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Test Cricket Declaration Alternative

Just go nuts.
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In test cricket, each team bats twice, and the team with the largest total score wins. The games, however, are limited to five consecutive days. If both teams have not batted twice after five days, the result is a draw.

As this result is a disappointment for the more dominant team, and a prized consolation for the team that was being trounced, the onus is on the dominant team to get the game finished before the end of the fifth day. To this end, a batting team may ‘declare’ if it is felt that continuing to bat is detrimental to their winning ambitions, as continuing to bat would soak up too much precious time. Declaration marks the voluntary end of one of the batting teams’ innings.

Rather than declaring, why not just go crazy, trying to hit every delivery over the boundary rope? The innings will no doubt be brought to a hasty end (accomplishing all that declaring does), but there will probably be a late flurry of scoring to boot.

As far as I can see, the only downside is that individual players’ statistics might be affected unduly by this tactic, but, in a professional team game, surely the good of the team outweighs the statistics of the individual.

(If the opposition is so woeful that going on a berserk batting rampage still does not bring about a timely end to the innings, then, I suppose, it would be appropriate to declare. It would be a crushing psychological blow to your opponents though, to effectively say to them “you can’t get us out even when we have lost the desire to stay in”.)

Texticle, Jun 26 2008

The Laws of Cricket http://en.wikipedia...iki/Laws_of_cricket
See Law 15 for duration of intervals. [DrBob, Jun 27 2008]

[link]






       you could declare (this) intention.
po, Jun 26 2008
  

       My understanding of the rules of cricket is not that good - I think you could do this but doesn't declaring then limit the number of batsmen your oppponents can put in for their second innings? For example, your first innings total is 300 with your opponents on 250. Then in the second innings you could declare on 200 for 4, (or go crazy and get to 250 all out). If you declare on 200 for 4 (so, a total of 500) what do your opponents need to get in their second innings? 251 for 4? Would they win if they got 251 for 5?
hippo, Jun 26 2008
  

       //In test cricket, each team bats twice, and the team with the largest total score wins//

Not, strictly speaking, true. Each team is allowed to bat twice but they do not have to.

//Would they win if they got 251 for 5?//

Yes. They just need to get more runs than the opposition. The number of wickets lost in the process is irrelevant.

[marked-for-deletion] baked. This idea is exactly what does happen. If a team has a decent lead you will quite often see them start to slog the ball around in order to wrack up an unbeatable score whilst trying to leave themselves enough time to bowl the opposition out.
DrBob, Jun 26 2008
  

       As [DrBob] says, this can be (and sometimes is) done by teams. The motivation for declaring, rather than 'going nuts' is to save the remaining batsmen having to go out and waste their time and energy (chances are that they are the bowlers and you'd rather that they were fresh).
Jinbish, Jun 26 2008
  

       /Not, strictly speaking, true. Each team is allowed to bat twice but they do not have to/   

       I know that - I was merely trying to summarise the gist of the game in as few words as possible. Trying to make the idea more accessible to those who don't understand test cricket.   

       /This idea is exactly what does happen/   

       I've seen a lot of test cricket in my time, and I've never seen a period of completely reckless batting.   

       As for bowlers remaining fresh, well there's still the break between innings (45mins I think), so that should be plenty of time for a professional athlete to recover, particularly given that he probably didn't bat for very long i.e. the whole point of the recklessness.
Texticle, Jun 26 2008
  

       Whilst being Baked is not a call for an MFD, I would like to think that this (i.e. Test Cricket . the application of) is Widely Known to Exist.
I am probably wrong, though.
gnomethang, Jun 26 2008
  

       //I've seen a lot of test cricket in my time//

You haven't been paying much attention then. The interval between innings is ten minutes.
DrBob, Jun 27 2008
  

       [Texticle] I don't understand what you are trying to say! A captain declares the innings after assessing (a) there is enough score which cannot be surpassed by the opponents in the remaining time/ overs to be played, (b) his own bowlers are likely to bowl the other team out within the time in hand/ overs to be played.   

       [DrBob] Your first annotation is perfect!
vedarshi, Jun 27 2008
  

       //The interval between innings is ten minutes// Unless it coincides with lunch or tea/drinks, which happens more oft than not. Declarations will often coincide with compulsory intervals.   

       I did make a previous annotation, that regardless of how many runs you put on the board "at slogging time" the decision to declare would happen at the same time as the decision to slog. Bearing in mind the decision to declare presumes a "good enough" run advantage, this sytem only robs you of overs with which to mount a bowling attack.
4whom, Jun 27 2008
  

       [DrBob], see [4whom]'s comment.   

