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Low-scoring games can be fascinating

Jonathan Agnew | 18:54 UK time, Saturday, 21 June 2008

One-day cricket doesn't have to be all about fours and sixes. Low-scoring games have a fascination all of their own as every run is painstakingly eked out, and 50-over matches allow teams to recover from potentially dire positions - something Twenty20 rarely permits.

Both teams battled hard in this game - the batsmen all finding it awkward to cope with a ball that bounced just a fraction more than they are used to.

In truth, the majority of the dismissals were the result of poor technique, but the bowlers deserve credit for squeezing the run rate.

This, in New Zealand's innings, barely registered at all until Kyle Mills injected some much-needed urgency towards the end with an excellent 47.

The two youngsters, Stuart Broad and Tim Southee, were the bowlers of the day. Southee would really benefit from a season of county cricket - he bowls with a high seam and would relish English conditions. He kept nipping out wickets when they were needed to finish with 4-38.

Broad, meanwhile, delivered his 10 overs straight through from the start, and conceding only 14 runs. He even managed to bowl four maidens as New Zealand's top order froze after the dismissal of Brendon McCullum.

Having already taken 16 off a James Anderson over, he became unnecessarily greedy and smashed a catch high to mid-off where Kevin Pietersen clung on magnificently. Whenever McCullum goes early, you can sense the pressure immediately grips the New Zealanders, and only 14 runs were scored for the loss of four wickets between overs 10 and 20.

Broad was mighty impressive - but he always has been. For such a young man, he does have a remarkably cool temperament. I have never seen him uncertain of what to do, or fazed under pressure. I have never seen him lose his temper, either. ­

183 was a target New Zealand could not have dreamed about when they were 75-6 in the 30th over, but they knew that they only way they could win was to bowl England out. Luke Wright immediately edged to slip, and Pietersen flicked rather lazily to midwicket, but it was Ian Bell's dismissal that heralded an unbelievable collapse of four wickets for two runs in 19 balls.

He dragged a catch to cover, Ravi Bopara - who missed a great opportunity to show us what he is made of at this level - wristily sliced to point for 27 and Owais Shah and Tim Ambrose both fell to poor, firm-footed shots for ducks.

Paul Collingwood was the prized wicket and after a stand of 65 with Graeme Swann was ended by Scott Styris, Southee returned to trap the captain lbw for 34 and New Zealand held their nerve to keep the series alive.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Well, that was something a Twenty20 match would seldom offer: a story to tell afterwards. An early collapse and then a determined recovery, followed by an overconfident start, a collapse, then a gritty rearguard which was sometimes tantalisingly close, but never close enough.

    The best cricket matches are a story to follow at the time and remember later. There is more to cricket than the instant gratification of crash bang and wallop offered by T20. The ODI is so much richer in texture.

    And only England could have made such hard work of losing from such a strong position! Always trailing behind Duckworth Lewis, and the top order throwing away wickets with gay abandon. It's what makes this nation great.

  • Comment number 2.

    I completly disagree with blaming the Batsmen for Englands loss. Every batsmen, from both side's made the same mistakes, the difference was the bowlers, one bowler in particluar. NZ's worst went for just over 4 an over. Englands went for just over 6. Were it not for Jimmy Anderson NZ would have never got near 150 runs and Enland would have eased home with time to spare, his poor, bowling, particularly at the death, gave NZ 30+ easy runs and a belief that they could win if they bowled better than him. They did and they won. Why anyone thinks Anderson is a good one day player is beyond me, In tests he is considered by most to be far too inconsistant, but generally needs to mess up in both innings for it to be a poblem. In one dayers, he just needs to have 2-3 wild overs, just like today.

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks Jonathan but you haven't really said that much in this blog, rather re-iterated the match report! What are you actual thoughts about where England stand after this performance and what do you make of Ravi Bopara constantly missing chances to impress? You also haven't given your thoughts on Tremlett or any other England bowler except Broad!

    Mark

  • Comment number 4.

    I agree that Daisy Anderson had a very off day.

    It seems to me he has many more days when he doesn't than days when he does.

    But a lot of fault was with the England batsmen too who played far too many lazy thoughtless shots. In typically English conditions all the English batsmen should have done better.

    Wright, Shah and Ambrose looked as if they were in a training session and gave the NZ slips catching practice. KP was lazy, a casual clip off his pads absolutely straight to a fielder, and Bell casually played at a very wide one he should have left alone.

