November 18, 2008

Test Cricket beats ODI

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I have written sometime ago that Cricket is boring. In fact, I should rewrite that article that ODI cricket is boring. If the recent test series against Australia and the first two ODI matches against England are any indication, then I can conclude that Test cricket is here to stay. And ODI format will make way for Twenty20 format.

Test Cricket is Interesting
Just recall the four test matches between India and Australia. We saw gripping contest between two teams, one that could not accept defeat and another one fighting to go on top of the table. Every match had its own twists and turns, that made each day of the test match interesting to watch. The first match went to the last day and Indians forced a draw. The second match saw how clinically a victory could be achieved against the World Champions. The third match saw a see-saw battle and ended in a draw. The final match once again stretched to the last day and probably India won the match as Australia decided to go for the kill on the last day. Interesting twenty days of cricket.

ODI is Boring
Just look at the two ODIs so far concluded against England. The first match was a no-contest once Yuvraj Singh and Sehwag hammered the bowlers. The match was all but over at mid-stage. Its merely a formality to be completed for Dhoni's men. Eventually they bowled out England for 229 runs and won the contest by a whopping margin of 158 runs. If anyone expected a better contest in the second ODI, it all lasted only for the first ten overs. From then on, it was India's way all along. England fell short again, this time by a margin of 54 runs. Will we able to see a better contest in the coming matches?

Future of Cricket
ICC is trying everything to bring back interest to the ODI format. Supersub rule, changes to powerplays, mandatory ball changes, ... Nothing seem to work so far. If nothing happens drastically in favour of ODIs, I expect Twenty20 to take over as the preferred shorter version. With the successful emergence of IPL and other Twenty20 leagues everywhere, it is only logical to conclude that Test Cricket and Twenty20 will see the end of ODIs. The format that ruled the game of cricket for close to 25 years might come to an end soon.


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