From extra fielder outside ring to split-innings, Sachin Tendulkar suggests changes in ODI cricket to restore popularity

Over the past few years, there have been widespread discussions around keeping ODI cricket relevant.

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Sachin Tendulkar Speaking
Sachin Tendulkar Speaking. ( Photo Source : Twitter/@toisports)

Legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has suggested a few changes to the ODI format to have an equal balance between bat and ball. Over the past year, there have been widespread discussions around keeping ODI cricket relevant as several players have mentioned its diminishing popularity among the fans.

Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes also announced his retirement from ODI cricket last year to manage his workload. England ODI captain Jos Buttler also expressed his displeasure over playing an ODI series right after the T20 World Cup 2022.

To make ODI cricket interesting and crowd-friendly once again, Tendulkar has suggested getting rid of the two new balls being used in the format to allow the traditional reverse swing to come into play.

"With two new balls, even in the 25th over, the ball is literally 12 or 13 overs old. There is no such thing as reverse swing or the discolouration of the ball, or the ball becoming soft. These factors really put a lot of pressure on the bowling side. There were challenges [for batters] where one did not pick the ball because of the discolouration. That was an advantage for a bowler,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The 49-year-old further suggested adding one extra fielder outside the ring from overs 11-40 to allow spinners to bowl an attacking line.

"Also, with the introduction of five fielders in the ring… I was speaking to a lot of spinners and the overall opinion is that 'we cannot change our line’. If an offspinner is bowling, he is forced to bowl a middle-stump line. Because you either have to have your deep point in the ring or you need to bring in the long-off because on the on side, you have three fielders in the deep and here you can have only one fielder in the deep,” Tendulkar added.

'It's not a fair competition between two sides' - Tendulkar's opinion to diminish toss advantage

Toss has always played an integral role in determining the course of a match. In order to diminish the toss advantage in the game, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar reiterated his suggestion of dividing ODIs into two innings of 25 overs each.

"The solution for that, I had spoken some time ago, is to have a 25-25 overs match. It is a 50-over match, but you bat for 25 overs, then the other team comes and bats for 25 overs, and you start again from where you stopped after the first 25 overs,” he added.

"The only reason I am trying to say this is because a small coin can decide the fate of the game. It is no more a competition between two sides. One side is favoured by conditions because the captain has won the toss. So, it's not a fair competition between two sides,” Tendulkar concluded.

Sachin Tendulkar will be turning 50 years old on 24th April 2023. The legendary cricketer has the most number of runs in ODI cricket (18,426) and also has the most fifties (96) and hundreds (49) in the format.

He also has the most number of runs in ODI World Cups to his name, having amassed 2278 runs in the history of the tournament, as well as the joint highest number of centuries in the tournament (six). The 2011 World Cup winner finished as the highest run-getter twice in ODI World Cups in 1996 and 2003 respectively. He was even awarded Player of the Tournament for scoring 673 runs in the 2003 edition, which is also a record for most runs in a single edition of the tournament.




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