After watching England’s record-breaking performance with the bat in the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, the game’s highest run-scorer Sachin Tendulkar sounded the alarm on cricket becoming a lopsided contest between bat and ball.
Tendulkar had criticised the use of two new balls in ODIs, saying it is “a perfect recipe for disaster” in a rare moment of objection on Twitter.
The Indian batting great has now expanded on the thought, saying that taking reverse swing away from cricket is not healthy for the sport.
“The point I am trying to make is the rule was introduced to help the bowlers upfront and also prevent discolouring of the ball. I felt the surfaces we’re playing on are not helping the bowlers to swing. Neither have I seen swing up front nor have I seen reverse swing later. It’s kind of, we’re caught in-between. The ball doesn’t get old enough to reverse. The bowlers’ hands are tied in the death overs,” Tendulkar told Mumbai Mirror.
“Reverse swing has always been an integral part of cricket, both in Tests and ODIs. Since the introduction of two new balls, one has not seen the ball reverse. That element has been taken away from the game. It’s not healthy,” he added.
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 down a target of 312 inside 45 overs.
He asserted that the run-fest in the England-Australia series reiterates his point that two new balls in the 50-over format won’t help the bowlers because they won’t get swing due to the batting-oriented pitches.
“When there is no help from the surfaces, even four new balls will not help the bowlers. If you want to have two new balls, then the surface provided must help the bowlers up front. The grounds over a period of time have become greener. As a result, the ball doesn’t get scuffed up. The ball retains its lacquer,” he said.
The highest run-getter in international cricket went on to say that he had taken up the bowlers’s cause since he believes that the balance between ball and bat must be maintained as even a 320-run target is not safe in ODIs these days.
Tendulkar’s view was endorsed by Pakistan’s master of reverse swing Waqar Younis as well.
The ICC had introduced two new balls from two ends after amending it’s playing rules back in October 2011. The current rule means that the white kookaburra is bowled for only 25 overs from one end and since the ball in newer and firmer, the chance of reverse swing has decreased even further.
Read the full interview here