Hear it out from the Master Blaster Image: AFP
Concerned by a spate of run fests recently, Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has criticised the use of two new balls in ODIs, saying it is "a perfect recipe for disaster", a view also endorsed by current India captain Virat Kohli.
Mostly a reticent commentator, Tendulkar shared his point of view after watching England batsmen go on a rampage against Australia in the last two ODIs.
"Having two new balls in one-day cricket is a perfect recipe for disaster as each ball is not given the time to get old enough to reverse. We haven't seen the reverse swing, an integral part of the death overs, for a long time," Tendulkar tweeted from his official handle.
Kohli, on his part, agreed that the game has become increasingly "brutal" for bowlers, especially if the pitch is flat.
"I think it's brutal for the bowlers. I have played ODI cricket when there was only one new ball allowed and the reverse swing used to be a massive factor in the latter half of the innings, which I think as a batsman was more challenging," Kohli said.
England posted a world record 481 for 6 against Australia in the third ODI, bettering their own record of 444 vs Pakistan. In the next ODI, England chased a target of 312 inside 45 overs.
Tendulkar's view was endorsed by Pakistan's legendary master of reverse swing Waqar Younis.
"Reason why we don't produce many attacking fast bowlers..They all very defensive in their approach...always looking for change ups..totally agree with you @sachin_rt reverse swing is almost vanished," Younis tweeted in response to Tendulkar.
"I don't think it's a trend but it's about the time of the year. Pitches behave differently at different times of the year and this is supposed to be the hottest and driest phase we are also going to end up with. I have read a lot about two new balls and a lot of those things. I agree it's brutal for bowlers. There's hardly any room for attacking cricket left from a bowler's point of view if there isn't anything in the wicket," Kohli further said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) had introduced two new balls from two ends after amending its playing rules back in October 2011.
Interestingly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was one board that protested the move questioning the diminishing role of spinners due to this new rule tweak. But ICC has continued its efforts to make the game batsman-friendly.
The logic given was the discolouration of the white ball during the end of the innings and batsmen not being able to sight it properly especially in the dusty sub-continental conditions under lights.
The current rule means that the white kookaburra is bowled for only 25 overs from one end.
Therefore, when the spinners, who are introduced in the middle overs, are handed the ball, they effectively bowl with a ball that is hardly eight to nine overs-old.
Even by the time a spinner finishes his spell, the ball is still only 20-overs-old.
Therefore, unlike the earlier era, the ball doesn't get soft, which would make it difficult for batsmen to hit through the line like they do nowadays at the back-end of the innings.
The chance of reverse swing has decreased even further with the use of two new balls