417, 411, 408 – These aren’t just any numbers, but the top three totals of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. Two of these have been scored by South Africa, one by Australia. All have been made against weaker teams, rather minnows.
It has been said over and over again – Cricket is predominantly a batsman’s game. We all love watching batsmen go for glory and reach milestones, no doubt about it. But, the current trend of teams getting huge totals against the weaker ones at the World Cup seems to be getting repetitive and boring. As viewers, we don’t even need to watch the entire innings if we know South Africa is batting first against Ireland. That’s how predictable things have become. Yes, there have been a few last-over thrillers and nail-biting finishes, but eventually it’s the batsman who trumps the bowler. Minnow bashing is now a common phenomenon.
You’ve got to feel for these bowlers when the batsmen are in their ‘no mercy’ mode, showing no respect whatsoever. Teams have crossed the 300-run mark at least 20 times in this tournament and it is still the league stage. We’ve seen enough one-sided games already, and there’s little more that we can expect in the coming matches. Add to it, the fast and bouncy flat tracks in Australia and New Zealand offer little help to the bowlers. Of course, spirited sides like Ireland have a history of causing upsets, but that’s a one-off case.
It isn’t fair that the most awaited mega event in the world of cricket turns out to be anything but exciting. An even contest between bat and ball is what keeps the World Cup lively and unpredictable. When New Zealand clinched a low-scoring thriller against Australia at Auckland, we almost dropped our jaws. That’s the kind of excitement that we need. This year though, the hype is less. The 2015 World Cup is reaching the quarter final stage, where the top 8 teams from each pool will compete for berths in the semis.Let’s hope things turn around in the second half and we get to witness some intense clashes between teams that are vying for the ultimate trophy!