KOCHI: Gone are the days when totals between 250-300 were defendable. In modern day cricket, batsmen are scoring for fun. Take the case of England. They have already crossed 350 four times this year.
The way things are going, none of the batting records are safe. The ongoing England-Pakistan series has seen batsmen go on a rampage. Jos Buttler hit a 50-ball century in the second ODI. England posted the fifth highest chase without batting an eyelid in the third.
It is the age of power-hitters, who are bullying and deflating bowlers. This could be the trend at the World Cup, where bowlers could be in for a nightmare.
“The scores right now are all big ones. Three-hundred plus has become chaseable. So I don’t think we can expect anything different with the way they prepare their pitches in England. The advent of T20 is the reason why teams are posting such high totals. Certain T20 traits are transferred to the 50-over game. The mindset has changed to allow these things to happen,” said Dav Whatmore during the inauguration of a cricket academy on Wednesday.
The Australian, who was coach of Sri Lanka during their World Cup win in 1996, said the upcoming event will not be decided by batsmen but by the bowlers.
“If you see the squads, they all have very good players who can score a lot. So, more than the batsman, I think it will be about the ability of the bowlers to be able to curb that and get breakthroughs,” the Kerala coach said and stressed upon the importance of having wicket-taking bowlers at a time when teams are not able to bowl out the opposition.
Jasprit Bumrah has been touted as the best bowler in the world and he is also expected to make an impact in England. In Whatmore’s opinion, India’s bowling attack is potent. “Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav are all very good bowlers. They’ve got all bases covered.”
When asked about the form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been a bit off colour of late, Whatmore defended the bowler known for his ability to swing the ball. “It is impossible to maintain the same level all the time. He will do well. He can even bat,” he said.
A batsman’s game it is and batsmen will make headlines come the World Cup. But don’t discount bowlers. Once two equally powerful teams cancel out each other in batting on pitches made for scoring, the team with the better bowlers are likely to have the last laugh.