kings by 19 runs in Cape Town on Saturday and Chennai's head of cricket operations, VB Chandrasekhar, was also not pleased by the scheduled break.
"The seven and a half minute break after 10 overs is quite a distraction and comes in the way of valuable momentum, but that is something all teams will have to live with this year," Chandrasekhar wrote in his blog on the team's website. "Further, we had an unscheduled break of seven to eight minutes with a magnificent black canine holding centre stage amid hilarious scenes never before witnessed."
Chandrasekhar, a former India batsman and ex-national selector, is not the only credible face in the IPL to have voiced concerns about the timeout that was introduced to show more commericials on Indian television. Tom Moody, the Kings XI Punjab coach, admitted on Sunday that the timeout had affected his team's momentum, leading to a loss against Delhi Daredevils.
"We had the momentum and we had seven and a half minutes to lose it," Moody said. "It was the perfect time for Daniel Vettori to come on and secure the momentum back in favour of Delhi. But there are going to be days in this tournament when it works in our favour too."
Meanwhile, Chandrasekhar wrote Morkel's omission was a key reason for Chennai's 19-run loss to Mumbai. "A last minute change to the side was to prove costly for us as Albie landed here sans his gear. The airline had lost it in transit from Johannesburg where he had played the last ODI game against the touring Aussies," he wrote. "Albie was very disappointed and stressed at the sad turn of events. We missed him for his all-round skills, although Thushara did bowl well in his opening spell."
The other disappointments for Chennai was the catch dropped by Mathew Hayden at slip to let off Sachin Tendulkar off Andrew Flintoff and the three sixes hit by Abhishek Nayar in another Flintoff over. "Tendulkar was dropped early and later, Abhishek Nayar got stuck into Freddie," Chandrasekhar wrote. "A little more planning was necessary for local players and that is an area to be addressed with greater care. Nayar's cameo gave them a competitive score. These factors, combined with a bad start to our chase when we lost a couple of early wickets, put us quickly in a catch up mode especially as Haydos [Hayden] couldn't dictate terms to Bhajji."