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?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
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

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable