International cricket is set to resume with England hosting West Indies in a three-Test series starting July. One of the biggest talking points regarding the game at the moment is the ban on using saliva to shine the ball due to the coronavirus threat.

The International Cricket Council has taken an interim measure of banning the use of saliva to shine the ball, a decision which has brought strong reactions from various past and present players.

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On Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, India fast bowler Ishant Sharma said that the lack of saliva will tilt the balance in the favour of batsmen.

“We will have to work very hard to get used to not using saliva on the ball,” said the 31-year-old. “That will be very important. It will be a big challenge since we are so used to doing that. We will need some sort of special training for it.

“The red ball, especially, won’t swing if we don’t shine it and that will make life much easier for batsmen. I’m sure the ICC will do something to ensure the game isn’t too much in favour of batsmen.”

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Another precaution that players will have to take during matches is maintaining physical distancing. With the number of Covid-19 cases on the rise, cricketers, just like everyone else, will have to ensure they stay away from each other as much as possible.

For India pacer Umesh Yadav, this will be one of the most difficult changes for players to get used to. “I honestly don’t understand how we will maintain physical distancing while playing,” he said on the show.