Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ARE LOW SCORES BAD FOR CRICKET?

Are low scores bad for cricket? Yes, seems to be the answer based on the views of the commentators, news channels, ex-players and the presenters of ‘extraaa innings’. So far in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy no team has been able to post a score that we have been used to see at least on the subcontinental wickets.

Typical has been the reaction of the teams losing to blame the pitch and the commentators blaming things like the dew and the start of the game. It is opined that the toss is the crucial element in deciding the outcome of the matches. On the contrary, the matches have so far provided cricket of good quality.

The loss of South Africa to New Zealand started off the blame game. It is a known fact that the Proteas cannot handle good quality spin and that was the reason for their defeat. The wicket at Wankhede only helped the spinners. A good team has to learn to play and win on all surfaces. That is the factor separating a good team from the best team.

A good bowling and fielding display is as entertaining as the boundaries coming from the bats. South Africa have knocked out Sri Lanka from the tournament with a superb display on the field. West Indies put up a modest score and they could defend it successfully against Australia.

Cricket is not just a game played with the bat and the ball also has a decisive part to play. There have been enough of matches where scores of 350 plus have been chased much to the chagrin of the opponents. It is time to give bowlers their due.

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