In years to come, dads will tell their kids about the Accumulation Period. It went like this. At around an ODI’s 20th over, the batsmen would decide to only score runs by lapping down to third man, the dibbly-dobbly bowlers would lazily chuck down (sometimes literally) 6 overs each on a nagging length at 4.5 an over – everybody woke up at around 35 overs to rack up an imposing 280.
The accumulation period – bad for watching cricket.
For fans, it was a chance to get things done. If you were at the ground it was time for (mostly liquid) refreshment, and starting, participating in and resolving fights before batsmen started hitting out again. If you were watching at home it was possible to get in the car, get a few jobs done and get back to the couch via the bottler and the drive-through without missing too much.
The accumulation period – good for chopping beer
Those days are over. Post CWC15 going batshit is the new accumulation period, 400 is the new 300 and bowlers are the new cannon fodder.
The Influence Of T20, big bats, pitches friendlier to batsmen than liniment and boundary ropes slinking from the fence like a Shane Warne walk of shame are all being blamed for turning the Once-Dying Format into an experience like watching eight hours of highlights.
If this England / BLACKCAPS series was a blue light disco, the batsmen were the ones who necked a cask of screwdriver in the car park and spent the night dancing and pashing, while the bowlers sat alone, looking moody, thinking about how they can’t feckin’ stand Come On Eileen.
Big bats – a scourge on the modern game.
So is this what it’s going to be like from now on, with death bowling required for 50 overs? Limited overs innovation has given us new-ish bowling tricks like the wide yorker and slow bouncer to limit the damage – but they don’t seem to be working on the feather bed pitches, in this series anyway.
There’s talk of changing the ball, the ropes, the bats and the power play format, but cricket is notoriously slow to change its rules (which is a good thing when compared to Rugby, who are always up for a bit of Touch, Pause, Shambles). sportreview.net.nz suspects future re-balancing of bat v ball will come from bowlers, captains and coaches working out new plans or indeed, groundsmen having mercy. Big scores and big hits sell tickets, I expect ICC leadership or action is unlikely to swift or potentially effective.
Anyway. You probably remember Kevin Pieterson from being England’s all time Test run-scorer. And from Piers Morgan’s Twitter account. Trust issues between KP and former team mate / current England director of cricket meant his involvement in this series has mainly been online, where he’s been putting his hand up loud and clear.