About why One-Day cricket will go, and Test cricket will survive in the Twenty-20 world…


Does anyone give even a rat’s a*s about this tournament? Kitply cup? While I am tracking Australia vs. West Indies. FYI, Chanderpaul is being massive as usual for West Indies, Clark won Australia the first test, and I think the three West Indian quicks are making a contest out of this series.

It just seems to me that people are only still watching One-day cricket because it is what they are used to. And because human beings are creatures of habit. And because they are showing cricket on TV so why the hell not, one has already paid for the cable anyway ….. People, IMHO, don’t really care about the One-day game any more. It’s not as fast-paced as Twenty-20, not as skillful or technical as Test cricket, so what does it really have to offer?

IMHO, nothing. Nothing at all.

And that is good. One-day cricket, not Test cricket, should go.

Look, are there any real fans of One-day cricket specifically? Really, what are the hallmarks of the One-day game that set it apart? It is fun, finishes quickly, and has big hits. Tell me, which of these traits does Twenty-20 not have, and in equal or greater measure?

What will serve Test cricket well is that it is an almost completely different game to Twenty-20. The charm of Test cricket is completely different from that of Twenty-20. And if Test cricket has survived One-day cricket (and has come out stronger, may I add), it will survive Twenty-20 as well.

And there are some of you who will argue that One-day cricket is the best blend of the two extreme forms of cricket that are Test cricket and Twenty-20, and thus offers the viewer the best of both.

I would tell you, are you kidding me? One day cricket offers viewers the worst of both of these extreme forms. It provides a diluted version of Test cricket mixed with a diluted version of Twenty-20…. and in my opinion, that is just too much water.

One day cricket does not have the every-minute excitement of Twenty-20. The middle overs can be excruciatingly boring, and a one-sided match really has nothing to offer. Will you watch an Australia v.s. Bangladesh One-day match? No. While you might not mind watching a Twenty-20 between the two countries. Why? Because it is thrill-a-minute, Ashraful will still hit a six of two, and it finishes in three hours. Hell, if for nothing else, for the pom-pom girls at least..

One-day cricket does not have the technical nous of Test cricket. That does not require explanation, does it? Can a One-day game ever have a Ponting-Ishant nine-over bareknuckle battle? Can the One-day game accommodate Michael Atherton, the archetypal test player and such a joy to watch? Battles of that kind, players of that kind make Test cricket what it is, and that’s what One-day cricket can never capture. And yes, I hear your question, and that being – will you watch an Australia vs. Bangladesh test match? Well, here’s my answer. Did you ever? Nothing has changed. Test cricket has survived Australia vs. Bangladesh Test matches, and will continue to do so until Bangladesh becomes a decent Test-playing nation.

Therefore, One-day cricket should go. It has done its bit*, and it has nothing more to offer. Tell me, mail me, does One-day cricket really have anything more to offer? Anything new? Anything different?

(* – Increased the scoring rates, improved fielding, ensured more results)

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11 thoughts on “About why One-Day cricket will go, and Test cricket will survive in the Twenty-20 world…

  1. The number one reason why I feel one day cricket pales in comparison to Test: the singularly controversial Duckworth Lewis system. I reckon in a majority of the matches that it has been implemented, it has only aggravated the confusion about the target, instead of clearing the air. Shaun Pollock will surely agree.

  2. You seriously think that if the ICC comes up with a better rule than the Duckworth Lewis, one-dayers will get more watchable than either tests or twenty-20?

  3. No, you got me wrong. I never intended any rule change in ODIs. My point is that there’s an indecent emphasis on getting a result somehow in ODIs while Test cricket by itself enforces participants to perform towards a result.

    The ICC has become such an excuse for a governing body after WC 07 that it is unlikely to make a fool of itself by effecting any rule change.

  4. But one would need results to sustain a game, no? As in, how realistic in the modern world is a test match lasting for 5 full days, and not leading to a result?

    IMHO, it is because test cricket is having so many results these days, that its near-resurrection has occurred. As in, apart from the subcontinent, test cricket remains the biggest draw…

  5. Hey JB, welcome.

    I agree to your point about T20, but here’s the question.
    As a classicist, you would prefer Test cricket to ODIs or T20s, correct me if I am wrong.
    As singularly a thrill-seeker, someone else will prefer T20 to ODIs and Tests.

    So what does ODIs have to offer?

    The question is not about what the classicist will prefer between ODIs and T20s. Or the thrill-seeker. The question is about whether the ODI game individually has any long-term merit whatsoever. And please do note, this is a question of stand-alone merit, and not a comparative…

  6. OK, I’ll stick my neck out and still say I like one day cricket. Test cricket is the real thing, but I’ll take the 50 over game any day over T20.

    How can I put it without sounding unconvincing? Just the little things, I suppose. For example, I have a weakness for watching Michael Bevan-esque batsmen deconstruct a target by going at their own pace (they seemingly have no place in the other forms of the game). I happen to like watching dribbly slow bowlers dry up the runs and force the batsmen to do all the work. I like the sight of batsmen resorting to innovative chip shots down the ground during the 20-40 over stage when all out attack or complete defence are not viable options.

    I realise I’m part of an overwhelming minority, but what the hell, I’ve said it.

    (Incidentally, the number one reason I like 50 over cricket is that the team I support, New Zealand, are good at it. But that’s another story).

  7. Well put, Suhas, and how’ve you been dude, been a long time!

    I agree, it is the joy of watching these unsung things, that are special to one-day cricket. But here’s the question: how many of the apparent one-day cricket supporters really look at these aspects that you mentioned, as reasons for liking the game? It’s not people who have loved the exploits of Sachin and Lara and Sehwag and Afridi who have anything to lose for the demise of the ODI, it’s guys who were fans of Gavin Larsen and Ian Healy the batsman….
    Believe me, Michael Bevan would have fit in to T20 excellently, he never let a dot ball go… In fact, even Gavin Larsen would have.

    My question is not about whether ODIs are better than T20s, or worse. My question is simply that what do ODIs stand for, now that the T20 has come in, and that the tests give regular exciting matches…

    And having been a (very poor) bowler all my life, may I insist that the ODIs are the worst case scenarios for bowlers, and T20s are not. The moment you accept that giving more than 6 runs an over is not a crime (that being an entirely ODI-based concept), you start to appreciate a 4-0-36-4 analysis, and thereby the bowler who has got such stats.

  8. I could not agree with you more.Test cricket was,is and SHOULD be the premier form of the game,,though I’m sure the bird brained administrators dont think so.well written article.

  9. Thanks, Anoop! The administrators, are just that, administrators (not that they are too good in administrating either). The test format could be marketed better in the subcontinent, for starters.

    And hi, how have you been? Good to see you here.

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