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King Cricket: Wickets are the new runs

August 26th, 2008 by King Cricket in One-day cricket, South Africa in England and tagged , , , ,

Tell you what we’re losing interest in: runs.

Don’t get us wrong, we’ll still exclaim ‘shot!’ when Andrew Flintoff pops a drive straight back past the bowler. We’ll still produce a confused laugh of joy and fear when Shahid Afridi pans the ball into the stands playing across the line while standing on one toe. The feeling has lessened though. It’s to do with inflation. A four just isn’t as valuable in today’s cricketing climate.

Big, long, turgid innings aren’t a new invention and to be fair, today’s high scores are usually more spectacular than the exact same scores from years gone by, but bigger bats, shorter boundaries and flatter pitches mean runs are as plentiful as empty beer bottles in your embarrassingly full recycling box.

We notice it most in one-day cricket. Quite often we get the feeling that a one-dayer isn’t decided by the team that bats (or even bowls) better. It’s decided by who cashes in the most. Batsmen don’t merely try and put away bad balls. They work out just how many good balls they can dispatch.

The current one-day series between Sri Lanka and India has been refreshing. In three matches, the highest score has been 237-9. High scores are supposed to be more exciting, but lower totals typically offer closer matches and there’s nothing better than a close finish.

Whether batting or bowling, you’re never quite out of it when batting’s difficult. One good partnership and you can make a massive dent in your target. One wicket and things might all fall apart for the batting side.

So we’ll tell you what we love more by the match: wickets.

See King Cricket’s regular blog at King Cricket is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

Posted in One-day cricket, South Africa in England |

5 Responses to “King Cricket: Wickets are the new runs”

  1.   Suave says:

    Nice point young fellow me lad.

    It certainly is nice to see a pitch with a bit of juice in it.

    One suspects that old zac might have been back on the jelly beans, as he’s hooping it again, and generally making King Kumar look a mortal.

    It’s got to be shenanigans I tells ya.

  2.   A P Webster says:

    I agree about low-scoring games akways being more exciting - probably the most excited I’ve ever been watching cricket was when England stuggled to 127 or so at Trent Bridge in 2005.

    Seeing a wicket taken is always better than seeing someone hit a ball really far. The balance has swung too far in favour of batsmen in the last couple of years.

  3.   King Cricket says:

    Plus wickets are just fundamentally more exciting. They come without warning (usually) and change the match situation far more than anything a batsman can do in one moment.

    Just watch the crowd. They might clap a four or a hundred, but they leap to their feet and punch the air for a wicket.

  4.   A P Webster says:

    Obviously, South Africa were reading this, and decided to help redress the balance

  5. says:

    » King Cricket: Wickets are the new runs The Wisden Cricketer…

    With pitches flat and boundaries short, runs are no longer as valued. It’s wickets and low-scoring matches that are the thrillers….

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