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    October 20, 2004



    After the washout at Madras, I started wondering about why test matches should not have Duckworth Lewis [or any other rain rule] and overs limitation in case of rain [or other] interruptions. Ganesh also started thinking on similar lines and this is what we came up with. If the test had come to a stage where the umpires decided that play was possible for a max of 50 overs, then under the current rules, India would have had to get to the target of 229 in those many overs. Its possible, but the chances of a win were effectively reduced dramatically. In fact, Australia's chances of a win also decrease since they have to get 10 wickets in 50 overs rather than 90. This, by the way, is a flaw which I believe exists with the D/L rule. I think the chasing team must only be allowed to use a certain number of batsmen and not all 10. That number can be determined as a percentage of the total runs they've been asked to make.

    Anyway, going back to what I was saying, effectively test cricket must not allow the weather to influence it too much. Having a roof cover over every test ground is not going to happen, so let us not bother about discussing it. If there is a possibility of a result, why not bring the D/L rules [or any other method] into the equation? Alternately, what if there were overs restrictions in the first and second innings. A team would only be allowed say at most 150 overs in the first innings and 100 in the second. This would mean a max of 500 overs in the test, which is higher than the current 450. If this means faster overrates, then we're all for it. Teams surely must bowl more than 15 overs an hour, under all circumstances. More overs means more wickets/runs and a definite chance of a result, which is what cricket is all about.

    The split of 150 overs and 100 overs for each innings is not necessarily fixed. Teams will have to choose at the start of the test on their strategy. They are either allowed to pick one of three combinations (overs in first and second innings):

  • 150 + 100
  • 125 + 125
  • 100 + 150

    They're not allowed to change this midway through the game. This effectively means teams need to take a call on whether they are willing to try to build a bigger first innings and then possibly leave not too many overs for a chase. If it was a seaming first day wicket, should the captain who wins the toss [and very likely bowl first] choose 150 overs for his first innings in the hope that the pitch becomes better? What about the captain who is sent in? Should he pick a 100 over option in the hope that if the team is going to be shot out anyway, go for the option which will give him a better chance of a second innings recovery?

    Would this eliminate the draw? Not perhaps, so why not penalize teams which bat a minimum of 100 overs and score less than 3 runs per over, which is really expected of any team worth its salt? The penalty must be in terms of runs given to the opposition since that hurts more than losing money.

    We'd love to hear you out. Put in your comments.

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  • Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:27 PM |
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