Sunday, April 21, 2024

KING

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t should be a fair contest. I am not for placid

pitches offering nothing for the bowlers. I want to see a close game, a battle between bat and ball. Friday’s match was more enjoyable to watch than the opening clash on Wednesday.

I love seeing a batsman in full flow, but it is also great to witness an off stump cartwheeling.

One-day cricket should be dominated by fours and sixes but the pitches should not be lifeless. When the ball isn’t doing anything at all, bowlers don’t have a chance.

It can be terrific entertainment seeing the ball disappear to all parts of the ground, but there is an argument to say that one-day internationals are too heavily weighted in favour of batsmen. Not only are bowlers faced with confident batsmen armed with meaty blades, they also have to contend with short boundaries, flat pitches, white balls offering no movement and fielding restrictions that only allow a maximum of five men to patrol the perimeter.

Tall totals have been the order of the day in the ODI game, especially in the past five years. The 400-mark was first broken in Johannesburg in March 2006, with both teams passing that milestone. West Indies and Pakistan are the only teams in the top eight not to reach the 400-mark. That could change if blazing left-handers like Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer do something very special.

If the odds are so stacked in favour of the batsmen, what aspiring young cricketer is going to chose to focus on bowling? As a bowler, you’ll just get smashed out the ground all the time, while the batsmen get all the glory.

MIKE

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