Gone are the days when Indian audiences were on tenterhooks for 50 overs as cricket’s men in blue faced their arch nemesis in green. Now that anxiety is being clipped to 20 overs.
Television ratings show that India’s one-day international (ODI) match against Pakistan this weekend simply failed to command the kind of audience that it would have in its heyday. The inaugural match of this ODI Champions Trophy brought in ratings far lower than inaugural matches in the Indian Premier League played in the 20-over format.
Like any new innovation, the advent of Twenty20 threatened ODIs from the start—that threat is only building up. So, do the annals of creative destruction have an answer to how cricket can now develop?
One, ODIs—like Test cricket—can be relegated to the dustbin of history for the mainstream, exciting only purists. Two, ODIs could evolve to offer a challenge to Twenty20. Sachin Tendulkar’s formula of splitting ODIs into two innings may offer something here. Which way do you think ODIs will go?