Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Rhodes Feels New ‘toss’ Regulation Has Led To Better Standard Pitches

Rhodes Feels New ‘toss’ Regulation Has Led To Better Standard Pitches

Steve Rhodes believes the new 'toss' regulation brought in by the ECB this season has already had the desired effect in leading to better standard wickets.

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Rhodes admits below-par surfaces have sometimes led to average bowlers enjoying greater success than they have deserved in recent years.

But he feels the change of rules, which means the away team has the right to bowl first without the need for a toss, appears to have made the right sort of impact in redressing the balance between bat and ball.

Worcestershire's drawn Specsavers County Championship clash with Gloucestershire at Bristol produced five century-makers in Hamish Marshall, Chris Dent and Jack Taylor (Gloucs) and Joe Clarke and Moeen Ali (Worcs).

Then this week against Essex at New Road three figures were reached by Alastair Cook and Tom Westley (Essex) and Worcestershire duo Brett D'Oliveira and Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Rhodes said: "Has the toss rule made a big difference? I think it has. It has got the desired effect in the sense if you look back over the last few years there have been some very poor wickets.

"What they (the ECB) wanted was better wickets and they found that maybe the new toss rule was the only way they could do it.

"It is an experiment which I think to a certain extent has worked.

"I know there has been a lot of criticism about wickets being too flat. But if you are prepared to bat for a long period of time, and you've got the ability to concentrate, you will get runs."

Rhodes added: "Too many good players were playing a forward defensive and getting out to some average bowlers and that is what was happening before with the wickets.

"Now those average bowlers are struggling a bit and I think that is a good thing.

"In the past even top players couldn't play a forward defensive because they were getting out so they had to counter-attack and for me, it made for some very poor cricket.

"Certainly for this time of the year the wickets are exceptionally good. Whether that carries on, we will see, and as the season goes along things will turn a little bit more for the spinners.

"But it makes for interesting cricket in the sense that they've got a bit of dominance with the bat now."