Australia v India: Why ODI batters are making runs like never before

There is no stopping these Twenty20 hybrid batters such as Glenn Maxwell, whose cameos can turn a game on its head. Photo: Mark NolanAs the Australia v India series continues, with Australia winning their fourth match, there is one thing that still blows me away – the runs.

Never before have we seen two teams consistently score over 300 runs in an ODI. Gone are the days that a team will feel comfortable defending a total of 270 runs.

Now, a score of 300 isn’t safe.

Yes, we could say that Manuka Oval in Canberra is a smaller ground, or that the pitches are quite flat as they have been all summer. But I think there is something else behind all of this.

Twenty20 cricket.

Many of the limited overs players play a lot of Twenty20 cricket. And now, as we see scores increase in the Twenty20 format, it is easily transitioned across to the ODIs.

Batters are now as courageous as ever, attempting to take down a bowler from ball one to swing momentum in their favour. They are taking on the field for the quick singles, and really, 300 runs then becomes more and more likely with a tiny bit of luck on your side.

While there has been some brilliance with the ball, there is no stopping these Twenty20 hybrid batters such as Glenn Maxwell, whose cameos can turn a game on its head within two overs.

The Indians also play an enormous amount of Twenty20 cricket, and often it is their choice of format. It seems that competitions such as the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League are changing the way cricket is played.

I can recall from the fourth Australia-India game that even the commentators find a run-a-ball slow with the standard being set by the top order. David Warner was apparently “tied down” yet was 44 off 40 balls at that stage.

Even fielding restrictions are unable to contain batters. A change in the international rules now allows five fielders on the boundary in the last 10 overs.  With more players on the boundary, you would assume you are able to restrict but instead Australia hit 111 off their last 10 overs.

The innovative shots are no longer saved for the Twenty20 arena but rather come out in the last few overs, leaving bowlers defenceless.

If players continue to play Twenty20 competitions all around the world, we can only expect that ODIs will become more and more explosive each season.

The only way bowlers can adapt is to be smarter and take on a Twenty20 mentality. In any game, flat wickets mean change-ups are critical. Bowlers may soon find themselves bowling six different balls – like they do in Twenty20 – to stay ahead and keep the batter guessing.

Regardless of who bats first in the final ODI, you can guarantee either Australia or India will be chasing 300-plus at the SCG on Saturday.

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