I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I’ll just get into it.
The bowling Powerplay is absolute rubbish, and that’s the only word that comes to mind instead of one of the several other alternatives I have in mind that may get me in trouble with the administration team here.
No matter what restrictions you put on a bowling side, they will always take their bowling Powerplay almost as soon as it’s available.
The ONLY team that would have used the Powerplay in its original strategic thinking was the New Zealand team, circa World Cup 2007, when Dan “The Man with the Plan” Vettori was captain. He’d often delay his bowling Powerplay until the 20something-th over, when two new batsmen were in the middle and it would be hard for them to hit over the infield and score fast runs. This was back when (I think) both “optional” Powerplays depended on the bowling team.
I get where the ICC is coming from with the whole Powerplay thing. Overs 16-30-odd would just be four singles an over, with the occasional boundary or two to spice things up. People would sleep during that time. Hell, I myself depended on that time to fall asleep. The Powerplays therefore gave, at least in theory, the opportunity for more action.
But a batting team is not going to attack like hell during overs 16-20. That’s when practically EVERY international team takes their bowling Powerplay these days. Yes, they will attack, but as far as going for the big shots? Nope, that’s for overs 36 to 40…which is also coincidentally when most teams take their batting Powerplay.
I am more frustrated with the concept of a bowling Powerplay than I am with sleeping during the middle overs. 50-over cricket has a place in the international arena. Not a “one day” game of 4 separate innings of 25 overs each. Not a 40 over game. None of that crap.
The game is biased too much toward batsmen as it is.
Not that anyone who has any say in the game will read this, but since the ICC decided to increase the number of “restricted” overs from 15 to 20 (one of their many HORRIBLE decisions in my mind), then how’s about this?
Overs 1-15 as it was classically. Two men outside. Two men in catching positions. Slips count as catchers but they don’t NEED to be inside the innner inner circle, as is the current rules. The batsmen can only take their batting Powerplay during overs 36-45.
Oh, and if the ICC wants to implement two bouncers an over in ODI cricket from October or November or whenever the hell they change rules every year, how’s about allowing a third fielder behind square on the leg side?
Yeah, I’m saying it. Encourage short-pitched bowling. Bodyline was more than just a tactic, it was a political brawl too. But with all the safety gear and whatnot (in the past a frontline bowler would NEVER bowl a bouncer to a fellow bowler, now it’s almost encouraged)…yeah, with everything in place about safety, allow the third fielder behind square leg side.
The ICC has all but eliminated front-foot no-balls from ODIs with the free-hit rule. But they need to address a few more key issues. And the Powerplays as they stand currently annoy me way too much to remain silent on the issue.