The International Cricket Council’s ban on saliva in Covid-19 times turned out to be a handicap for the bowlers since the sweat was not effective to shine the ball, India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah said after England dominated the opening day of the Test series.

Skipper Joe Root’s unbeaten century in his 100th Test took England to 263/3 on a lifeless Chepauk track where the red SG Test lost its hardness after 40th over on Friday.

“The ball did become soft after a while and the wicket is on flatter side with the bounce being less. You are left with limited options (to shine ball). We are trying to figure out what we can do with the limited things on hand, at that time,” Bumrah said at the virtual media conference.

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India’s most successful bowler on the day with two of the three wickets that fell, Bumrah said that they found it difficult to maintain the ball as the ICC has banned the use of saliva in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

“Yes, it becomes difficult when the ball becomes soft and doesn’t shine really well because of new Covid-19 rules, we can’t use saliva, very difficult during that time to maintain the ball,” Bumrah said.

He also explained that sweat which is lighter than saliva is not at all a good option to prepare the ball for reverse swing.

“In India, the ball gets scuffed up easily. So to make the ball heavy, you have to shine one side sometimes, with sweat and it doesn’t really serve the purpose. You can’t make one side heavy with sweat and it doesn’t really work that way.

“But these are the rules and we have to make do with what we have at the moment,” said Bumrah.

With PTI Inputs