x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Smaller totals to be expected in one-day cricket, says Dilshan

Ahead of today's ODI in Sharjah, the Sri Lanka captain believes totals in excess of 250 will be hard to come by in 50-over matches with the usage of two new white balls.

DUBAI // The introduction of two new white balls at each end could change the nature of modern one-day internationals (ODIs), Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, has said.

The change in playing conditions became effective from October this year and though it is too early for definitive conclusions, Dilshan believes - from the evidence of the continuing series with Pakistan in the UAE - that batsmen-dominated days of big targets and bigger chases may have gone.

"We are getting used to two new balls," Dilshan said after the third ODI in Dubai. "I don't think 300-350 is possible, and 240-250 is a good total with these two new balls. Earlier, 240 was never enough but now it's a good, maybe winning, total."

The highest total, in what has been a competitive series, apart from the first game, is 257 and ball has given bat an equal battle.

In other matches around the world, results have varied: 300 has been crossed several times, in India, Zimbabwe and South Africa. There were concerns initially that it might make reverse swing redundant, but Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, believes conditions will continue to dictate totals.

"There is a difference, but especially on a wicket like this where there is some help for the bowlers," he said.

"At night, also, when it seams and swings a little two new balls are effective.

"Maybe in different conditions, in perfect batting conditions, batsmen will retain the advantage but here it has helped the bowlers."

The idea has been trialled once before, during the 1992 World Cup in Australia; then, the two balls encouraged Pakistan's bowlers to forsake accuracy for all-out attack, a tactic that enabled them to win the tournament.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae