..the ODI is dead.
given the response to twenty20, not least because the subcontinent made it to the final, and a team of 1 billion won it, i say the ODI will die its natural death in roughly two years. coming on the heels of an india/pak match-up prediction, i can be justifiably confident of making such predictions methinks 😉
tests can never die, in my view, simply because they are the “classic” form of the game. and the ordeal of a test match is very different from the game in any shorter form. skills and abilities have to be stretched to very different limits. when one compares an 8 hour running time for ODIs and a 3 hour running time for T20 games, the choice becomes obvious -whether from a viewer perespective, or an economic (read advertisement) perspective. more games, more possible viewership for a quicker game, and a radically different format from the classic version of the game.
ergo, ODIs will eventually be taken out of the equation.
current styles of playing ODIs are pretty much to slam the ball around the park as far as possible, for as long as possible. and even during any mania i have had for the game, i’ve never managed to sustain myself for more than 10 overs at a time. overs 15-40 normally signify a drop in viewership during any such game. the natural successor to ODIs currently seems to be T20. however, it is possible that T20 is modified to have smaller teams, and the options of a couple of substitutions between innings. the choices would seem to make it more unpredictable.
the question is whether tests can ever be killed off as well. i would hope not, but i accept that following tests over 5 days is an ordeal. i have no clue about viewership, but i do know that tests have a different level of cricket that i wouldn’t want to lose. some of the most significant performances have happened in this form of the game.
for now, we celebrate. until team india breaks down given their schedule for the next 6 months: nearly 23 ODIs, two T20 matches and 10 Tests.
T20 poses some interesting questions for the team. will T20 players ever see a bigger stage with the big 3 hanging around ? will the BCCI manage to realise that different teams for different forms of the game need to nurtured ? and the biggest question is: how many of those 35 matches will be without a coach ?
on a personal note, it makes me want to go back to barely following the game at all. mismanagement, frustration, and bad attitudes can only be tolerated for so long.
and still we win.