What Is The Test-Like ODI Format Suggested By Sachin Tendulkar? EXPLAINED
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who suggested a dynamic change to the format many years ago, reiterated his stance for the format to break into four innings of 25 overs each rather than two of 50.
The first match of the three-match ODI series between Team India and Australia was held on Friday, March 17, in Mumbai. Despite 2023 being a World Cup year, the relevance of the format has been put into question yet again. The rise of T20 cricket and various franchise leagues around the world, coupled with players preferring short-term contracts over playing for their country, has put the future of ODI cricket in jeopardy. The retirements of players like Ben Stokes from the format and Trent Boult giving up his national contract for New Zealand to play in overseas T20 leagues have further added to the doubts surrounding the future of the 50-over format. With T20 cricket becoming a rage and Test cricket finding its feet again with the World Test Championship, ODI cricket has been left gasping for breath.
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Speaking at India Today Conclave, Tendulkar said, "It's getting monotonous, without a doubt. The current format, which has been there for a while now is two new balls (per innings). When you have two new balls, you have kind of eliminated reverse swing. Even though, we are in the 40th over of the game, it's just the 20th over of that ball. And the ball only starts reversing around the 30th over."
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who suggested a dynamic change to the format many years ago, reiterated his stance for the format to break into four innings of 25 overs each rather than two of 50. This would break the monotony and reignite people's interest in the format. Tendulkar argued that two new balls have eliminated reverse swing, which was the hallmark of ODI cricket in the 2000s and 2010s, and it has shifted the game heavily in favour of the batters.
"That element (reverse swing) is missing today because of two new balls. The current format, I feel, is heavy on bowlers. Right now, the game is becoming too predictable. From the 15th to the 40th over, it's losing its momentum. It's getting boring."
"So, both teams bowl in the first and the second half. Commercially too it is more viable as there will be three innings breaks instead of two," he added.
Tendulkar's proposed modification could also be more commercially viable since there would be three innings breaks rather than just one. With India hosting the 2023 edition of the World Cup, hopes are pinned on the marquee event to revive interest in the format. It is an opportune time for administrators to consider Tendulkar's suggestion seriously and make dynamic changes to the ODI format to keep it relevant and engaging for fans, players, and broadcasters alike. The format has a rich history and has produced several unforgettable moments, and it is essential that it evolves with the times to remain an integral part of the cricketing calendar.