Is the “Sheet Anchor” role still relevant in ODI cricket?

During the initial stages of the recently concluded World Cup,  Virat Kohli stated in an interview that he had agreed to play the anchor rule keeping the best interests of the team in mind:–

My role in the team is to bat through, and the power-hitters can play around knowing that one end is secure.

Kohli holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred by an Indian. His career strike Rate is just a fraction short of 90. In the post match conference he mentioned that there was a team discussion and his role was to ensure that the others played around him. The very idea of a sheet anchor role is outdated and unnecessarily glorified.It is more suited to the Test format.

Batsmen should be keen on rotating the strike to upset the bowlers’ equilibrium instead of consuming a lot of balls that could in name of protecting the batsman at the other end. Generally, batsmen who have played a considerable number of balls and have scored at a less than a run-a-ball would talk about how their innings enabled the other batsmen to go berserk.In the match against Pakistan,the usually belligerent Kohli scored 107 off 126 balls and Rahane did score a breezy 80 but the outcome would not have been any less favorable has Kohli batted in his usual manner.

Also,with the change in rules in ODI cricket where both the balls are 25 overs old at the end of the match,it makes sense to make judicious use of the number of balls.

Consider these points:—

Wouldn’t it prove unsettling for the opposition  if 2 batsmen went hammer and tongs at their bowling?

Would bowlers be able to settle into a rhythm is the strike was constantly rotated.

Unless a batsman possesses the six-hitting capabilities of Rohit Sharma to even out the strike rate at the end,it is an unwise ploy to play sheet anchor if the final score is going to be less than 300.

Let’s hope that teams retire the “sheet anchor”concept to make cricket more interesting.



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