Home > Features >

New Ranji Trophy format: The pros and cons

New Ranji Trophy format: The pros and cons

India’s domestic cricket has had great viewership in the past, with local crowds turning up in large numbers to watch their heroes like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar (above). But has been on the decline with some lacklustre and star-deserted tournaments being organised © AFP

The domestic season has just started, and with some noise. With India’s Test stars back in the fray for the country’s elite First-Class cricket tournament, “Indians at least would know that the Ranji Trophy had started”, as WV Raman put it rightly.

 

This year the Trophy has something new to offer: revamp of the format, pre-season investments by some teams in terms of paid assistance from the National Cricket Academy (NCA), international coaches for teams like Andhra and Maharashtra. The season has struck the right chord in its quest to keep the premier tournament still relevant.

 

A good number of Team India members played the opening round, preparing for the series against England. On Day One of the 2012-13 season, Sachin Tendulkar grabbed the headlines with a sparkling, run-a-ball 136 against a Railways bowling attack, which had Murali Kartik in its ranks.

Following a departure from the Elite and Plate divisions, we now have a format with three groups, with each team playing four away and four home games, an increase from the erstwhile five. This has ensured a more level-playing field. The scheduling, however, has come under fire with just a three-day gap between fixtures.

 

The new format also has five days for all knock-out games and an optional sixth day so as to grind results out of rat-races for the first innings lead on unsporting pitches. But it has not killed the possibility of run-fests in the group games, with home teams and curators banking on the toss and their batting personnel, the latest examples being the Maharashtra vs UP or the Karnataka vs Tamil Nadu games ending on November 12.

 

Apart from killing the pace bowler with less time to recuperate, domestic cricket has also literally killed an intellectual pursuit called spin. With spinners having to bowl 50 overs in an innings, although not an excuse in sub-continental conditions, First-Class cricket along with the Indian Premier League, has led to a decline in the craft. Flatter and faster trajectories, negative lines have become endemic.

 

Even bigger a problem is the choice of venues for other domestic series like the Irani or Duleep Trophies. I strongly feel that such fixtures must be scheduled in places like Dharamshala or Mohali, which encourage pace bowlers and sets up an exciting contest between bat and ball. In hindsight, it can be a good preparation and a litmus test in deciphering who can handle similar conditions overseas.

 

A green pitch is not possible, however. But, always, good domestic competitions can be on the cards if the ball can move laterally or bounce considerably at lively pace. It is in the DNA of every Indian batsman and every Indian spinner to do their ‘traditional’ roles well inside India, on flat decks.

 

It is not possible to do away with the other domestic tournaments like the Deodhar or the Challenger Trophies, but they can be looked into by the technical committee headed by none other than Anil Kumble himself.

 

India’s domestic cricket has had great viewership in the past, with local crowds turning up in large numbers to watch their heroes like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, but has been on the decline with some lacklustre and star-deserted tournaments being organised. The English County Championship and the Australian Sheffield Shield have been kept alive and have continued to produce quality cricketers and contest through years, and our age-old Ranji Trophy must meet its challenges in the best interests of the game and its relevance in India.

 

(Madhav Krishnan is a student from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Hyderabad), pursuing M.Sc (Chemistry) and B.E. in Mechanical Engineering)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

BCCI’s plea to become national sports body to be looked into by Supreme Court

tsMS Dhoni takes 5th spot in Forbes Magazine’s valuable sportspersons list

PCB launches revamp of Pakistan’s domestic structure

Sri Lanka to look for new coaching staff

MS Dhoni better wicketkeeeper than what he showed at Lord’s: Farokh Engineer

India tour of England 2014: Ishant Sharma’s feats at Lord’s

India tour of England 2014: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s feats at Lord’s

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Dale Steyn’s feats at Galle

India vs England 3rd Test at The Ageas bowl: A sneak peek into England squad

Mohammad Irfan hopes Pakistani players will play in IPL

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Boeing in deal to provide plane parts to Iran

Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony: India make a grand entry on the tunes of ‘Nagada, Nagada’!

Bang Bang teaser gets over a million views within 13 hours of release!

Idea offers free web pass to its users on Opera Mini

Kurds agree on Fuad Masum for Iraq president: Official

How many Xiaomi Mi 3 units did Flipkart sell in India?

Leaked: Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone’s romantic video from Corsica!

Sex Tip #26 – What to do after sex?

Randeep Hooda’s erotic movie Rang Rasiya will release in Diwali

9 reasons sprouts are good for your health

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here