Last week, Sachin Tendulkar came out unequivocally against the use of two new white balls in One-day International (ODI) cricket, calling it a ‘perfect recipe for disaster’, now India pacer Umesh Yadav has also condemned International Cricket Council’s (ICC) rule that was adopted in 2011, saying it is killing the art of reverse swing. “Because of the two new balls, it is tough for the fast bowlers to contain runs. If you have only one ball then it gets older and older and you get reverse swing. With two balls, reverse swing is rarely seen in the ODI game right now, so it is difficult for fast bowlers especially if they don’t get the lengths and the yorkers right,” Umesh said.
“If the ball isn’t doing anything in the death overs, it is tough to handle that pressure especially if the wicket is very flat.
“Nowadays we have seen that the wickets are very flat and in England they are now regularly playing on that kind of surfaces. They are scoring 480, so definitely it is very challenging for the fast bowlers.
“Even so, we are looking forward to this challenge because we are playing good cricket and we will try to play our best in England,” he said.
Both Tendulkar and Yadav were referring to the run-fest that highlighted the England vs Australia ODI series, with the home team scoring a world record 481 runs in the 3rd game.
Over the years, the balance between bat and ball has become worryingly lopsided and it has become a lot easier to score runs than it used to be even 10 years ago.
The last couple of ODIs between England and Australia seemed to show that some sort of pinnacle has been reached.
England stormed to a world record 481/6 as they demolished Australia’s bowling attack in the third ODI of their 5-match series at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
The 242-run loss was Australia’s heaviest defeat in ODI history.
The hosts’ record-breaking feat has sent shock waves through the world of cricket, given a total of 500, once unimaginable in a 50-over game, now appears to be in sight.
In the fourth ODI, Australia posted a total of 310/8, which was chased down by England with 32 balls to spare.
White balls have become a standard part of the limited overs game but they tend to swing less than traditional red balls, making things a lot easier for batsmen.
It was thought that having two white balls per innings would aid quicker bowlers, instead, it has reduced the wear and tear. Since the condition of the ball does not change much, it becomes almost impossible for bowlers to extract reverse swing.
The concept of two new balls in ODIs allows the bowling side to use fresh balls from each end.
After a gap of five years, Yadav was picked for the second T20 International against Ireland on Friday.
He took 2-19 as the hosts crashed to a 143-run defeat and handed India a 2-0 boost ahead of the T20I series against England starting Manchester.
(With PTI Inputs)