Rule changes have made cricket better to watch, bowlers need to adapt

Australia were worthy winners of what I felt after only a couple of weeks was the best ICC Cricket World Cup we’ve ever seen. From there it only got better and better and it was just what the game needed. There has been talk of reducing the game to two formats but the one-day game is alive and kicking now.

If people are totally honest, they were probably getting a little bit tired of the one-day game but now it looks such an exciting brand of cricket that everyone wants to be a part of it. Australia really did turn up for the final and I don’t think New Zealand will have any regrets. The champions had that one hiccup against New Zealand in the group phase at Eden Park but apart from that they were very consistent with a very powerful, modern approach to the one-day game.

When they’re on form like that they’re extremely hard to beat. Mitchell Starc has proved to be a huge player for them along with Mitchell Johnson. The three left-arm bowlers is something that’s been hard to combat.

If New Zealand had won the final, Brendon McCullum was probably the man of the tournament of the boldness of his leadership and almost taking them to the World Cup with the way he was going about it.

I believe the best bowling sides win World Cups and you look at that Australian line-up and there is  plenty of pace and match-winners there. Starc was the pick of the bowlers, the guy that no batsman wanted to face. The ball is coming from a serious height at 90 plus miles an hour, swinging late, it’s hard to combat.

As a batsman, when you know he can hit you in the head at any time but he’s also going for your toes, those kinds of bowlers are difficult to line up which is why he took so many wickets. It was an amazing tournament to watch. It’s reinvented the game of one-day cricket and reignited the passion for the game, which I think was needed.

A lot of credit goes to the ICC because the rule changes have brought about a game that is better to watch. You’re always going to get bowlers that will be upset but we’re seeing some amazing matches and the game has gone to a new level.

There are a handful of players out there that have grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. It’s taken everyone by surprise how quickly the game has changed. Since the invention of T20 cricket the game has had real steady progress over the last 10 years.

But it just seems to be this past six months that people like AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell have just got a new injection of confidence with the bat, the confidence they have going out to the middle, it’s as if there’s no consequences on the wicket and they’re playing in their backyard and having fun.

Every time AB got the bat in hand and went out there it was breathtaking. When you play the game and you understand the pace the bowlers are bowling at, added to their skill level, these batsmen are just making a mockery of it.

Courtesy: ICC

 

(The only England captain to lift an ICC Trophy, Paul Collingwood is his country’s most capped ODI player (197 matches) as well as most successful batsman (5,092 runs) to date. He captained England in 25 ODIs between 2007-2009, winning 11 and losing 12. Collingwood played in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 World Cups, scoring 474 runs and taking eight wickets. An athletic and agile fielder, Collingwood took 108 catches, including 13 in three World Cups. He is now part of the Scotland team coaching staff)