India has just clinched the home ODI series against England after taking an unassailable 4-0 lead in the 7 match ODI series. The Indian team did an exceptional job so far in the ‘friendly and used to’ pitch conditions. What’s exciting to see is the new energy, vibe and aggression in the Dhoni-led Indian team. And kudos to Garry Kirsten who along with Dhoni seems to be the luckiest pair in years.
The England team on the other hand, has been still getting used to the Indian conditions and before they realized whatever happened the series was out of their hands. To be fair on England, they have been steadily improving – though not at a great pace – in the past two-three games.
What really marred England’s hopes was the controversial Duckworth-Lewis method of calculating the target in the case of a cut-short game. It’s really worth investing some time to see whether this 12 year old method is good enough to cover all scenarios of an interrupted game.
What happend in Kanpur?
The early morning smoggy conditions in Kanpur delayed the start of the game. It’s known to the locals (and may be even to the Indian umpire) that it gets darker in the evening, even as early as 4:30. If the game was delayed by 45 minutes in the morning itself, and likely to have an early closure by 45 minutes or so, why didn’t they go for a 40 over match? Giving the advantage all of a sudden to the team batting second was really unfair. And as Ravi Shastri mentioned in the post match review, why can’t the use the flood lights and complete the remaining 9 or 10 overs?
It was clear from the beginning that it was a rainy day. The rain interrupted the match a couple of times and Indian scored 166 in 22 overs. And the target for England was 198! Now that’s RIDICULOUS by whichever rules. I mean, how can they ask somebody to score 20% more runs than actually required to win a match, just because some stupid rule is applied?
The Duckworth-Lewis system. Is it really worth?
The D/L method was introduced in 1996-97 and it was the pet project of two undergraduate students. For the past 12 years it has created several controversies and raised many questions already. Moreover, since the rule has been introduced the one-day game rules have changed several times with introductions like power play, ball change after 34th over and also too many day and night matches. If ICC can’t come up with a better alternative, why can’t they even scrap the rule and if possible do a re-match else declare the game as draw?
If you are interested, please take a look at the Online Duckworth-Lewis Calculator.
My sympathies are still with the England team, though Indians played better cricket! However it’s high time the authorities looked into the laws and rules under dispute.