Supersub makes the toss unfair, says Trescothick

It would not surprise anybody if Marcus Trescothick, England's stand-in captain, returned home from Pakistan on 22 December with a few extra grey hairs on his head.

Captaining a team in a one-day game was a stressful enough experience even before the International Cricket Council introduced "supersubs" and "powerplays", and the new regulations are yet to win over those who are responsible for the decision-making. So much can happen during the 50 overs a side spends in the field and, unlike in Test matches, there is the added pressure of having to bowl your overs within a certain period of time.

Yet it is not the extra pressure that is causing captains to question the recent innovations; it is the belief that the team who wins the toss are given an unfair advantage. Looking at the results in the 33 matches that have so far been completed, this appears to be true.

England and Australia were the first teams to play under the new regulations and it was initially felt that every team would select a batsman as their supersub and bowl first on winning the toss. This tactic would give the side batting second the advantage of chasing their opponents' score with an extra batsman. Sixty per cent of the 33 matches have been won by teams using this strategy.

Yet there is a factor that is even more important than batting first - winning the toss. Indeed, 70 per cent of games have been won by teams who have called correctly before a ball has been bowled. The figure is higher because winning the toss allows a captain to use his supersub exactly as he wants to, whereas the opposition's plans may be ruined. The trial is still in its infancy - it will be reviewed in April 2006 - but these figures are far too high for the rule to be considered fair.

The introduction of powerplays, periods of play when the fielding side have to position nine players within the 30-yard circle, have proved far more popular. Under the current regulations the fielding side must have nine fielders within the circle for 20 overs of a match. There is a compulsory period of 10 overs at the start of an innings, and the remaining 10 can be split into two five-over segments and used when the fielding captain wants.

"I'd rather not have to worry about these things," admitted Trescothick, on the eve of England's first one-dayer against Pakistan today. "There is a lot going on out there, in terms of getting the bowlers bowling at the right time and the fielders in the right positions.

"These things are part and parcel of the one-day game and powerplays and supersubs give you something else to think about. The powerplays are OK but the supersub is a bit different. It is a bit unfair for the side that loses the toss."

Captains and coaches are coming up with alternative ideas and most seem to agree that teams should be allowed to name their supersubs after the toss. "In its current form I'd say scrap it," said Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain. "The team that loses the toss can quite often be stuck without having that other option, so it's almost 12 against 11. To name your supersub after the toss would work better for everyone."

* The New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming will return for the third and final one-day match against Australia, who have included the uncapped fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, in Christchurch today.

Fleming missed the first two games of the series, both won by Australia, while recovering from surgery to remove a tumour from his face. Johnson replaces the fast bowler Brett Lee, who returned home after the second match on Wednesday to have a breathing problem rectified.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style