I used to get annoyed watching the ODI game when a new batter would come to the wicket against a spinner and merrily knock 10 singles in 15 balls without any pressure.
The field setting and the tactics were so defensive.
The New ODI rules and regulations will change all that.
With 5 men as a minimum inside the inner ring, here's what will happen:
- Batters will be squeezed
- Pressure will be mounted on the batter
- Players will be forced to go ariel earlier in their innings
This can only lead to good cricket and a completely different phase of the game to watch or play.
Having 1 less boundary fielder (4 maximum rather than 5) will also shift the lines that some bowlers aim to hit.
Will deep mid wicket be left open for more of the game (especially when the ball is going away from the swing of the bat)?
Will we see attacking lines with a slip being kept in the game for longer periods of the game?
Here are some fields for an off-spinner to right handers that we will start seeing being deployed in the ODI game:
With this field, the off spinner can bowl an attacking line, bringing slip into play and encourage the new batter to take on a slog sweep early in the innings.
Straight midwicket, straight extra cover and the bowler act as a tight squeezing triangle ensuring that the only precise and perfectly struck balls that get past them to the deep men straight down the ground. No easy 1s.
This is an imaginative field as the only boundary options available here are to reverse sweep or play into out over mid off:
Again, it's an example of a "force the issue" field setting rather than a wait and see one.
Some batters may be able to hit these two tough shots early on, but these players will be anomalies rather than the norms.
If a batter is known as a reverse sweeper then move the point behind square and hug the edge of the circle.
Pressure mounts on the new batter, also the batter who is set at the other end is not getting enough strike and of course, pressure makes the incoming batters have to force the pace early in their innings too.
So can we as coaches, encourage our spin bowlers to think "attack" when new batters come to the wicket and use the new ODI rules to kick-start a new, exciting way of playing the middle overs of the game?
I know I am going to!