BENGALURU: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a new normal to cricket at the moment, courtesy the saliva ban. The first Test between England and West Indies saw bowlers struggle, with conventional swing being hard to find.
Back home in India, some domestic bowlers are gradually getting back to training. Pacers and spinners are acclimating themselves to this reality sans saliva. Most have found it tough, and spoke on how it could impact the upcoming season.
MD Nidheesh (Kerala)
We are not using saliva during practice. This rule may be here to stay for this season and maybe the next. We will have to learn to live with that. I have been practising for over a month and I will not say that there is zero swing. With sweat, there is some movement. But not that much. We have to be very accurate and hit the right areas, bowl tight lines and lengths.
Abhimanyu Mithun (Karnataka)
At the end of the day, pacers need the ball to swing. Shine is important. Also, I am quite sure that getting the ball to reverse when it is old will be a massive challenge. We need to find ways to get more shine. Maybe we will also have to depend on extra pace to take wickets and hurry batsmen and have other plans to be effective in such circumstances.
Varun Aaron (Jharkhand)
Compared to England, it will be much more challenging in India. It all depends on how you maintain the ball for it to reverse or get a conventional swing. We have not played (matches) in India so far. Net practice and matches are different things. Spit has a different viscosity than sweat. It shines the ball differently. If we cannot shine the ball much and there is less movement, it gives an immediate advantage to batsmen.
Mehdi Hasan (Hyderabad)
Finger-spinners also need a shine. It helps with drift. The more the drift, the more it can become difficult for batsmen. With the saliva rule, there will be concerns for bowling units, be it pacers or spinners. However, it is only when a proper team camp starts and we start playing competitively, will we be able to understand exactly as to how the ball will behave.