Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane believes that going forward all the First Class fixtures could be turned into five-day games in a bid to guarantee a result. Currently, the group stage of the Ranji Trophy is a four-day affair, while the knockouts are played over five days.
After playing out a draw against Maharashtra, Rahane suggested that if the calendar permits, making all First Class games five days long will benefit the youngsters.
“First Class cricket can become five-day cricket. We play Test matches over five days and in five days the possibility of a result is almost guaranteed. You will get more results. Every game should be result-oriented,” Rahane said.
“In four-day games, you don’t really get results on flat decks. We tried to get as many results as possible but it became challenging. In five-day cricket, that will happen more frequently. I don’t know how it can fit into the calendar but five-day cricket will make domestic cricketers get used to the rigours of First Class cricket,” the India international added.
Rahane believes this will help the young cricketers get used to Test cricket and that will eventually help them improve their game. “If you play out a session, you can save a match in four-day games but if you are made to slog for three more sessions, it will give them a better opportunity to develop better Test cricketers. It can automatically be carried forward into international cricket. How to survive sessions, how to bowl disciplined, all these factors can be taken care of if we play all Ranji Trophy games over five days.”
Bawne unhappy with ‘bonus point’ rule
According to the current rule, teams earn three points in case of a first-innings lead, while an outright victory fetches the team six points. There are also bonus points if a team wins by either an innings or by 10 wickets.
Maharashtra captain Ankit Bawne wants that rule to change. “I think the BCCI has to look at the point system. If a bonus point is so crucial, then people will start making pitches where the games will get over in two days. I think if there is a tie in the points, then we should look at head-to-head,” Bawne said, “Whoever has won, should proceed. It is my view about it.”
However, Rahane believes that more than the bonus point, over rate is the issue in first-class cricket, which needs to be addressed.
“In First Class cricket, over rate is the issue. On the fourth day, the bowling team always try to bowl slow overs, that’s what happened against us. Many times you see if some team is chasing and the team which is bowling will take their time to finish their overs. In domestic cricket, you can cut that point if the bowling team is not completing their overs. If they lose points it will create an impact,” Rahane said.
“Overall, I am not sure about the bonus point but if the teams are not completing 90 overs in a given period then a point should be deducted so that the team will try and bowl the overs in the stipulated time,” the Mumbai captain said.