Monday, July 11

Sub-super thoughts

Ok, so I thought the Super Sub rules meant something else. Up until the first one-day, I thought I was clear on the experiment, and believed it meant that a team announces a squad of twelve and then announces its playing eleven once the toss is done.
Of course, this is not the case. A team announces a playing XI, and a Super Sub. The captain then proceeds to the toss and hopes his selection works.

Somehow, I have believed that my misunderstanding of the rule is probably a better way of implementing this innovation. The team announces a squad of twelve and then pulls one guy out after they know if they are batting or bowling. It more or less ensures that a team will use the super sub, thus encouraging whatever spectator interest and ‘increased quality’ that was envisaged to begin with. It effectively means that the team will pick (usually) an additional specialist, depending on their strengths and weaknesses, and so have a stronger overall side.

Sure, it means there is less of a gamble. For those of us who believed that this rule eliminated the charm of the risk that team selection was (with XI players only), I suppose this gamble that a team is required to take works. My instinctive reaction, however, is that the purpose of the Subs, one would think, is to not only increase strategy and excitement, but increase the quality of cricket being played. Allowing the XI to be named after the toss increases the chances of this enhanced quality.

I have to admit I am a little torn here.
My problem with the current implementation is that it is too much of a gamble, and one that is not really necessary. If we are corrupting the old way of committing to eleven players, then we should corrupt it enough. This will probably encourage the bits and pieces players who can come in either way (or, of course, genuine all-rounders who are rare in the game already; if the allrounder is truly world class he will probably be in the eleven anyway) The good thing is that there is at least some lottery element retained, though the success of (of a specialist as substitute) is more dependent on chance than strategic selection.

My only problem with the other way is that there is no gambling at all. It will, however, let us see more specialists at work, and the good thing is that we are likely to see a team with a better chance of defending a total, or chasing it. In all, it will allow for a more rounded team performance- exploiting conditions, and resources, to the fullest.


Darryl said...

I kind of agree with you, akr. However, I can also see some positives for the rules as they now stand. For example, England had to consider bringing in their super-sub Solanki as they continued to lose wickets at Lord's. Do they sacrifice one of their bowlers in order to add another batsman? That was probably a big issue for them. I guess it just made it a little trickier for everyone involved.

akr said...

Fair enough- England came precariously close to sacrificing a bowler the other day. I guess my only fear is that the super sub will not be used because of such circumstances- which, given that there are new rules in place, seems a bit pointless to me.

I think the ICC and the committe may not have ( I could be presumptous here) actually thought what are their objectives in introducing the super sub rulings. Sure, it sounds exciting and new...but how exactly will it enrich the game may have been under-thought.

Anonymous said...

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