The tri series between India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has just come to a thrilling end with a semi final ending in dramatic scenes with Bangladesh miraculously managing to score 12 off the last 4 balls to win a game they had all but lost, followed by an even more dramatic final where India needed a 6 off the last ball to overturn Bangladesh and Dinesh Kartick managing to clear the ropes to win the trophy in the most dramatic fashion.
The series was not given much build up or coverage due to India resting lots of their star players and playing squad and fringe players in the tournament.
Cricket regularly seems to take a dim view of players missing match’s series or tournaments. In this sense its quite far behind football in its thinking with regards to resting and rotating players. The advent of the Champions league saw the top Premier league clubs having to fight hard in three or even four competitions and having to juggle the demands of travel in Europe with playing twice a week in hard fought contests. The result of which saw teams come to the realisation that it was not merely enough to have a strong first XI but realistically needed a squad of players that could compete and play in any game and any competition.
Cricket like football has now evolved into a sport where competition and internationals are taking place all throughout the calendar year. It’s not remotely realistic that someone like Virat Kohli can play in all three formats of Test cricket, 50 over cricket and 20 over cricket for India as well as play in tournaments spanning months like the IPL for a franchise side. Cricket supporters enjoy the opportunity to watch action all around the world, all year round but must realise that its now a changing landscape where players are going to have to be rested and rotated to keep them fit and healthy for the biggest tournaments and series.
The result of which still produces exciting cricket to watch as the tremendously fought tri series produced. It also offers viewers and players an opportunity to see exciting young talent like 18-year-old Washington Sundar appear and take a leading role for India.
From a betting perspective it can offer some good opportunities with bookmakers not having seen a cluster of players perform at the highest level and able to form accurate perceptions of their value in a field. Sundar and Thakur were big odds winners in the Top India bowling market with firms unsure as to how to price these players with few games at the highest level to form opinion on.
Finally, just a note on the retirement of Kevin Pietersen. The most exciting and entertaining batsman I’ve seen in an England shirt in the last 25 years. Known as much if not more for his not always easy to swallow personality and attitude (especially with team mates), but key participant in the greatest test series of all the 2005 Ashes win, an away series win in Australia and some of the most exhilarating and unmissable innings you could ever see at the highest level of cricket. Thanks for the memories Kev!
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