Monday, 15 February 2010

The fate of batting records these days...

In today's world of cricket, it would not be wrong to say that records are created rather than achieved by anyone. The latest one would be the 47th test hundred by none other than SachinTendulkar. Until a decade back, there was only Sunil Gavaskar who had scored more than 30 centuries in test cricket. But, today, there are five others excluding Gavaskar namely SachinTendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Steve Waugh and Mathew Hayden who have scored 30+ hundreds in international test cricket. It was somewhere in late 80s when Gavaskar achieved this feat.

But, the remaining six have done it in the past decade. It took 36 years for someone like Brian Lara to break Gary Sobers' record for the highest test score of 365* and just 6 months to break Mathew Hayden's score of 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003. There was a time when the bowler used to bowl the ball at the batsman the way he liked, with no restrictions upon the number of bouncers that a bowler can bowl in an over unlike it is today. There was no rule of a bowlers being prohibited to bowl further incase he bowls a dangerous delivery that is referred to as beamers in today's cricket.

Gone are the days when a test match used to yield results despite a team putting up a 700+ total. Yes, it is possible in today's cricket provided the team should be facing either the West Indies or Bangladesh for that to happen. One has to indeed thank the ICC for banning Zimbabwe from paying test cricket. In today's cricket, a total of 700+ on the board needs no further reason for it to be termed a draw in most of the cases. In today's cricket, a bowlers' main idea is to just bowl maiden overs than to get the opposition out.

No blaming the bowlers when the life for a batsman is made so easy that even tail enders like Harbhajan Singh & Mitchell Johnson can boast of 50+ scores and a debutant like Ravindra Jadeja can take the opposition bowlers for a ride. Batsmen need not bowl if they don't feel like. But, as the team loses wickets, bowlers will have to get in and take to the crese irrespective of whether it is his cup of tea or not. Finally, the bats that are available today can be considered to be those made of springs than willow that was the case a decade ago. The bats have so much power in them that a solid defence can find the ball go past the boundary.

Added to these would be the extended powerplays, batsmen friendly pitches, a free hit off a no ball and the advent of the T20 cricket. This can give rise to a lot of Sachins and Sehwags and less McGraths and Kumbles. Thanks for the entertainment ICC!

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