Is 300 the new 250? This is the question that has been on my mind ever since the World Cup 2015 began. Yes, since the introduction of Twenty Twenty cricket the scores in ODI cricket have been on an upward surge but on the big playing fields of Australia and the seaming and swinging conditions of New Zealand, 300 was always a tough proposition. That is until now, it seems.
In the first match New Zealand racked up 330 against Sri Lanka, Australia then plundered 340 against the English at MCG later that same day. South Africa also crossed 300 even though they were in some strife early on against the Zimbabweans and the Indians then made exactly 300 against the old arch rivals Pakistanis. West Indies again managed to reach the 300 run mark despite being 80 odd for 5 wickets against Ireland. So in 5 complete matches out of 6, all the 5 teams that batted first mustered up scores well in excess of 300. Only in the game that Scotland batted first against the hosts New Zealand that 300 was not scored.
What are the reasons that is aiding these big scores with such alarming regularity?
Small Boundary Size - The ICC recently said that the boundaries will be pushed back as much as possible so that the mishits do not go for sixes but I am not so sure if that is happening in reality.
Heavier Bats, Muscular Batsmen - The size of the bats that some of the batsmen use now a days is just enormous. They have so much meat that there is practically no edge and even miscued shots clear the ropes with ease. The modern age batsmen too work out so much in the gym that they have bulging muscles which lens so much more power in to their shots.
Field Restrictions - The fact that only 4 fielders are allowed outside the 30 yard circle in the middle overs has made the batsmen bolder, they seem to be taking more chances now and we are seeing so much more ariel shots being played then they ever before.
T20 Innovations - With the T20, batsmen are now not averse to play innovative shots like the ramp, scoop, reverse sweep, switch hit etc. All these new shots have opened up the field and provides much more scoring opportunities thus reducing the dot balls.
I truly feel that there must be some balance between the bat and the ball. Yes, watching the ball fly all over is great once in a while but seeing it all day becomes a bit tedious. The low scoring affairs are much more absorbing and the matches are generally much more closer. The 300 plus matches tend to be one sided as the scoreboard pressure gets to the team batting batting second and they lose by a big margin more often than not.
So I believe that the ICC must step in to restore the balance between the bat and ball so that the eco-system of cricket is preserved else the day when the already endangered species of bowlers become entirely extinct is not that far away!
What are your views on this? Do you love high scoring encounters or low scoring ones?