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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Under the roof
By Paul Grunill and Jamie Lillywhite

Inside the Telstra Dome
The Telstra Dome is a multi-purpose sporting venue
When John Lennon sang 'You say you want a revolution', he certainly wasn't talking about the concept of indoor cricket.

But a revolution is what was predicted by some when Australia met South Africa inside Melbourne's Colonial Stadium in August 2000.

"This is something different and exciting...we are going to be part of history" was then Australia captain Steve Waugh's verdict on the concept.

As revolutions go, however, it is certainly a slow burner and since that inaugural match, only five further indoor one-day internationals have been played at the ground now known as the Telstra Dome.

This week, Cricket Australia - in tandem with the International Cricket Council - tries again when Australia take on a World XI in the first Super Series.

The best players in the world will be on show and even if a 53,000 sell-out is too much to hope for, a predicted TV audience of one billion is certainly good news for the two governing bodies.

So what can the players expect from the indoor experience? Will the closed roof affect the ball's behaviour? How easy will it be for fielders to spot catches against a ring of lights above their heads?

Jonty Rhodes
It wasn't a sell-out crowd but because they were right on top of you it felt like you were amongst the people
Jonty Rhodes

Jonty Rhodes played for South Africa in that first indoor match five years ago and he admits there are problems for players to overcome.

"Because the lights are indoors as opposed to stuck on a pylon, when the ball gets hit, even at head height, you are looking up into them.

"It was an awesome atmosphere but they weren't the best conditions to play in," he told BBC Sport.

Accentuated movement through the air and off the pitch for bowlers was not, however, a factor.

"They'd prepared the wicket outside and dropped it in and it was a good one-day wicket, there wasn't much sideways movement," said Rhodes.

"The problems we had were with the outfield which was really soft and muddy after they re-laid it for the Aussie rules, I ended up straining my groin batting."

Despite the guarantee of a full day's play under a roof where games cannot be rain-affected, he does not think indoor one-day internationals will ever catch on in other parts of the cricket world.

"There aren't that many facilities around, and rain is part of the game. If a game is called off because of rain or you have to have the run rate changed that's part of the lottery of one-day cricket, especially.

"It's not like it's a game-saving invention where cricket will die it if there are no indoor stadiums. People aren't going to be queuing up to build any more in other countries because you can have just as exciting an atmosphere outside," he added.

Indoor revolution - perhaps not.

But with Australia this time taking on an all-star World XI, it certainly is an interesting diversion from the norm.




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