Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Nov 27 2022, 12:00 PM

ODIs in ventilation: How can it be revived?

image-laz2rlcuEngland and Australia playing ODI with low attendance levels (Source: Twitter)

The game of cricket has become faster since the advent of the T20 format. Other shorter formats of the game have been invented to pique the interest of the audience such as The Hundred and T10. 

As the shorter formats of the game have gained popularity, 50-overs have taken a back seat. The 'middle orders' of the format is gradually killing the game

 Test cricket, the longest and the purest format of the game, remains relevant as the dynamics change each session and keeps the thrill alive. 

Reasons for the loss of interest

While if we look at the 50-overs format, the period between 11-40 overs is where the viewers lose interest. It is the phase where an inning is built. The batters during this phase look to milk the ball around the park and pick up singles and doubles while preserving the team's wickets for the last 10 overs. 

The bowling team at this stage also looks to be defensive. The field is generally spread out and the match progresses at a slow pace as teams let things flow at their speed. 

While these 'Middle Overs' in an ODI match are a test of temperament for the batters and bowlers, it is the dullest period for the viewers. There is no so-called action at this stage as fours and sixes dry down and the fall of wickets is also irregular. 

It is this phase that has rendered the 50-overs format the dullest format of cricket. The ICC has taken many steps to change the dynamics of the game but so far the results are not so encouraging. 

Double Innings ODIs

A few years back, a legend of the game, Sachin Tendulkar proposed a format for the rejuvenation of the 50-overs format. His idea was to divide a 50-over innings into two halves of 25 overs. 

In easier words, the proposal by Sachin was for the 50-overs format to be converted into a Test with limitations of 25 overs in each inning. 

What could be the result? 

  • When two complete innings with 10 wickets will be given to the teams, they will have double the resources in the same time period, hence greater risks from the players could be expected. 
  • As a lead in the case of two innings format might be beneficial teams will look to approach batting with more positivity from the very beginning. 
  • This format will bring a lot more dynamism into the 50-overs format and we can expect a lot more momentum shifts throughout the match. 
  • As cricket is trying to spread its global reach, we see that the comparatively newer nations, fail to cope with temperamental issues in the 50-overs format. But the same teams give a much tougher fight in shorter formats. So, if this new format is applied we can expect to witness closer matches between teams in the multination tournaments. 
  • This format will be the biggest test for the captains of the team. The format will demand a lot of spot thinking and encourage the skippers to take gutsy decisions on the field. 


In conclusion, we can say that it is high time a decision to inject life into the 50-overs format is taken. The viewership of the format is already in the decline and if cricket's governing body lets things how it is at present it bring about an untimely death of the format. 

The two-innings format looks interesting and can be the lifesaver of 50-Overs cricket.

Also Read: Are we living in the last age of ODI Cricket as MCG holds a poor attendance?