In an otherwise batsman-dominated World Cup, the bouncer emerged as a key weapon for fast bowlers, most memorably during the peppering Wahab Riaz gave Shane Watson. Most pitches in the IPL are nowhere near as quick as some of the Australian tracks, and misdirected short balls can disappear into the crowd in smaller grounds, but accurate bouncers delivered by good fast bowlers are never easy to play. An extra bouncer in the over also makes it harder for batsmen to make premeditated movements and second-guess bowlers' plans.
ROOM FOR CROWD SPONTANIETY
The fan experience at IPL matches is heavily controlled. There's an emcee telling you when to cheer and when to start a Mexican wave, a DJ blasting out Bollywood music at every opportunity, and the appropriate team song whenever there's a boundary or wicket. Sometimes, as soon as you've arrived, you find a home-team flag on your seat. Given all that, it's difficult for a section of the crowd to make themselves heard if they've come up with an innovative chant or for a group holding up an interesting banner to make themselves seen. There is a case, therefore, for the IPL and its franchises to make their in-stadium experience a little less in-your-face, a little less in-your-eardrums. And if it isn't too much to ask, maybe even allow fans a bit of room to watch the game and introspect?
CATCH THE BALL CONTEST
What better way to reward keeping an eye on the cricket than by giving away prizes to fans who take catches in the stands? At all the World Cup matches in New Zealand, orange-clad spectators in the crowd fell over each other, literally, whenever sixes sailed beyond the rope, to try and catch the ball one-handed. It might even serve the IPL's commercial interests to add a crowd catch to their *insert sponsor's name here* sensational catches package.
It somehow seems inappropriate that the blingiest cricket tournament in the known universe does not feature bails that light up. Apart from adding a flash of candy-shop neon to the spectacle of run-outs, stumpings and comprehensive clean-bowleds, they also bring the possibility of controversy. At the World Cup, their slight extra weight led to reprieves for Ed Joyce, Misbah-ul-Haq and Steven Smith when bowlers got through their defences. Imagine that happening in a crucial moment of an IPL play-off game.
NO HOLDS BARRED FOR COMMENTATORS
The best snippet of the 2014-15 Big Bash League may have happened in the discourse box, where Ricky Ponting talked with Kevin Pietersen without keeping down on uncomfortable inquiries. For 20 minutes, the cricket appeared a sideshow to a visit between two incredible cricketers that was brimming with trustworthiness and understanding. Possibly the IPL could take a leaf out of its Australian partner, and permit its observers to accomplish more than only cheerlead.