It’s not a particularly good time to be a bowler
New one-day international (ODI) rules or not, we need to be honest with ourselves: the International Cricket Council will always have batsmen’s best interests at heart.
Two new balls and two bouncers are fair enough. That’s enough to shake up front bullies, but when you have four fielders patrolling the boundaries at any time, haven’t the scales been evened out in the wielder’s favour? Certainly so.
One thing two new balls guarantee is that batsmen will now have 25 overs with each ball.
The white Duke, Kookaburra or SG may deteriorate quicker than their red test match counterparts, but the possibility of reverse swing has all but been nullified.
Add to the equation lush green squares and boundary padding and there is no way for the ball to really get scuffed up.
Lest we forget short boundaries and grounds that will not be able to expand their borders because of city limitations. Now we are really able to see the limitations of the new rules.
The one nicety is that England and Wales have their notorious weather as a big leveller.
In my short stay in the Isles thus far, the weather has been a bit like a Jozi winter’s morning until around midday, when people walk around in their vests.
Early morning starts, especially with Cardiff’s River Taff just behind the Swalec Stadium, will give the pitches a little juice.
If conditions play up like they did when the Proteas were confronted by Pakistan’s swingsters, batting first in day-games will make for interesting propositions.
It’s fair to have entertainment as a means to put bums on seats but no one wants to see a Larry Holmes/Mohammed Ali mismatch.
I know I’m singing from a well-worn hymn book, but with sagging interest in most forms of cricket, equalising the contest is the best option.
Low-scoring games are often the most exciting but the ICC will not want a return to the 1970s and 1980s, where bowlers pretty much had the wood on the batsmen.
Yes, the batsmen had less equipment than they are entitled to now, so why can’t bowlers be given the licence to find bigger targets in bullet-proofed batsmen? There will be times when armours will be breached but that fault will be the batsman’s alone.
Captains have spoken glowingly about the changes and how they’ll confront them but its only a matter of time before the sound of chairs and boundary boards will supersede those of nicks and breaking stumps.
Just like being a banker at the end of the month, now is not a good time to be a bowler, unless you’re in England.
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