Barring the first One-Day International (ODI), the England vs Australia has witnessed high scores so far. In the second ODI England posted 342, followed by world record 481 in the third ODI. And in the fourth ODI, England once again breached the 300-run mark by chasing down 311. The pattern of high scores has caught former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s attention and the batting legend believes the use of two new balls in each of innings in ODIs is a 'perfect recipe for disaster’. In 2011, ICC introduced the use of two new white balls per innings, one from each end, to help fast bowlers in the middle overs. However, it looks like the decision has backfired and it has resulted in dwindling of reverse swing, a weapon for fast bowlers in the death overs.
Following, the England vs Australia 4th ODI, Tendulkar took to Twitter and wrote: “Having 2 new balls in one day cricket is a perfect recipe for disaster as each ball is not given the time to get old enough to reverse. We haven't seen the reverse swing, an integral part of the death overs, for a long time. #ENGvsAUS.”
Having 2 new balls in one day cricket is a perfect recipe for disaster as each ball is not given the time to get old enough to reverse. We haven’t seen reverse swing, an integral part of the death overs, for a long time. #ENGvsAUS
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 21, 2018
Tendulkar rightly pointed out that the reverse swing has gone missing and thus killing the completion between bat and ball. Not just Tendulkar, former Pakistan captain, and coach Waqar Younis subscribed to Tendulkar’s views and said it is one of the reasons bowlers these days have become defensive. “Reason why we don’t produce many attacking fast bowlers..They all very defensive in their approach...always looking for change ups..totally agree with you @sachin_rt reverse swing is almost vanished,” Waqar wrote on Twitter.
Reason why we don’t produce many attacking fast bowlers..They all very defensive in their approach...always looking for change ups..totally agree with you @sachin_rt reverse swing is almost vanished.. #SAD https://t.co/hPHoMXujcr
— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) June 21, 2018
Meanwhile, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, who was addressing the press conference ahead of UK tour agreed that the two new balls have made things bit easier for batsmen. “I've read a lot of things about two new balls and I agree it's brutal for the bowlers. There’s hardly any room for attacking cricket left from a bowler's point of view if you do not provide pitches that assist them with the new ball,” Kohli said.
"I have played ODI cricket when there was only one new ball allowed and reverse swing used to be a massive factor in the later half of the innings which as a batsman was more challenging. Nowadays, I honestly feel that it's very difficult for the bowlers with two new balls and if the pitch is flat they have no way out. Unless you have wrist spinners in your team which can do the job in the middle overs. Not every team has that cushion so they find it difficult,” he added.