Hyderabad: Remember how we cheered for Team India when the batsmen were dispatching them across the ropes, but making a sullen face when the same treatment was meted out to our bowlers?
While we rejoiced and relished all the maximums that our batsmen produced from their blades, we cursed as the leather was hammered by the opposition.
And letâ€™s admit it, during the World Cup, the runs flowed freely, making the bowlers look like convicts being handed out their sentences. Therefore, the ICC has decided to scrap the root of the cause.
Understanding that the batting powerplay restricts the bowlersâ€™ options and limits the fielding captainâ€™s aggressive approach, a committee headed by Anil Kumble has made important suggestions for ODIs, which brings the bowlers right back into the game. One is the removal of the batting powerplay, second is having five fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the last 10 overs.
These steps, obviously have been taken to make sure that there is no lop-sidedness when it comes to the timber and the leather.
Ever since the batting powerplay has come into existence, itâ€™s been nothing but a menace for the bowlers. Theyâ€™re getting clobbered mercilessly, with teams averaging 102.6 runs in the last 10 overs of their innings in the World Cup.
With bowlers under pressure to contain the scoring rate, thereâ€™s very little scope for them to experiment. The targets of bowlers have become as trivial as not conceding 100 in the last 10 overs, instead of focusing on getting them back to the pavilion.
The advent of T20s
The T20s have definitely changed the game for the bowlers. The kind of confidence and nick that T20s have given the batsmen, theyâ€™ve have become absolutely fearless. Therefore, the art of bowling has begun dying little by little.
Itâ€™s a struggle literally. T20s have taught the bowlers to be careful, but then itâ€™s caught on so much, that bowlers are no intimidated even by the rookiest batsmen who descends on field. This is killing their confidence.
Bouncer? No, please.
Since the tragic death of Phil Hughes, the bouncer as a cricketing tool has come under much scanner. Even the ever-aggressive bunch like the Australians are using it in a very restricted way, making the options for the bowlers sparse.
Not only are they unwilling to try it out, even when they do, theyâ€™re apologetic. This is making bowling look like a lesser art, thatâ€™s scared of the hammering that itâ€™ll soon get.
Bearing in mind how much things have changed for the bowlers, itâ€™s perhaps a correct decision to give the bowlers a fair chance to put their prowess on display. The removal of the batting powerplay will make the death overs easier.
To add to it, when the captain has the option of placing five fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the death overs, he can back his bowler up with aggressive field settings, thereby allowing him to bowl to his heartâ€™s content, which will help him do what heâ€™s supposed to do â€“ scalp them!