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‘It felt like it went all day’: slow over-rate in India vs Australia 1st ODI raises concerns

It looked a lot like slow-motion cricket.

By: AP | Sydney | Updated: November 28, 2020 1:46:15 pm
India's Mayank Agarwal attempts to run put Australia's David Warner at the Sydney Cricket Ground. (AP)

The first one-day international between Australia and India ended at 11:09 p.m. local time Friday, nearly an hour after the scheduled finishing time. It looked a lot like slow-motion cricket.

“It felt like it went all day, that was the longest 50 overs in the field I’ve ever had,” man-of-the-match Steve Smith said after Australia’s 66-run win at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Smith scored 105 runs from 107 balls, while captain Aaron Finch added 114 runs.

Virat Kohli’s India side and the majority of Australia’s starters recently took part in the Indian Premier League then spent two weeks in hotel quarantine.

Players were given permission by state health officials to train once a day during the two weeks, but were otherwise locked in their respective hotel rooms.

Sluggishness might have been part of the problem, says Adam Zampa, who took four wickets for 54 runs to help put Australia 1-0 up in the three-match series.

“From the viewers’ point of view, it’s not the best look for the game,” Zampa said. “It will definitely improve. Hopefully after getting those cobwebs out and getting those miles in the legs, you’ll see some more intensity in the next two games.”

The next match is Sunday, also at the SCG, with the third match set for Wednesday in Canberra.

The International Cricket Council changed its rules last year, ensuring captains are no longer issued demerit points and put at risk of suspensions for slow-over rates.

Match referees now have the power to fine entire teams, which is what happened to India in three consecutive games earlier this year during a tour of New Zealand.

Shane Warne, commentating on Fox Sports during the match, said “over-rates in all forms of the game are at an all-time low . . . they (the ICC) have to come down hard.”

Australia could be without allrounder Marcus Stoinis for Sunday’s match. He left the field during the seventh over and didn’t return and follow-up scans revealed a low-grade side strain.

“He’s a pretty big weapon in our team, so it will be disappointing if he can’t play,” Zampa said.

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