Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Can they play a 6 day Test?

I am interested in seeing how international cricketers will adapt to the idea of the six day Test when the one-off Super Series test begins. In the last 5 years, the trend has been to finish matches in roughly (off the top of my head - no proper analysis done here) 4.5 days.

A six day test would require a team to be composed of 5 bowlers, IMO. It's a hard task for bowlers to pound in for longer than they're used to. Fortunately, both teams (on paper) do have the strength in the attack for this purpose.

The other aspect is that batsmen & captains need to re-calibrate their innings strategies (assuming they get in control of the match soon). The set batsmen may need to play longer if they want to remove the possibility of their side losing while retaining the likelihood of their winning.

This Sydney track is famous for assisting spinners - Murali and Warne will both relish a 6th day track if it came down to it. I can't see too many batsmen in either side being comfortable with that.

In all, I have a feeling both sides will end up playing normal 5-day style cricket without too many concessions to the extra day. It may or may not backfire eventually. For the RoW, their first priority would be to get the gears unstuck after the ODI hammering.

On Bench

In the recent Challenger Trophy, I don't think a single substitute has been used by any side (I saw the reports of at least 2 matches and it seems in each, both subs were unused). I thought one of the aims of this series was to introduce the new rules and perhaps provoke some experimentation. Which doesn't seem to have happened. An opportunity has been lost in learning about the possibilities there.

Robin Uthappa, Venugopal Rao, Suresh Raina have all performed well, as have many of the others knocking on the door. No bowling breakthroughs really though. Dhoni sprang into the team after his scintillating performance last year, so hopefully Uthappa will also see his impressive ton from yesterday translated into more tangible gains.