> That to me is the bottom line, you should not have all your wickets
>if you are the second batting team, in a reduced overs match.
yes - that would make it easier to come up with a workable rule, except
that its un-implementable.
> When deciding which batsmen don't bat, it will be difficult. However I
>think that at least every second batsmen to be withdrawn should be one of your
>first six in the order.
Then you'd have an Australian order that looked like Marsh Moody Boon
Jones Reid Whitney Border Waugh, ...
If the rain didn't come, they'd just save Reid till later when his big
hitting skills might be more required...
There have actually been two excellent examples of just how this rule
works fairly well (its not perfect by any means) in the recent past.
The first is (obviously) today's game between WI and India, that illustrates
that its not impossible (even with the max N overs rule) for the team batting
second to win in this kind of game. I have very little info on the game,
but it seems as if the WI approached it in exactly the right way to play
second in a game that might be affected by rain, got off to a very good
start, and then continued after the rain iterruption, even though they seem
to have scores just a couple less than India in 10 less overs, a much harder
target than India against Aust, and almost as difficult as Pak against SA.
The Pakistan innings was almost a prime example of how not to play, the
2/70 odd at the interruption (which has been described as a good start)
was exactly the opposite, there looked to be no real attempt to score much
at all in the opening overs, meaning that when the rain came it was simply
too late. There's no question but that if there's a possibility of rain,
you have to allow for it - and rain never "just happens", you're always
going to get 30 minutes of so of advance warning (or almost always, and
certainly in all of these games).
The second was the game between England and Australia - and yes, that was
a game where there was no rain at all - but the possibility of rain was
there, early at least. There Border won the toss and had to decide whether
to bat first, or second - with the old "average run rate" rule (that some
people still seem to think is a better way) he would have had no choice but
to bat second, whatever happened, he'd have been in the better position.
With the new rule that's certainly not true, batting first can be an
advantage, in some cases, a big advantage, as has been seen. It can also be
a liability - eg: if rain comes during the first innings, so the captain has
a choice to make, rather than just following te formula. In this case
Border (as probably most captains would) decided to bat first, that's
probably where the bigger advantage was, and it backfired - as should be
possible in any of these cases where you gamble to try and achieve an
advantage. It didn't rain, no overs were lost, but Australis did end up
having to bat in an overcast atmosphere, where the ball was swinging more
than it did in the second innings where England batted - just the reverse
of a normal day/nigt match. By then the clouds had all blown away...
I'm not saying that Australia would have won had they batted second (England
are playing very well at the minute, and would have won anyway), just that
the run rate rule worked reasonably well in doing (partly) as it should,
that is, in removing the absolute effect of winning the toss on matches
where rain threatens.
ps: I wouldn't criticise Imran for sending SA in the other day - then
there was no real hint of rain at all, what was forecast was a few showers
- which came during the SA innings - even if they had been enough to cause
play to halt, it would have been of benefit to the team batting second -
another example to illustrate that "bat first" on winning the toss is not
a natural outcome of the current rule, unlike the "bat second" which was
the only intelligent thing to do with the previous rule, making the toss
the game decider in many cases. If you really feel the need to criticise
anything, criticise the slow batting rate in those first 20 overs, just
another 10 runs there could have made the result different.