    I tend to think there is too much arrogance in the England team when they win a couple of games on the bounce.

    This New Zealand team was very fragile, now I expect they will become a much tougher team to beat with a win behind them they cannot have expected to have achieved at the mid-innings interval.

  • Comment number 5.

    I listened to the game today on the usually great TMS but I must say I have never heard a commentary with so little respect given to England's opposition.You would have thought that England had won from start to finish only to discover that in fact it was a really great game in which the better side won! Elliots gutsy innings was largely criticised and Chris Cairns was very unfair.The 50 OVER game still allows real cricket and today proved it. The BBC commentaters wanting 4's and 6's have fallen into the 20 20 trap and have lost the beauty of cricket.

  • Comment number 6.

    I would have to agree with the last post; TMS are getting somewhat Twenty20 obsessed. It seems noone can talk about a game without comparing it to Twenty20.

  • Comment number 7.

    Even now most of the comments here are bashing Twenty20. In case it escaped you all, we didn't just witness some lost art of mythical strokeplay cricket that throws into sharp relief the gym-monkeys whacking the ball around in the shortest format. No - we just witnessed ineffectual England get poled out for a ridiculously small total in a game that we should have won . . . If only a couple of boys would have taken a T20 attitude those runs could have been chased down before the kettle boiled. Only in England do we think hating Twenty20 will make us a BETTER cricketing nation. Unbelievable. Get back to your cucumber sandwiches with the vicar, you 19th century armchair cricket lovers.

  • Comment number 8.

    Quite so Aggers, often the best games, be it test or fifty overs, are those where the ball slightly dominates the bat. 20/20 finds it hard to replicate this.

  • Comment number 9.

    Totally agree that the 20/20 bashing is going overboard. Have to say I felt today's game was quite boring. Undoubtedly people will come on here and have a go and accuse me of being one of these people who only watches cricket for the big scores etc. The truth is quite different really. I am one of the few people I know who can actually watch a whole day of test cricket. But today it was just so slow. Good bowling and fielding from both sides, but the lack of any decent paced innings made the game utterly boring. When one form dominates the other, good viewing is not had.

  • Comment number 10.

    Very good match, NZ deserve plenty of credit from gettin there following such a low total relatively speaking.

    I also think the groundsman deserves a hand, he left some good grass on the wicket and enabled more bounce and pace and carry than usual.

    Great game and in my view, it suggests that England are not yet as good as we think and New Zealand are a tad better than we thought. Actually, since Edgbaston I have felt that.

    robcarnival,

    You're generally right, but last year at Bristol, gloucestershire batted first v Somerset in 20/20 and made...101/9 in 20 overs! Somerset although winning by 6 wickets fell to 41/4 and only got home with 3 and a bit overs left!

  • Comment number 11.

    "Broad was mighty impressive - but he always has been. For such a young man, he does have a remarkably cool temperament. I have never seen him uncertain of what to do, or fazed under pressure. I have never seen him lose his temper, either"

    Not a pop at Broad but Mr Agnew's got a short memory - does 6,6,6,6,6,6 in a over ring a bell

  • Comment number 12.

    I guess you could say when england play like this they are capable of losing to anybody.

  • Comment number 13.

    For too long we have seen bat dominate ball in all forms of the game. In this game bat and ball were evenly matched.

    For once we had a match where the bowlers had a chance. To call this game boring is to fall into the trap of thinking that the only thing that is interesting and exciting is seeing the ball fly to all parts of the ground.

    What is fascinating about cricket is that games have so many different ways of developing.

    Perhaps twenty20 will grow beyond its current form and develop into a more tactical game with the bowlers having more chance. I hope it does, but I fear it won't, with boundaries getting ever-smaller, outfields ever-faster and music ever-louder for each boundary. Perhaps there should be some sort of entertainment for a dot ball, to even things up!

    We will soon be replacing the upmires, why not replace the bowlers as well? We could have a bowling machine programmed to produce the same balls for both sides to make it an equal contest!


  • Comment number 14.

    I made the warning of NZ biting back, England getting sloppy and over confidence. This is what happened yesterday.

    Both set of bowlers bowled for the condition.

    England batsmen have been distracted into playing silly shots, from good balls.

    Only Peitersen can play switch hits with a degree of confidence. Other batsmen should not be distracted and should concentrate on playing orthodox shots well!!! 180 was very managable on this wicket. The batsmen, especially the top order batsmen threw the game away!!

  • Comment number 15.

    The key to low scoring games being interesting is recovery, the balance between bat and ball making it much more intriguing. With T20 it's biff, bash and all over in a flash. With most ODIs the bat dominates and any collapse is likely to be fatal.

    But then the same goes for Tests, if the side batting first is scoring hundreds freely and posting 400+ the game becomes predictable. Those that decide such things long since decided we're all easily pleased by runs, runs and more-runs. I watched Robert "The Don" Key on the first day of his 221 vs West Indies, it was nearly 400 runs for two down and boooooooooooooooooring. There was no situation for the batsmen to face, just a question of "how many?"

    So let's have a LOT more variety in pitches, those who think a bowler's paradise makes it too easy for the bowlers are wrong. Anderson proved what happens on a good bowling wicket, you have to get it right or that single bowler will be the difference in the match. In a low scoring game Anderson took wickets, but he also conceded about 1/3 of the Kiwi total. On a bowling pitch a 30 or 40 run partnership down the order can decide the match, bowlers have to put it in the right place and fielders have to take their catches. And when you have the opposition around 110/7 you need to finish them off. No Kiwi bowler went for 6 an over.

    The Kiwis bowled and batted better than England, not much in it batting wise as both sides were wasteful, but the Kiwis deserved it after the farce in the last match where 42 overs were bowled but short-sightedness by the officials meant one side didn't face the 20 needed for a match.

  • Comment number 16.

    Poor old KP. Somehow he encapsulated the whole English farce played out at Bristol today. The "70's porn-star king" sunglasses (thanks to TMS for that image). The necklace which my 12-year-old daughter described as "SOOO unoriginal - it only looks good on ME! Gag me with a spoon!". Then there was the cricket - the inexcusable lapses in the field and at the crease, gifting his wicket to a Kiwi side he should have known would be baying for blood after Wednesday's fiasco. With few (albeit honourable) exceptions, England seemed to have contracted figjamitis difficile!

  • Comment number 17.

    Halfway through the NZ innings some twit was decrying NZ as an "awful side" basically not fit to turn up at the same ground as England. Hope he has indigestion.

    That said, the kiwis are awful at the moment, and frankly i blame the (previous) administration for the woeful lack of tests of late: something like only 3 tests in 18 months before late 07. You can't sculpt a decent batsman, or a decent side, if you don't give them quality matches to play. And then there's the many changes in personnel....

    England have no such excuses, so fans should be careful about what they prattle about in case it bites them.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm rather hoping that now KP is back to batting below his sub-50 average, TMS will stop gushing about those two freakish 'shots' he played last week. The only thing all the hype seems to have generated is a grossly inflated sense of celebrity in the player himself; wonder how much he got paid for wearing those sunglasses in Bristol's gloomy overcast yesterday? Hey-ho.

    I was pleased the Kiwis won yesterday, not only does it keep the series alive but their victory serves to remind the sports psychologists that all the "positive talk" in the world won't win a match. With the South Africans on the way, England really need to do more than talk a good game. Trogg600 @ no.12, Nice one centurion, like it!

    As for 'boring', well whilst it's true that games sometimes slow down to the point where TMS is just 'on in the background', I'm neither a goldfish nor a teenager; I have an attention span considerably longer than 5 seconds and don't require instant gratification. I enjoy listening to the cricket in all its forms. I just wish they'd turn the naff music down so I can hear the commentary, or better yet turn it off completely (but then as I said, I'm not a teenager...).

  • Comment number 19.

    Well done NZ, a useless England opened a door that should have been firmly shut and a courageous team performance saw the Kiwi's march through.

    I can't help wondering if the reason England failed to get what should have been a simple enough target was because Wright, Shah, Bopara, Swann et al are simply not international standard batsmen.

    Re 20 : 20 cricket - yes it probably is because I'm of a certain vintage but my American friends went to a game the other day and loved it! I can't think of a finer condemnation myself, the truth is it is rubbish. If the idea is so good and people really do like a quick slog why not go to the logical conclusion and make it 10 : 10 or even better 5:5 then al least it would be over quicker.

    More tea please vicar....

  • Comment number 20.

    Yesterday was priceless entertainment to England fans. We all want them to win, but what keeps us watching is the chance that they will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and we never have to wait too long before they do it!
    COME ON Bopara and Shah, this is your big chance to shake things up and make the management change things in the static batting line up that we have. Seize the day!

  • Comment number 21.

    Hey Aggers, what's with your hatred of T20 and letting it show in every blog you do on this website?? If you dont like the game then try and use some constructive criticism on how the game can be improved or something.

    Just by saying 'One day cricket isn't about 4's and 6's' is just a lie. If you hit more boundaries then the opposition you will generally win when its mixed with good running between the wickets.

    Get off your high horse and use the opportunity you have in this blog to be insightful, not degrading....pls.....

  • Comment number 22.

    Is it not about time people got things into perspective.
    New Zealand played well yesterday, with Grant Elliott playing an excellent innings which gave Kyle Mills the chance to hit freely at the end.
    England should be 2-1 down and are still as unpredictable as ever, expecially against teams who know how to play the game properly and dont think they are superstars.
    Luke Wright came out with a ridiculous comment about how England are due a big win and the Champions Trophy is their aim. This when the NZ is still alive and South Africa, the number one ranked one day side, haven't even arrived yet.
    This squad is so full of its own self importance it is frightening and I am sure that Kevin Pietersen making comments on every cricketing matter doesn't help.
    There is a superiority complex with this team which is unhealthy and, just think, in a year's time they will be wearing their new fangled "football tops" and earning obscene amounts of money in relation to their talent.
    I love cricket but it has long lost its dignity and even TMS seems to have gone down the line that games are boring if there aren't boundries being hit all the time. I am surprised they didn't sign off yesterday when Brendon McCullum got out.

  • Comment number 23.

    I think that one thing England tends to do in games like this is, after bowling the Kiwis out so cheaply, is to say "The door is open!" and assuming they'll stroll right through. Unfortunately for their fans, this rarely happens. The last T20 game was a rare instance of England "taking care of business" and getting the job done with textbook execution.

    Saying that, I think that the mental part of the game is England's biggest obstacle, not the physical. Now whether that's coaching, captaincy, or an endemic teamwide situation, SOMETHING needs to change to right the ship. Somehow I think that if NZ had managed 220-260 runs instead, England would've chased them down with much more success!

  • Comment number 24.

    Broad was mighty impressive - but he always has been. For such a young man, he does have a remarkably cool temperament. I have never seen him uncertain of what to do


    Broad is an excellent bowler and a superb prospect. But bowling the final delivery to yuvraj in the 6 *6 over i have never seen an international bowler look more unsure in my life!!

  • Comment number 25.

    This is my first post on here so please be kind!

    In reply to cyberryan87, I went to the game yesterday and yes at times the game was tediously slow, although much of this was due to good bowling and fielding. Until actually being at the game yesterday I did not know that Stuart Broad, Kyle Mills and Tim Southee were so fast.

    With regards to the game itself I feel that you only need to look at the reaction of the crowd to know whether the game was boring. When there are more cheers for plastic cup towers, a large plastic beach ball going onto the pitch,drunken fans (?) being ejected from the ground, streakers and mexican waves then I feel that perhaps the majority of the crowd thought the game was boring (although perhaps an excess of the amber liquid had an effect on this!).

    I know for the players this is their job and is a serious situation, but perhaps some thought has to be given that this is a spectator sport and the need to entertain needs to be addressed.

    For myself this was my first live ODI and i found it exciting just to be there and experience the occasion. Yes it was slow at time but the last ten overs of both inning was intriguing watching.

  • Comment number 26.

    mittheimp, you are behind the times!
    It is an easy dig to go on about Stuart Broad and the 6 6's, but it is about the only blot on his copybook. It says a lot for his progress that that scenario seems a million miles away from the player he is now. Give the lad a break - he hasn't even got a central contract yet, but seems to have done his bit in quite a few tricky situations already. We might just have something special here, let's celebrate!

  • Comment number 27.

    Modi was clearly lying in his teeth during your interview with him during the break Aggers! Any chance you'll be covering it in a post? So much for his comment that Australia would be making the rules for the competition, apparently those will be subject to BCCI veto.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    Selection ! Thats where we lost it. Said it before the series we picked the wrong players. What are Bell and Ambrose doing in a England one day side ? And some of the ones we have picked are out of position .......Wright for example yes he was fine in the last game and dare i say will do it again at the top but he is out of position.

  • Comment number 30.

