Written by Chandresh Narayanan | | February 15, 2015 7:50:14 pm
For all those looking for similarities between the ongoing Cricket World Cup 2015 and the last such event to be held Down Under, think no further, because there is none. (Full Coverage| Venues | Fixtures)
The Cricket World Cup 2015 purely by evidence of the opening two days will be a batsman’s tournament. Just look at the 300 plus scores by all the four sides batting first on the opening weekend and you get an idea of how times have changed.
In 1992 New Zealand started off the tournament with 248 for six in their 50 overs against co-host Australia.
But in 2015, all that has changed, the advent of Twenty20 cricket and the impact of the numerous restrictions on bowling and fielding, has meant that scores have kept soaring.
New Zealand started the tournament in 2015 with a total of 331 for six in their 50 overs against Sri Lanka. That was the best evidence of how the pitches have been tailored for the television viewer.
There has been enough and more evidence in the past few years that the pitches in Australia and New Zealand will be flat for any kind of ODI game. Ultimately in the West, the ODI game is fighting for survival and there is always an existentialist question about the format in those countries.
So don’t be surprised if you see a number of batathons at the World Cup. What it will ultimately do is once again help capture the romance of the ODI format in most non-subcontinent countries.
The World Cup in 2015 however needs some more excitement and edge of the seat results because otherwise it will follow a pattern that will drive away fans from the format.
The coming week in the tournament is a recipe for disaster where a number of mismatches have been lined up, with only a potential for one odd surprise.
The World Cup in 2015 by evidence thus far does not have the charm of the 1992 edition. The quicker the contest evens out between bat and ball, that much better it would be as a spectacle on television.
But if you in India are waking up early, hoping for the same thrill like in 1992, unfortunately that is not the case. Just dip in and out while the matches are on, because unlike in 1992, you have digital media to keep track of the action.
The 2019 edition of the World Cup may therefore be a tighter tournament, because there will be just 10 teams, including two who have to qualify. The tight nature of the schedule of the 1992 World Cup with nine sides, made it a more open tournament and maybe that’s what cricket needs. The quicker cricket realises it the better it would be for the growth of the sport.
Chandresh Narayanan is a senior cricket writer having served in different roles across all mediums. He has ser...read more