Spinners and reverse-swingers under threat

The latest rule changes in ODIs are unlikely to inject excitement into the format. How well the Powerplay tweaks work will depend on a team's strength, and two new balls will handicap plenty of bowlers.

updated: October 05, 2011 22:08 IST
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Bangalore: When Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a one-time editor of Le Figaro, wrote Les Guêpes (The Wasps) in 1849, it included the memorable epigram: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Look at the world around you and you could say that about a lot of things and people. Not about one-day cricket, though.

All sports evolve. Fitness levels change. Players become more athletic. Tactics are refined. Professionalism alters focus. Despite all that, the football that Lionel Messi and Barcelona play in 2011 is still comparable to that which Pele and friends played on their way to Brazil's first World Cup win in 1958. A doughty Rahul Dravid century in overcast English conditions can still evoke memories of Ken Barrington and other stalwarts of the black-and-white age.

But with one-day cricket, all comparisons fail. Consider the first Gillette Cup final, between Sussex and Worcestershire just over 48 years ago. In a game where both sides had 65 overs, Sussex were bowled out for 168 with 28 balls remaining. In fading light, Worcestershire fell 14 short. Their run rate was 2.43, which would be considered tardy in modern Tests.

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