The world of ODI cricket is now just one short of 20 400-plus ODI scores and, more and more, it’s evident that 500-odd is going to be achieved.
The carnage reaped by England on Australia earlier this month in Nottingham again asked the question: which is the greater desire – a sporting contest between bat and ball or sports entertainment?
The jury will remain out on that, but for now, it’s well worth marvelling at the ability of batsmen to go so big, so often.
The 2019 Indian Premier League was somewhat of a disappointment in terms of centuries scored, so England’s mayhem at Trent Bridge was a welcome treat. It’s a pity one of Jonny Bairstow or Alex Hales, if not both, didn’t record a double century.
There’s still only seven of those, three of which were scored by Rohit Sharma. Only three Indians, one West Indian and one New Zealander have gone that far. We’re still waiting on an Englishman, Australian or South African to get in on the act. With AB de Villiers out of the picture, one has to wonder who the Proteas’ ODI double-centurion hopes sit with? Quinton de Kock or Faf du Plessis, perhaps.
With an innings total of 500 drawing ever closer, it’s also safe to assume an individual 300 is just around the corner as well. Names like Chris Gayle and again, Sharma and Guptill, come to mind for this to happen.
These are the sort of top-order batsmen who know how to pace an innings really well, lining unbridled bludgeoning with calculated hitting. As much as it’s about the runs on the board, it’s also about the ability to last the extent.
It’ll be really good to see an ODI triple century arrive at one of the bigger grounds, too, not at a small venue in India. The record would be all the more impressive, as well, if struck against a reputable bowling attack.
Granted, Australia’s seam department is under-strength, given the absence of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, but Bairstow and Hales cashed in against a challenging attack, on a sizeable oval, regardless, albeit not going all the way to 200 each.
It’s a little-known fact that South Africa’s 438 struck against Australia in March 2006 was beaten by Sri Lanka versus the Netherlands a couple of months later. It’s not far off – and a cheeky punt, indeed – to suggest a team will go bigger and better than England’s 481 for six later this year – or, at least, at next year’s World Cup.