Team India head coach Rahul Dravid opened up on the debate about the impending slow death of the ODI format. While many support the shortest format now, there was an acknowledgement from him that the sport wouldn’t go back to playing the way it used to play. Dravid, who played 344 ODIs in a 15-year career, hopes the format will continue to be played and valued as well.
“I mean we haven’t played a lot of 50-overs cricket over the last couple of years, that’s one of the things that I have kind of noticed over the couple of years that I have been the coach of the team. Because there were two T20 World Cups that happened and there is always the World Test Championship at the back of every team that you are doing, it’s a cycle that goes on,” Dravid shared in the press conference. “Sometimes, this format over the last couple of years, maybe it’s because of Covid, I can’t exactly say, but it’s just felt like we haven’t played a lot of ODI cricket and even when we played it, except over the last few months, we are probably prioritising other things and having to protect our players and manage our players maybe in this format.”
He continued, “Going forward, I think it’s still an important format, it’s a fantastic format to play. Obviously how much of it is played will be decided by a variety of factors… Obviously with more and more T20 cricket being added on to the calendar, it will make it difficult to potentially have the same number of one-day games that you probably are used to seeing between the 2015 and 2019 calendar. I don’t think we will ever go back to those days but I sincerely hope that we still keep valuing and playing this format…”
Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid gave the example of Mohammed Siraj’s seven-over spell in the recently concluded Asia Cup Final as well as the Devon Conway – Rachin Ravindra partnership in Ahmedabad to share the impact the format.
“I mean that was really top-class bowling of six  overs. In a T20 game you never see that, you would have bowled one or two overs or maybe three overs on a good day. But here you got to see a full gamut of his skills and his abilities which I think one-day cricket allows you to do that, allows you to see great spells, it still allows you to see good innings like that we saw from both those left-handers [Conway and Ravindra], it allows to you see a lot of good spin, rotation of strike and a lot of creativity. As a coach and as someone who loves the game of cricket, I want to see this format thrive and do well,” he shared.
However, the World Cup has started in India across different venues and Rahul Dravid said that it is difficult to put down a number and that adapting to different conditions will be more important than reading the pitches right themselves as well. Notably, India will begin their campaign against Australia on Sunday, October 8 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
He shared, “That’s going to be the beauty of this World Cup. So many venues that these matches are going to be played in. So many different wickets on those venues, to be honest some of the squares, you have red soil, black soil, you have a mix of red and black. Each one is going to be unique. I don’t think you can go and say that this is going to be a safe total, that’s not going to be a safe total. You’ve got to just have to adapt and react based on those conditions. Ground sizes will be different. We’ll probably play on a relatively bigger ground here in Chennai compared to say when we go to Bangalore or when we go to Delhi. Each venue will be different, we’ll just have to assess and see what it’s like.
“I don’t think that this World Cup is going to be decided by whether you read the pitch correctly, it’s going to be decided on the way you play on those pitches, on the variety of conditions that you are going to get. I think adaptability is going to be a huge challenge in this World Cup and how teams adapt to various venues, conditions and pitches and various bowling that they will have to face. And I think [that] will probably decide how successful teams are,” Rahul Dravid concluded.