The round robin league of 83rd Ranji Trophy has been in full swing with the defending champion Mumbai once again on a mission to defend the laurel. But, this edition is different from the previous edition as BCCI introduced ‘neutral’ venue system in India’s most important first-class tournament Ranji Trophy which is the production line of talent to the national team. Before the start of the tournament, there was confusion and hesitation among the fans and batsmen as unfamiliar condition might trouble them, but their apprehension proved wrong as batsmen started dominating from the beginning of the season. Also Read - Shreyas Iyer Confident of Sealing No.4 Spot in Team India, Aiming to Lift IPL Trophy With Delhi Capitals
Indian chief selector MSK Prasad said that BCCI’s move would help the Indian players to get familiar with the overseas condition. The decision was taken to help Indian players get used to with the unfamiliar condition as India often succumbed to overseas condition while at home they are near invincible. The neutral venue has brought competitiveness in the domestic cricket. Also Read - Virat Kohli's Relentless And Fighting Nature a Great Example For us: Shreyas Iyer
The neutral venue system abolished the home advantage system which gives equal footing to both of the team. The neutral venues test skills of budding Indian cricket and it will help them to adapt to overseas condition quickly. It will help the Indian cricket for a longer run. (India vs England 2nd Test: Ravichandran Ashwin meets Indian navy soldiers at Vizag) Also Read - 'ICC Should Come up With Alternative Route': MSK Prasad on Shining The Ball
So India.com-Sports tries to understand how do the batsmen find the neutral venues so far. Recently in an interview Indian chief selector said, ““Playing at neutral venues is the biggest revolution in Indian cricket. The players, on the whole, have adapted quite quickly to the format.” (Did David Wiese bowl the fastest ball ever?)
The 83rd Ranji Trophy commenced on October 6 so far 14 batsmen across the teams scored 400 plus runs while 10 batsmen have scored 500 plus runs. Four batsmen scored 600 plus score. Meanwhile, only two batsmen scored 700 plus total. The average strike rate much higher than last season. Only the pinch hitter or tail-ender have good strike rate in last season but this season genuine batsmen like Rishav Pant,who currently hold the top position of a highest run-scorer, has scored runs at a strike rate of 113.1 strikes. Last season Shreyas Iyer was the highest scorer with 1321 runs in 11 matches to his name. His strike rate was 73.88. He scored runs at a strike rate of 92. But this season Delhi’s Rishav Pant played five matches so far and scored 799 runs at a strike rate of 114.14 while Baroda’s Deepa Hooda has been in tremendous form as he scored 690 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 115.
So far 108 hundred scored this season while last season 123 hundred scored at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the strike rate of batsmen is also better than the previous year. This season already so far 12 double hundred scored while last season 11 double ton was scored. But not a single triple hundred was registered in the 2015-2016 season, but this year three triple hundred scored so far by Rishav Pant, Sagun Kamat, and SM Gugale. Maharashtra’s Gugale is the highest individual scorer of the tournament as he scored unbeaten 351.
So it will not be an exaggeration to say that batsmen have done a better job than last season, and the ‘neutral’ venue didn’t affect batsmen’s fortune in this Ranji season. It seem that batsmen adapt the ‘neutral’ venue system quickly.
(Image credit: The Indian Express)