The Light Roller: IPL's appeal is boosted by big hitting and free-to-air TV coverage

Diary of a cricket obsessive

65 runs from 17 balls; and all of it on the box

The bish, bash, bosh of the Indian Premier League is not everyone’s cup of darjeeling. It is frequently not quite as exciting as its supporters like to suggest: games are often not close contests.

However, there are occasions when even the most sceptical viewer can surely understand the IPL’s appeal. James Faulkner and Steven Smith’s fearless pursuit of sixty-five runs from the last four overs for Rajasthan Royals against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday was so clinical that they only needed 17 of the available 24 balls.  That is some hitting.

Not only was the batting of the Royals’ Australian pair amazing, it was also accessible to a wide audience on ITV4.  The snapping up of IPL broadcasting rights by ITV was a brilliant move.  For those who wonder whether T20 cricket will one day push test cricket to the margins in this country, a glance at the television listings for live, free-to-air matches might provide a clue.

 

Sky blue England still need a sunnier outlook

A new era for England began in soggy Aberdeen last week. The city might in due course become a battleground for north sea oil rights, should Scotland gain independence, but on Friday it was simply a battle to get a game on.

England’s comfortable victory in a shortened match hardly gave many clues to the future. The old hands did most of the donkey work. Jimmy Anderson made a welcome return, as did a sky blue kit that somehow has more of an essence of England than skin-tight orange.

The team still need to put more effort into showing us that they’re enjoying themselves, however.  While apparently expressing gladness that proceedings had got underway, Alastair Cook sounded almost grudging about the match taking place in conditions that were 'some of the worst I have played in’? If you're going to welcome the efforts of the groundstaff please convince us that you mean it!

 

Faith in youth at The Oval

Last week I suggested that Surrey expected immediate promotion under Graeme Smith’s captaincy. In fact, says chairman Richard Thompson, the club is prepared to play the long game, trusting in youth to build lasting success.

Matt Dunn's promisingly agressive bowling caught the Roller's eye last season and he has got off to a flyer this year: 18 wickets at 24.33 so far. Thompson points out that there are many others too – Ansari, Sibley, Roy, Curran to name a few – who will form the backbone of Surrey's future. 

This faith in young players, all of who will benefit from playing under Smith, is striking. If Surrey were the cricketing Manchester United at the turn of the century, their current crop of youngsters might be modern day rivals to “Fergie’s Fledglings” of the ‘90s. “Thompson’s Tots”, or “Smithy’s Brood” perhaps.

 

What has become of the ten-wicket haul?

A ten-wicket match haul remains a special achievement for any bowler.  Yet it is notable that in the first-class season so far there has been just one (by old-hand Jimmy Anderson), despite the fact that five-fors within single innings have been abundant – forty-three so far across the board (including thirty-seven in the Championship).  Rain will have played a part by shortening some matches, of course, meaning that opportunities to bowl in two innings have been reduced. 

Nonetheless, last season there were twelve ten-wicket match performances throughout the course of the County Championship and a grand total of 130 single-innings fifers.  Time will tell whether 2014 eventually proves that bowlers are able to produce the goods across the full duration of a game as frequently as last year.  Spinners will obviously come into their own later in the summer, for instance. 

Or is this another sign of the drift towards short attention spans, a collapse of stamina during the longer forms of the game?   

Twitter: @willjgore

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'