Should wickets fall early in any ODI you'll hear Doyen Benaud's portentious advocacy:
"No matter what, you must always bat out your fifty overs".
And it's expansive companion:
"Even if you merely occupy the crease and score NO MORE runs, you MUST bat out your fifty.
Now today Michael Jennings hits on the theme while reviewing Friday's contest at the MCG...
Australia managed to commit one of the cardinal sins of one day international cricket here. They batted first, and did not manage to play out the full 50 overs. Sides should never do this.
At first. Thankfully Michael goes on to qualify it with the rejoinder that it's better to eke out a handful more runs than to slog out and get none:
When there is danger of it happening, the scoring rate should be slowed down and wickets protected (except perhaps in the last few balls of the innings) and runs eked out. This almost inevitably leads to higher scores than getting out slogging. It just does. The risks of slogging are too high. The cost of not facing the full 50 overs is generally large
However, it's with Richie's refrain and the former part of Michael's assertion that I am continually puzzled.
To whit, I've never understood why it's better to get no runs compared with getting dismissed early.
Granted, you MIGHT get more runs, but given that Ritchie is on the record as saying NO MORE runs matter there is scope for the question.
I'm cynical enough to believe it's Ritchie's way of instilling into the cricket viewing public - and any potential cricketers coming through the system - the notion that it's vitally important play is tightly constrained between certain boundaries.
In our case - which is the majority of viewers* - those boundaries are start of play/telecast at 2:20 pm and innings changeover at 6:00 when National Nine News starts.
An early innings finish isn't going to impinge on the News, but it does mean there's unnecessary filler to be performed. Which wouldn't be necessary should the batsmen do the right thing by the commentators.
* With only a million viewers Nine don't care about Perth where Seven rule the News ratings.
PS: Don't get me started on the Test Match version where the commentator cheerfully announces - almost as if we're being done a favour: "Melbourne viewers now leave us for National Nine News." Grrrr.