Australia v India: Bloated totals breathing new life into one-day cricket, says James Faulkner

Are you not entertained by one-day cricket? James Faulkner hopes you remain convinced by the medium form of the game, saying bloated totals that regularly surge past 300 has made it a better product as it feeds off the Twenty20 revolution.

Australia and India head to the Gabba on Friday for the second of their five-match series after the home side chased down 309 in Perth on the back of an imperious 149 by captain Steve Smith.

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Australia make big chase look easy

George Bailey and Steve Smith hit centuries as Australia chase down 309 against India at the WACA.

There was no shortage of runs, with Faulkner suggesting the flat wicket was more than friendly to batsman. At the same time he defended debutant quicks Scott Boland and Joel Paris, who both took some serious flak from the Indians.

The all-rounder also spoke of the increasing regularity of big run-chases, suggesting that coach Darren Lehmann would rather see his side flame out 100 short in a high-octane pursuit than ponder along and lose by 50.

Leaking runs: James Faulkner looks on during the one-day international between Australia and India at the WACA.
Leaking runs: James Faulkner looks on during the one-day international between Australia and India at the WACA. Photo: Getty Images

He also said improved batting and improvised and aggressive shot making, a by-product of T20 cricket, had reduced the pressure to be explicitly "entertaining" in a bid to breathe life into the 50-over contests.

"It's an interesting question. I think every time you walk out on the ground you try to entertain. I don't think you specifically walk out there and want to put on a show. It's more about what you can do to contribute to the team," Faulkner said.


"The revolution of T20 cricket and how successful the Big Bash has been with the crowd numbers and viewing, it's only going to get bigger.

"You're seeing much higher scores in the one-day format all around the world, no matter whether it's here or India. In any conditions, teams are consistently scoring over 300. I think that's entertaining enough."

Smash hit: Rohit Sharma smacked a century for India in Perth.
Smash hit: Rohit Sharma smacked a century for India in Perth. Photo: Getty Images

Initial crowd reports for the Gabba would tend to correlate with that appraisal, with more than 30,000 expected in a showing that could bode well for a potential pink ball Test at the venue later this year.

Indeed, Indian great Sunil Gavaskar would like to see pink balls used outside of Test matches, advocating their trial in one-day matches in the wake of the run-fest in Western Australia.

Gavaskar told the Indian Express the white ball had little to offer on pitches that were becoming a batting paradise, while the use of new super-bats had tilted the contest squarely in favour of those scoring the runs.

"The white does nothing for bowlers. What could be interesting is that with the success of pink ball it may be used in limited-over cricket to even the balance between bat and ball. It might be interesting to try pink ball in limited-over cricket," Gavaskar said.

"It needs to be experimented at domestic level. Maybe the IPL can have a few matches where they can experiment with the pink ball in the initial stages and see how it goes."

Faulkner has had little exposure to the pink ball, saying it needed to be tested in a bigger variety of conditions before a definitive judgement could be made on its value outside of Tests.

"That's a hard one for me to comment on ... I've only played the one pink ball game and that was a four-dayer in Tasmania. Weather conditions were a lot different from the Adelaide Test match where it swung and moved around. In Tasmania it didn't move at all and got quite rough. I'd be guessing."

Indian batsman Rohit Sharma, who scored a blazing 171 in a losing cause in Perth, did not believe the pink ball needed to be implemented in a limited-overs context.

"It doesn't really matter what I say ... nothing is going to change. But I don't agree that the white ball doesn't do anything. If you play in tough conditions, it's a nightmare for a batsman," Sharma said.

"With the two new balls, when the conditions are against batters, the ball tends to swing a lot. That's how I look at it."