I DO not know how many readers saw anything of the recent ODI series between India and Australia. Seven matches were scheduled, but two were washed out. Of the other five, only the first one, which Australia won easily, gave any succour to the bowlers. The rest of them were gluttonous run fests that delighted the spectators and flattered the batsmen, but did nothing to convince anyone outside India that they represented an even struggle between bat and ball. On flat pitches, bowlers are defenceless under these conditions and cricket as a contest between bat and ball simply does not exist. I do not know which group of “wise men” was responsible for these changes but, in their efforts to liven up ODI cricket by increasing the number of runs scored, they have damaged the fascination of the duel between batsman and bowler when conditions favour the former.