New ODI Rules will Test India, England

Hyderabad, Oct 13 (DHNS): It has been billed as Payback Time, the Revenge Series, but the build-up to India’s five-match one-day campaign against England, beginning here on Friday, has been little more than lukewarm.

While the Champions League T20 occupied the mind-space of India’s cricket fans, England’s cricketers quietly slipped under the radar into the City of Nawabs a little over a week ago. They have since had a fair few meaningful practice sessions, and two fruitful warm-up games against the Sunil Joshi-coached Hyderabad XI.

Inasmuch as those two matches helped England familiarise themselves with the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, which will host game one, they also allowed Alastair Cook’s side to have a first-hand experience of the amended playing conditions that have come into effect in international cricket from October 1.

In an effort to spice up limited-overs cricket in general, and to try and curb sharp practices, the Cricket Committee of the International Cricket Council made some significant recommendations in May, which have since been approved by the Executive Board.

The India-England series will be the first major international showdown in which the revised playing conditions will be implemented. Just what the ramifications will be of having two new balls per innings, and of rejigging the bowling and batting Power Plays, remains to be seen, but there is no denying that the visitors will have a slight advantage over Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men, given that they have played two fixtures with these changes in vogue.

The decision to have one new ball at either end has evoked mixed reactions. Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga has lamented the possibility of reverse swing being taken out of the equation, while Indian off-spinner R Ashwin professed excitement at having the opportunity of working with a harder, newer ball for an extended period of time.

It may be recalled that more than two decades back, two white balls were used per innings in Australia, a move that somewhat redressed the balance between bat and ball. Admittedly, at that stage, reverse swing was still something of a mystery. Only the Pakistanis got the ball to swing unconventionally, and there were inevitable but often unsubstantiated murmurs about illegal ways of ‘maintaining’ the ball.

Today, reverse swing is an acknowledged, universal phenomenon, especially in the sub-continent where abrasive pitches and less than lush outfields facilitate the natural scruffing up of the cricket ball.

Malinga is a feared and accomplished practitioner of that art and therefore his lament is justifiable, but it’s worth remembering that people like Umar Gul have managed to reverse the ball even in a Twenty20 international!

One new ball at each end not only means a greater chance of getting early wickets because the ball will remain newer for longer, but it will also open up greater scoring opportunities for batsmen who like the ball coming on to the bat.

Conditions, as is generally the case in cricket, will dictate the course of events, and batsmen will fancy their chances in the sub-continent where hitting through the line is a genuine and valid option.

The reworking of the bowling and batting Power Plays throws up interesting pros­pects. The two five-over blocks must be exhausted between the 16th and 40th overs, a move aimed at dissipating the ennui of the middle overs of nip and tuck.

The counter to that is that delayed batting Power Plays produced wickets by the bagful, especially during the World Cup, so how this amendment affects the game will be watched with interest.

Batsmen will no longer be allowed a runner – in all forms of the game – in a sweeping call that will, in all probability, be re-amended at some stage. There are no discretionary powers in this regard with the umpires, but in various instances, common sense might dictate that runners are not a prop but a necessity.

The revised playing conditions also challenge one of the established and basic practices of protecting one’s wicket while running between the wickets that entails putting body between ball and stumps. That, and a change to the rule surrounding the bowler running out a batsman backing up, will hopefully not have to be implemented frequently, otherwise it will re-ignite the Laws vs Spirit of the game debate!


- Two new balls per innings
- Mandatory Power Play from overs 1-10; bowling and batting Power Plays to commence no earlier than the 16th over and end no later than the 40th over.
- While running between the wickets, if a batsman has significantly changed his direction without probable cause and obstructed an attempt to run him out, he should be given out irrespective of whether the run out would have been effected or not.
- A runner for a batsman will not be permitted
- The bowler can attempt to run out the non-striker before releasing the ball, provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing. Earlier, he had to do so before entering his delivery stride.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: New ODI Rules will Test India, England

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.