NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India batting great Sachin Tendulkar says cricket should revisit the rule of using two new balls in one-day games in order to revive the moribund art of reverse swing in the format.
Bowlers have often found themselves short-changed since the 2011 decision to have one new ball from each end which, many believe, has rendered the already batsman-friendly format even more lop-sided.
The decision meant the ball never gets old enough to generate reverse or aid the spinners, while being easier to score off in the death overs.
England’s marauding batsmen drove home the point in the ongoing ODI series against Australia by amassing 342, a world record 481 and 314 in their last three matches.
“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,” Tendulkar, who retired in 2013 with more than 34,000 international runs against his name, tweeted on Friday.
“We haven’t seen reverse swing, an integral part of the death overs, for a long time. #ENGvsAUS”
Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis, one of the best exponents of reverse swing, supported his long-time Indian rival.
“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,” tweeted the 87-test veteran.
England batsmen clobbered 21 sixes and 41 fours as they became the first team to reach 450 in one-day cricket at Nottingham, prompting former captain Mike Atherton to question the rule.
“The game needs to find a suitable white ball that swings at the start and must abandon the use of two balls per innings, to allow for the return of reverse swing — two fundamental skills of the game that provide as much entertainment as any number of sixes belted into the Nottingham night sky,” he wrote in the Times.
Stuart Broad was not part of the team at Nottingham and the England pacer also demanded a balance between bat and ball.
“I find reverse swing really exciting to watch, I’d like to see it back in the white ball game,” he tweeted.
India captain Virat Kohli also sympathised with the “brutal” plight of the bowlers.
“I have played ODI cricket when there was only one new ball allowed and reverse swing used to be a massive factor in the latter half of the innings, which I think as a batsman was more challenging,” Kohli told reporters on Friday ahead of the team’s departure for Ireland and England.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Jon Boyle