Last night Australia clinched victory in the One Day International series against India. After the game, Michael Slater was waxing on about something or other blurted out some inane comment to the effect that “India could have won all three games” because they scored 300 or thereabouts. While technically true, it misses the fact that in all three games, Australia has chased down ~300 with ease. In fact in the first two games the result never felt in doubt. The third provided a little more entertainment and suspense, but the result was the same. An easy Australian victory.
In the aftermath of the “unprecedented” run scoring feats achieved in this series to date hot takes have abounded:
“Is 300 the new 250?”
“It’s amazing what cricketers can do these days!”
“How good is this! Runs!”
“How about those bats. Bats are big these days. BIG BATS”.
Most pertinent of all though was a somewhat forlorn off handed remark from James Faulkner during one of the now obligatory sideline interviews about how he hoped that the fans found this sort of cricket entertaining. Is it?
Because while sixes are fun, while big hitting is fun, while watching batsmen smash the ball all over the park is fun, it’s somewhat less fun when that’s all that happens. The balance between bat and ball is so out of whack that we expect big hitting, six smashing, centuries in most games. We invented a whole new form of cricket to showcase those skills and from all reports its been quite popular. Heck I would go as far as to say that this new form of cricket is far better suited to showcasing big hitting and ball smashing than One Day Internationals.
Look, I might be getting old, but I miss the days when a run a ball century meant something. I miss the days when the ball seamed and swung and batsmen had to build innings in 50 over matches. I miss pitches that aren’t concrete. I miss the contest between bat and ball. I might be wrong, but to me, One Day cricket is so much more entertaining when it isn’t trying to be a fifty over T20.