The Master Blaster's Mantra To Make ODIs More Interesting - Sachin Tendulkar Wants 4 Innings Of 25 Overs Each

Indiatimes

Indiatimes

Author 2019-11-05 13:07:13

As the BCCI under Sourav Ganguly gets ready to take a fresher look at the country's domestic circuit, Sachin Tendulkar has some serious thoughts to share.

He belieces that rejigging of formats - especially the ODIs, merging of certain tournaments that are played in the same formats; doing away with the zonal system and hiking fees at the First Class level are among the several ideas that have become the need of the hour.

Speaking to TOI, Sachin shared his ideas on how the sport is to flourish.

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"The 50-over format is the first thing that needs a look-in," says Tendulkar. "As I had suggested, the format needs a tweak of two innings of 25 overs per side with a 15-minute break between each innings (a total of four innings between two teams).

The number of innovations that can be brought in are huge. Let's say there's a 50-over-a-side match between Team A and Team B. Team A wins the toss, bats 25 overs; then team B bats for 25 overs; Team A resumes innings (with whatever wickets left) from the 26th over; Team B then resumes the last innings to chase the target.

If Team A has lost all their wickets within the first 25 overs itself, then Team B gets 50 overs (25 overs plus 25 overs with a break) to chase the target. Now look at the number of ideas that can be adopted in a format like this," he explains.

Here's how, Tendulkar believes, it will help:

The dew factor: Presently a horrifying prospect for a team bowling second - gets relatively neutralized. Both teams have to bowl under lights (one team a bit more than the other but still a fair division).

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Tendulkar says: "There's always a chance to come back into the game. In a regular 50-over format, if a side wins toss and there's dew, the side bowling second has no chance. The wet ball just skids on to the bat and it's never a fair battle".

Better deal with washouts: If there are two innings of 25 overs per side (accounting for a 50-over-per-side format), and there's a prospect of rain later, the teams can plan their innings differently and curtailing the game is also easier. Tendulkar says: "Frankly none of us understood Duckworth & Lewis. I think only those two gentlemen understood it. Look at the recent Vijay Hazare game washout, when Mumbai bowed out. Nobody likes a no-result contest."

Change powerplays, add to excitement: Every first 25 overs, the first five overs should be mandatory powerplay, instead of the original 10 where teams don't have a choice but to take it.

The remaining five overs should be divided into two for the batting side, three for the bowling side to be taken as and when they want. This cycle should repeat every 25 overs. Tendulkar says: "The six extra balls for bowling powerplay will balance the battle between the bat and ball. It'll be exciting for the viewers because teams will constantly rethink strategies.

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"If a batting side has consumed seven overs of powerplay (5 mandatory and remaining 2), and have a pinch-hitter waiting to come out yet, they could hold the batsman back until the fresh mandatory powerplay will begin from the 26th over. Or, if the bowling powerplay is on and two off-spinners are on strike and batting side loses a wicket, a "nightwatchman" (reference term) can walk out to see off those overs".

Broadcasters will be happy too: The innovations can even boost broadcaster's interest, says Tendulkar, as three breaks of 15 minutes - instead of the long, jarring 45-minute break - can make for more talking points and precise conversations. The former India batsman says innovation is the only way forward if the format has to survive. The identity doesn't change.

Re-invent or reduce domestic events: Tendulkar strongly believes that with the Ranji Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the IPL in play, the Duleep, Challenger and Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy / tournaments can either be reinvented or done away with.

"Look at the Challenger. Players come from different states, zones, play together for a few days and disperse. There's no team bonding. Do we even remember these games? Teams are randomly chosen.

The same applies to the Duleep Trophy in certain ways. It doesn't serve any purpose when players arrive overnight from different zones and play a few matches and go their separate ways. Even in IPL, teams stay together for two months," says Tendulkar.

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The batsman believes it is time to rejig the Duleep Trophy and introduce something fresher for players at all levels to identify with. "The four semifinalists from Ranji should play the Duleep.

The additional two teams should be carved out of the rest of the domestic players, and those who've done exceedingly well should be included. Here, the Under-19 and Under-23 players should be promoted. A player who doesn't fit in the senior team could well be playing against players in this space," says Tendulkar.

Similarly, when there's a two-month IPL window in place, Tendulkar has his doubts about whether the Mushtaq Ali Trophy is relevant. "It's the same format. The IPL is serving that purpose and is getting revenue too, which is important," he says.

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