Call for rule change as India stifles game

Updated: 10 November 2008 08:42 IST

Ian Chappell called on cricket's administrators to consider changing the game's fielding laws following a negative third day in the fourth Test.

Call for rule change as India stifles game

Nagpur:

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell called on cricket's administrators to consider changing the game's fielding laws following a negative third day in the fourth Test between Australia and India.

Australia scored just 166 runs on Saturday - including 42 in the entire session before lunch and 49 in the second session - in the face of ultra-defensive bowling from the home side.

For much of the morning India placed eight fielders on the off-side and only one on the leg-side, while the bowlers delivered the ball well outside the off stump, making it difficult for the batsmen to score any runs.

"It is not the sort of cricket I like to see," Chappell said.

"Administrators have got to think about suggesting that perhaps no more than two-thirds of the fielders can be on one side of the wicket.

"It really isn't a lot of fun watching the bowlers bowling well wide of the stumps and batsmen putting their bats on their shoulders."

Australia crawled to 355 before being dismissed late on the third day, with Simon Katich topping the scoring with 102.

Usually Australia aim to post about 300 runs in a day, almost double what it managed Saturday.

The hosts, who lead the series 1-0, used the method because India needs only a draw in this match to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

"India dominated the (third) day's play and it was really up to the Australians to get moving," Chappell said.

"India employed tactics that probably don't make for good viewing, but I guess (captain Mahendra Singh) Dhoni will say 'at the end of the day, we're leading by 86 runs and I don't care what you think of my tactics'."

Katich, who managed just 10 runs from 69 deliveries in the opening session, grudgingly accepted India's suffocating plan.

"They know they don't have to win the Test match," Katich said.

Cricket writer Peter Roebuck, a former first-class player, was upset with the strategies of both teams during the series.

"Does Test cricket want to survive?" Roebuck wrote in the Sun-Herald. "Does it even care?"

"Nothing has been more tedious in the current series than the juvenile finger pointing about negative cricket. And the problem has been that the accusations have all been justified.

"Both sides have played a boring game, aiming wide of the sticks whenever it suited them, stifling stroke play, killing the game."

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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