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Over rate debate rages as Aussie cricket greats call out go-slow tactics

The opening ODI between Australia and India has reignited debate over how best to punish slow over rates, with Adam Zampa suggesting Friday’s tedium was not a good look for the game.

Aaron Finch’s side secured a 66-run victory at 11.09pm AEDT on Friday night, almost an hour beyond the expected finish.

SCG staff stressed about the venue’s curfew, fans grew frustrated and players knew something was amiss as the lopsided contest dragged on and on and on.

“It felt like it went all day. That was the longest 50 overs in the field I’ve ever had,” man-of-the-match Steve Smith said.

The International Cricket Council changed its rules last year, ensuring captains are no longer issued demerit points and put at risk of suspensions for slow over rates.

Match referees now have the power to fine entire teams, which is what happened to India in three consecutive games earlier this year during a tour of New Zealand.

But former Australian internationals Jason Gillespie and Callum Ferguson said batting sides must take some responsibility for their role in the go-slow.

“It comes down to the umpires being a bit stricter with what the players can and can’t do,” Gillespie told ABC radio on Saturday.

David Warner and Aaron Finch wait during a break in play on Friday. Credit: Getty

“I don’t see the need for batsmen to change their gloves every two overs.”

Ferguson believes “players are changing their gloves an extraordinary amount” compared to what is necessary.

“Your gloves are going to get a bit damp every now and then, so maybe then you’ve got to just be able to adapt and make sure that it’s not affecting your game too much,” he said.

“It doesn’t seem to be necessary for players at domestic level to change them as often as they are at international level, and I just wonder whether we need to put a little bit of a cap on it.”

Gillespie renewed his proposal to introduce in-game run penalties for tardiness, while Ferguson believes cricketers are making a mockery of over rates once they reach the top of the game.

“It doesn’t seem to be a huge issue at domestic level,” he said.

India
India were let down in the field in the loss to Australia. Credit: REUTERS

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