Why change the format of ODI cricket, Virender Sehwag over suggestions for overhaul of ODI cricket

Former India cricketer and newly-inducted ICC Hall of Fame member Virender Sehwag on Tuesday rejected all suggestions of changing the format of the One-day International (ODI) cricket to help it survive the onslaught of T20 and other shorter formats.

While a lot of people have suggested doing away with the ODI format, many others like cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Ravi Shastri have suggested changing its format so that it would it will continue attracting spectators. Shastri has suggested to reduce the match to 40 overs instead of 50 while Tendulkar wants it to comprise four innings of 25 each. For many weaned on the slam bang Twenty-20 format,, the ODIs have become predictable and too long, which resulted in newer formats like T20 and The Hundred being introduced to keep the fans engaged.

But Sehwag summarily dismissed all such talk with just one question of his own.

“Why (should the format be changed)?”

“If they want (a shorter game), they can watch T20. Why destroy this format,” said Sehwag adding that all that is needed is for the players to play aggressive cricket to make it more attractive. Sehwag was speaking on the sidelines of a function at which the new members of the ICC Hall of Fame, Sehwag, Diana Edulji, the pioneer of women’s cricket in India, and former Sri Lanka World Cup-winner Aravinda de Silva were introduced

ODI cricket is somewhere in between Tests and T20 as it combines elements of both these formats. There is no need to change it, opined the former India opener.

On the occasion, Sehwag also talked about players havin their individual style of playing and not copying the style of their idols.

When he made it to the Indian team and went on his first tour of England, everyone was talking about Sehwag as a Tendulkar clone. “I could look like Tendulkar and even copy his style but I could not bat like him or scre line him and have similar success. I wanted to be first Sehwag and not second Tendulkar, so I changed my stance, changed my playing style. That’s why I could be so successful,” said Sehwag.

He said that he has told his son Aryaveer not to copy his style and added that has also told his son to play aggressive cricket. “I try and tell him develop his mindset. He learns the mindset fro me,” said Sehwag. Players like me, Rahul Dravid we can only help develop mindset of their children if they have talent, he added.

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