       [vedarshi] and [4whom], I guess I neglected to mention that the decision to slog would take place slightly before you would have otherwise declared.   

       For example, say you have a 350 run lead and 5 wickets in hand, and the lunch break is 45 minutes away. Rather than plod along until declaring at the lunch break, adding say 13 runs without loss in 45 minutes, make the call to slog.   

       In slogging, you might be all out in less than 45 minutes (good - more time remaining in the match), but you probably would have made at least 13 runs in the process (good - bigger lead than you otherwise would have had).   

       In slogging, if you are not all out by the time the lunch break arrives, you would have no doubt chalked up a lot more than you would have in 45 minutes of 'steady as she goes' batting. That being the case, declare _then_, with the period of slogging costing you no time but enlarging your lead significantly.   

       Other than that mentioned in the idea body (batting averages and bowling figures), I'm not seeing the downside. If I'm missing something, please use an example to educate me.
Texticle, Jun 28 2008
  

       //If I'm missing something, please use an example to educate me.//

Texticle, what your missing is the element of risk and the context of the game. Unless a team already have a comfortable lead or are desperate for a result (e.g. one down in the series with one match to play), no captain in his right mind is going to instruct his players to throw caution to the wind at the risk of being quickly bowled out and giving the opposition a realistic chance to win the game. By contrast, a declaration is usually (although not always!) a carefully calculated balance between giving yourself enough time to bowl the opposition out whilst setting them a difficult or nigh on impossible target to win.

You seem to have a built in assumption in your idea that the opposition are just going to serve up some nice, hittable deliveries and let the batsmen get on with racking up a big score. In reality, what normally happens in these situations is that the bowling team slow down the over rate, put the fielders out on the boundary and start bowling at the batsmen's toes or as wide of the wicket as they can get away with.
DrBob, Jun 30 2008
  

       /Unless a team already have a comfortable lead or are desperate for a result.../   

       I thought I made it clear that the team already had a comfortable lead. Sorry if that was ambiguous.   

       Desperation for a result is subjective. I was envisaging no more desperation than would be present when declaration was about to occur.   

       It's a declaration alternative, not a completely unrelated strategy to be applied elsewhere in the match.
Texticle, Jun 30 2008
  

       //I thought I made it clear that the team already had a comfortable lead. Sorry if that was ambiguous.//   

       If the team already has comfortable margin, why to waste few overs or time in slogging?
vedarshi, Jul 02 2008
  

       Please refer to my numerical example a few annos up. Assume that the captain was going to declare at the upcoming lunch break.
Texticle, Jul 02 2008
  

       [Texticle] Oh God! We are in a vicious circle. Please carefully go through [DrBob's] first annotation.
vedarshi, Jul 03 2008
  

       Have done. I feel I have responded to all the points made in it.   

       I'm prepared to drop this now. No one has convinced me as to why it shouldn't be done though.   

       As a last gasp effort to convince my audience, I ask you to consider this:   

       When a team declares, consider how many runs were added in the preceding hour of play. Now consider how the declaring team's position would be different had they spent that last hour slogging recklessly. My contention is that the declaring team's position would almost certainly be improved.
Texticle, Jul 03 2008
  

       I think that the difference between your stance and that of [DrBob]'s is that while you are considering the point before a declaration is becoming feasible and then employing a riskier strategy to gain more runs, [DrBob] is pointing out that if you have enough runs then you declare and try to bowl the other team out, period.   

       By employing the slogging strategy you open yourself up to having a lesser total (throwing away wickets). The counter argument is that it didn't matter because you are about to declare. Well, if you were about to declare, why didn't you declare so that you could start trying to bowl out the other team!?   

       The amount of time left is just as big a factor as the total that you have accumulated.   

       How does that sound? (I'm a non-cricketer and possibly talking rubbish)
Jinbish, Jul 03 2008
  

       I agree with all of that. HASTY EDIT: except the 'talking rubbish' part. Your assessment of the cricketing factors at hand is fair and wise.   

       I would concede the point if we saw declarations happening at 'random' times, i.e. just after the nth run was added to the lead, bringing the lead to a predetermined total (factoring in the time remaining) that was considered adequate for declaration. In practice though, teams do just amble on until the next scheduled break, at which time the declaration happens.   

       Happy to agree to disagree. Thanks for the discussion.
Texticle, Jul 03 2008
  
      
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