India Superstar Doesn’t Watch ODI Cricket, Fears For Its Future


It’s a batters game. The phrase is often generously used and thrown around quite often when a white-ball match is going on and the fact that 300-pus totals have now become a commonplace as teams repeatedly breach 400-run barrier with ease.

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More recently, England came close to scoring 500 runs during an ODI against Netherlands. The bowler’s effectively have been reduced to biological bowling machines and it’s a trend that casts a dark shadow over the future of 50 overs cricket.

Days like Tuesday (first ODI between India and England at The Oval) when bowler’s rule the roost are rare in white-ball cricket. India bowling star Ravichandran Ashwin thinks ODI cricket has lost its beauty over the years and he ends up switching off the TV after one point whenever a 50-over game is on.

“The greatest beauty of one-day cricket is – sorry, was – the ebbs and flows of the game,” Ashwin, who played 113 ODIs for India and is part of the current Test set-up, told the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast.

Ashwin thinks ODI cricket has become an extended form of T20.

“People used to bide their time and take the game deep. The one-day format used to be a format where bowlers had a say. Even me, as a cricket badger and a cricket nut, I switch off the TV after a point and that’s frankly very scary for the format of the game. When those ebbs and flows go missing, it’s not cricket anymore. It’s just an extended form of T20,” Ashwin said.

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“It’s a question of relevance and I think ODI cricket needs to find its relevance. It needs to find its spot,” he added.

One of the biggest factors why batters have been so dominant is the usage of two new balls from each end in ODIs. What it means is that the ball(s) remains effectively new negating the possibility of reverse swing – a potent weapon in the past that skilled bowlers could use effectively.

“I think one ball is something that would work and spinners would come into the game to bowl more at the back end. Reverse swing might come back in, which is crucial for the game. I would also say we need to go back to the ball we used around 2010 – I don’t think we use the same ones anymore! As I grew up, I watched the one-day sport and, although Glenn McGrath was an amazing bowler, the ball is definitely not doing as much as it used to!” Ashwin said.

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