    How very amusing! Only days ago, the English team were all conquering heroes, praised lavished on KP, Broad et al - anyone would think they just whitewashed Australia in the Ashes!

    Time for a reality check... by any standard, the current NZ team, whilst it does contain a few great players, is not great in itself. Not at all. In fact, probably the most inexperienced, star-less team this tiny country has produced in years.

    New Zealand showed true grit to eke out a win after the Kiwi batsmen largely failed, yes, they failed. Just as the English specialist batsmen FAILED. Failed to deal with the conditions, failed to show due care and attention, failed to do what they are paid well to do.

    Media pundits, please keep your comments in perspective, this English team are not direct descendants of Alexander the Great, nor are they gods who deign to walk upon the earth. They are a team of players who through their own arrogance and failings lost to a Kiwi team that's pretty jolly ordinary.

  • Comment number 31.

    As many have said, it was an excellent game (made so really by the players errors - which creates the tension most of the time ofc). It was a good example of how 20/20 won't take over and obliterate all.

    I enjoy the 20/20 matches but you never feel there is much of a narrative to the game and I never get as engaged when watching them.

    Got to say I was pleased to see KP level himself again after his recent arrogance. His reinvention of cricket itself (he seemed to think) with his trick shot and his comments along the lines of sending NZ home with nothing (great sportsmanship there KP).

    Always nice to see arrogance tripping itself up.

    Good game all round. lol.



  • Comment number 32.

    It ia amazing how the English XI manage to self destruct when given the chance.

    They could and should have beaten NZ. The Kiwis were gritty and did not give up, but the English just folded. Had they been chasing 250 they would have made a much better fist of it.

    Credit to NZ for their bowling and fielding and above all the belief they showed in themselves.

    The batsmen did not cover themselves in glory, but it was a shame that Bad Jimmy showed up -

    Anderson 10.0/0/61/3

    add Broad, Tremlett and Colly together and you get 30/5/71/4 - only 10 more than Jimmy leaked in 10 overs...... Wright and Swann only went for 44 between them

    He takes may take wickets, but boy does he get some slap.... is it worth it?

  • Comment number 33.

    50 overs, 20 overs - Who Cares?

    Roll on the Test Matches against South Africa - Then we'll see some really good Cricket - Can't wait, you just can't beat the intensity of the Test game, the battles within the battle, the attrition, the tactics, and yes -attacking bowling! The irony of the one day game is always the negativity it breeds!

  • Comment number 34.

    A lot of comment about KP. I think he's half the problem with the team.

    Watch his body language in nearly every photo. See how he claims the credit when things go well. Always there witha rent-a-quote. He obviously thinks he's the main act.

    Yet you never know which KP is going to turn up: the one who plays a brilliant and grown up innings, or the one who seemingly can't be bothered and chucks his wicket away.

    With Anderson, I always feel it's that he's either trying hard, or trying too hard. With KP, that he either can be bothered to be the hero, or he can't.

  • Comment number 35.

    i too, am also getting fed up with aggers
    and his hatred for twenty20 cricket.

    also i think anderson is doing well, i was skeptical
    about him at first, but hes been consistantly
    taking wickets, altho some times hes
    abit loose
    imo colling wood shouldnt have risked bowling anderson
    while mills was batting so freely
    should maybe have tied him up a bit with swann and wright

    altho most of the england batsmen sucked big time ;/

  • Comment number 36.

    hmmm also where the heck is prior or read,
    both are playing out of there skins at the moment

  • Comment number 37.

    I don't think Aggers has a hatred of Twenty20. I think he worries about its effects on the traditional game. I also think that a lot of people agree with him in general terms, even though they may disagree on the specifics.

    A comparison could be made with the way that the 4 piece pop band with the 3 minute single was more economic and profitable than the big dance band. Big band music wasn't killed, but it has become much harder to find.

    If T20 "takes over" then test cricket will become even more of a niche sport, with fewer matches and a lower standard.

    Back to Pietersen: note how he was the outspoken one complaining about the unacceptable workload for international cricketers, but one of the earliest and loudest to call for the right to play in the IPL.

