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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

India records its 65th 300+ score – another record.. what is a safe score to defend in a One dayer ??

Do you know of the match – when SM Gavaskar, SS Naik, Ajit Wadekar, GR Vishwanath, FM Engineer, Brijesh Patel, Eknath Solkar, Abid Ali, Madanlal, Venkatraghavan, Bedi alongwith RD Jackman made their debut ?

To some who have been following all matches, this may not be new… limited over cricket has always been fascinating and in India, people have been keenly watching the Deodhar  Trophy – the 50 over competition between South, North, Centra, East and West Zones.  The tourney is named after Prof DB Deodhar and was introduced in 1973-74 season – South Zone won that year.  Remember in 1980-81 Deodhar match at Chepauk, Thirumalai Echampadi Srinivasan shred to pieces West bowling scoring a masterly 129 outclassing Krish Srikkanth, and eventually getting selected for that tour of Australia – Newzealand… that was an innings of class written all over.

Limited over matches (60 overs; 55 overs and now mostly 50 overs matches) are exactly 40 years old.  When it rained and the third Test at Melbourne was a near wash out, officials decided to have a limited over match of 40 overs each (8 ball over) and thus the first ODI was played on 5 January 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  Australia won the game by 5 wickets.  Cricket has travelled a long way… generating great enthusiasm and interest amongst cricket lovers..  it has been subjected to many refinements and renovations regularly with 2 balls per innings from either ends, being used now.  Also the fielding restrictions have been in place for quite some time and have been subjected to frequent alterations.. the present Powerplay rule states that apart from the initial 10 overs, the second and third block of powerplays may not be taken so as to commence earlier than the 16th over nor be completed later than the 40th over.

The game is increasingly shifting towards  batsmen.. often it is said that crowds come to watch batsmen score runs – I have always believed that a good match need not be a ‘high scoring one’ all the time..  Cricket is all about, good thinking, smart field placements, pick up and throws, direct hits, run outs, good catches, judgments, deft field placements, good bowling be it pace, swing or spin as also batsmen – it is after all a team game and one can excel in any of the departments – not necessarily a batsman scoring a century of more runs.. 

For long scores of 220-230 were considered good enough to defend and scores of 250+ were considered – sure win totals.. at times, teams chasing would easily give up if they were to score at 5 + at the start of their chase…….  Not any longer…….. perhaps amply demonstrating the growing influence of willow over leather.. now scores of 300 + even are not considered good enough.. In the pre-match interview in WC 2011 Finals, Kumara Sangakkara quipped that only 350+ perhaps could be considered safe totals in India against India

Though some countries upped the ante and scored 300+, India was late.  Their first score of 300+ came 22 years after their first One dayer. That was on 15th April 1996 at Sharjah when India batting first made 305/5 and won against arch rivals Pakistan

Much water has flowed ever since…….. now on 20th Oct 2011 by scoring 300 at Mohali against England, India made another history of records… it was our 65th score of 300+ and now India stands on top of that list. 


Of those 65 – the country-wise break-up (Major ODI playing Nations) is:  Australia 6; Bangladesh 2; Sri Lanka 13; England 9; New Zealand 5; West Indies 5; Pakistan 11 and South Africa 4.

Of these 65 300+ scores, India has won 52 times, lost 12 and tied one.

16 of these scores have come when India batted second i.e., when they have chased scores of 300+ made by their opponents.  Of these 16, Indians have won 11 matches is creditable.  Representing their recent form, 51 of the 300+ scores have come after Dec 2001 and 30 of them in matches played after 2007.  This year 2011 alone,  India has 5 – with 4 of them coming against England in the series that ended now and in the series at England when we toured there recently.

The heavy bats, strategies, smaller grounds and will, determination and  stronger minds have changed the way Cricket has been played !!

It was on 13th July 1974 at Headlingley, Leeds, England – the first One day match for India against England that those in the first para made their debut.  Quite surprisingly, India made a very good score though they did not last the quota of 55 overs.. they were all out for 265 in 53.5 overs.  Brijesh Patel with 82 off 78 balls with 2 sixers and 8 fours was the top scorer; Wadekar made 67 off 82 with 10 fours.  India lost that match by 4 wickets probably due to inexperience. John Edrich made a 90. Bedi was hit for 68 – 11-0-68-2; Solkar bowled well – 11-1-31-2.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

prepared on 27.10.2011 circulated on e-mail.. and posted on blog now...


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