23 June, 2021

One Day In Wonderland

Forget the critics, the ODI still adds punch to the game

Getty Images (From Outlook, February 21, 2011)
One Day In Wonderland

The one-day international is much maligned, often dubbed these days as boring, predictable, contrived, irrelevant, an unnecessary adjunct to a bright future full of Twenty20 international leagues and the occasional Test match. Pithily, it is said there are just too many ODIs, and their scripts are quite familiar to the audience. But is the litany of complaints justified? Not really, for the ODI, far from being moribund, still packs a punch, and the 10th World Cup, like the others before it, is the best showcase for the format.

It took a while to dispel the charges levelled against the ODI in its infancy—that it was too short, destructive of batting skills, contemptuous of bowlers; that it wasn’t ‘real cricket’ but ‘festival cricket’. Fans gradually realised the ODI format had cricketing value: batsmen could be called upon to build innings, bowlers could be match-winners and not just by restricting runs, and fielders were driven to new heights of skill and athleticism. Quite simply, you could see some...

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