  • Comment number 38.

    hehe,
    i love ALL forms of the game also 6's
    and All forms of the game i LOVE

    so i get a bit fed up when people are
    constantly talking just about the down
    sides of Different forms of the game.
    KP included too with his coments on the
    50 over game ;(

    i get the distinct feeling that aggers is
    very very against T20.

    i dont know if u guys were listening to
    TMS over the last couple of games?

    but Twenty20 is the question he must bring up every couple of minutes!!!

    im sure that if he had to go the bathrooom/toilet he would talk to any
    strangers he met in there and also his wife
    when he got home!!!!!

    about it!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    on 23 Jun 2008, Mikefule wrote:
    A lot of comment about KP. I think he's half the problem with the team.

    Watch his body language in nearly every photo. See how he claims the credit when things go well. Always there witha rent-a-quote. He obviously thinks he's the main act.

    Yet you never know which KP is going to turn up: the one who plays a brilliant and grown up innings, or the one who seemingly can't be bothered and chucks his wicket away.

    With Anderson, I always feel it's that he's either trying hard, or trying too hard. With KP, that he either can be bothered to be the hero, or he can't.

    I have to disagree when ever I hear KP talk he is very modest given that he is only interviewed when he has had a fantastic match. He normally says its nice to contribute always praising the bowlers.

  • Comment number 40.

    Here is what a low scoring game proves.

    1. Any version of cricket can be fascinating or boring.
    2. The ball is round on any given day anything can happen.
    3. Anything can happen, this is why they play the games instead of deciding them in chat rooms.

    Ok, stating the obvious, but it is necessary in this time of cricketing flux.

    Why get upset about 20/20 vs any other type of cricket. They can all be entertaining. The players deserve to make money while they can, we will forget them as soon as they stop being successful.

  • Comment number 41.

    Yet again we demonstrated that we don't have players with the mental strength to win through our tight games.

    In general, the finger pointing would be focussed on our batting because how many times do we lose 3/4/5 wickets for next to nothing. Lets face facts, this is a very poor NZ side. Although their one day pedigree is good, they have lost the services of key men like Fleming and Bond. Quite simply, England with a more positive attitude would have dismissed NZ for 140-150 and victory would have been assured (probably !).

    I hear plenty of talk from Collingwood, Moores etc about how this team is developing but I fear it may prove to be a false dawn when we assess how much better S.Africa and Aus are at one day cricket. I would prefer a much more honest appraisal of England's progress along the style of Nasser Hussain when he took over the captaincy. He didn't shout from the rooftops when we won, was prepared to say it how it was when we lost, essentially he maintained a sensible perspective. It appears to m that the current regime are afraid to speak out as it may dent individual confiedence - that it may do, but they had better learn that performances like Saturday's are just not acceptable.

    Not convinced ever about Luke Wright opening up as he has insufficient technique. I would prefer Cook as I am sure he will adapt, or even Robert Key who I have a high regard for. Bell remains an enigma but would stick by him for now, we need to see more of Bopara and Ambrose. Bowlers in the main OK, need to develop a killer instinct rather than letting the game drift. But until we strengthen our resolve I am afraid that we will never be any better than average,.

  • Comment number 42.

    I have to agree with the comments regarding the unusual nature of the "summarising". Usually, the TMS staff who so ably assist Mr Agnew, Mr Martin-Jenkins etc. are superb with their objectivity, lack of bias and brilliant knowledge of the game (past and present). This is such a breath of fresh air when you compare to the partisan attitude of the football commentarys etc. we hear.

    In this match however we were very much let down. Apart from a couple of exceptions (Vic Marks for one) the usual quality was just not there.

    Please go back to normal or I may have to fork out for another, inferior, way of following my favourite game.

  • Comment number 43.

    When it comes to limited overs of whatever length we are essentially talking about a BATTING game. How one addresses or redresses the balance depends on the law-makers and the nature of pitches

    I will reiterate. Reduce the number of outfielders to four to encourage the batsmen to play their shots but allow bowlers up to (but not exceeding) 25% of the allotted overs rather than the hallowed 20%. In T20 allow one bowler to have five overs and the rest a maximum of four

    I'd still like to see a fielder in a catching position behind square on the offside at all times

    When it comes to the longer form of the game, which in practical terms is a BOWLING game as you have to get the opposition out twice for fewer runs to win, we need an injury substitute available who can bowl, and bat if the person he replaces hasn't batted in the innings

    Then by having two replacement substitutes available at the end of both first innings, there is the option to replace one or two for the second innings. The obvious example is to bring in a spinner for a pace bowler

    The dear old fuddy duddies might frown but at the end of the day it is a team sport so what's wrong with substitutes, and a bit of variety

 

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