Cricket is evolving day by day and the players are just evolving with the game, bringing their unorthodox tactic in play that only makes them a legend of the sport. Ab de Villiers displayed his 360′ degree shots to be named the Mr. 360 of cricket while the tall and lanky West Indian fast bowlers displayed their skill of swing bowling to take the world by storm.
With times, cricket has only evolved for the bowlers and for the batsman as well. Due to video analysis and technology, none of the batter can be spared with their weak points and they need to be an all round scoring batsman to not be exposed which may result in the end of their career.
Cricket has grown from test cricket to the 50 over cricket but 20 over cricket has its own fan base and many countries are having their 20 over league which speaks the volume of the popularity of this format. Cricket is a time consuming game and one needs to invest more time to witness the game which may also bring the 10 over a side game to the action. The Abu Dhabi T10 league is a successful event for 10 over cricket and this type of format is also not time consuming which may bring the sports fans to the cricket ground and only promises to increase the popularity of cricket globally.
Keeping all the changes in mind, i still think cricket is only evolving for a batsman and has only become cruel for the bowlers. Here are few reasons to quote-
1- The small dimensions of the ground
The small dimensions of the ground help the batters cause and a mistimes shot can also clear the fence. The smaller boundaries also promises huge total on the board which is great for fans not for the bowlers. A spinner gets out of picture when it comes to short boundaries as they lure the batsman to play the aerial shot but with shorter boundaries, catching at the fence becomes thing of the past.
2- Use of two new balls
With the rule of using two balls, it has only become worst for the fast bowlers who used to bowl in death overs and hugely used to rely on their reverse swing, an art that Zaheer Khan was master at. Reverse swing only becomes a deadly encounter for the batsman but with two new ball rule, the cherry will only be 20 over old each after the last 10 overs start.
3- Quality of bats
With time, bat companies have started manufacturing some great bats and they just make the batter look more destructive but it is again a negative point for a bowler. Even mistimed upper cut will find the fence and that breaks the heart of a bowler. When a bowler bowls a deadly bouncer and all the ball does is take the edge and sail past the boundary, nothing can be more painful for any bowler in the world than this. While the advancement in bat has impacted the batters but it has kept the bowlers at bay.
4- Batting friendly wickets
Gone are those days when curators used to prepare a pitch- a paradise for the bowlers because the game and the fans are more interested in batsman scoring heap of runs rather than the low scoring games. In today’s era, pitches may assist the bowlers in one innings of a 50 over or a 20 over game or may be good in the 1st day of a test match but it will deteriorate with time and that does not makes it an even battle for the bowlers on both the sides and batters can dominate one inning to change the complexion of the game. Totally unfair !
5- Covid rule
World changed after Covid-19 wrecked havoc in the world and sports world was also not spared. Cricket was played inside a stadium with closed doors, giving no room for the fans to enjoy the action from the stadium. However, the rules also became unfair for the bowlers when it was declared that using “saliva” on the ball is banned owing to Covid scare.
Saliva helped the bowlers achieve the shine on one side of the ball to reverse swing it, especially in the test matches where old ball becomes an easy prey for the batsman if the fast bowler can’t reverse swing it. Old ball may be fruitful for a spinner but only in the spinning condition of sub-continent not in the SENA countries.
Now sweat is preferred over saliva to shine the ball but what in the cold conditions. It may be good to keep away the Covid scare but it is an unfair advantage to the batsman and i hope the rule will be scraped in the time to come.
Whatever the case may be, a batter can score runs and put the team in command but a bowler can only win the games for the team by picking 10 wickets in the game. Cricket may be more passive towards a bowler but they still are the most important part of a cricket game and with times, cricket world sees the likes of Bumrah, Shaheen, Rashid and Starc dominate world cricket.