Sunday, January 24, 2016

Impact of Weather Conditions on a Cricket Match

Cricket is probably the only sport in the world in which the weather plays such a crucial part in deciding the course of the match. It is a sub plot within the larger scheme of things and its impact can be felt at all times. When the captains walk out for a toss, they always look up to see the general weather conditions. The pitch, in addition to the overhead conditions decide how the ball will behave.

If the sky is clear and the sun is out then it generally means a good batting day. This is because there is no moisture in the pitch and the ball plays less tricks under a clear blue sky. The sun quickly dries out whatever moisture there is in the pitch thus rendering it lifeless. The bowlers too tire out quickly in hot conditions and cannot bowl longer spells thus reducing the pressure on the batsman. Even if there is live grass left on the wicket, it quickly dries out and actually helps in the ball coming on to the bat nicely, again favouring quick run scoring and helping the batsmen.

A swinging ball is a nightmare for any batsman and an overcast sky generally aids the ball to swing. When the ball starts to swing in the air, the batsmen have only a few milliseconds to make a decision. Any error in judging the line or the length of the ball proves fatal as the ball only needs to deviate a little to either take the edge and bring the slip cordon in to play or miss the edge and hit the pads thus giving the chance of a leg before wicket for the bowling team. Cloudy conditions also mean that the temperatures are cooler and the bowlers can stay fresh for a longer period of time thus being able to bowl longer spells.

But there is a flip side of rain in the air as the ball tends to become slippery thus causing difficulty in getting a good grip on it. Also the pitch can sometimes start favouring the batting side as the ball starts sliding on to the bat at a nice speed without any deviation thus making life difficult for the team in the field.

Then, D/L method also comes in to the picture in a rain shortened match when ODI’s or T20 internationals are considered. How this method works is not something that most people understand and it leaves spectators and players dumb-founded on many occasions. Who can forget the 22 off 1 ball that South Africa was set after rain intervention revised the target. They also crashed out of the 2003 World Cup after a goof up when they thought that they had won the game on D/L but they were only par and needed one more to secure a victory.

Thus, it is fascinating to see how much the weather can impact the actual outcome of a cricket match.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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