The new ODI rules will make the lives of bowlers and captains extremely difficult. That's the shared view of both MS Dhoni and his Pakistan counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq that came out after they had played their first game under the changed set of rules.
What irked them most is the rule that there cannot be more than four fielders outside the 30-yard circle at any stage of the game. The maximum permitted number was five earlier.
The only point they differ on is who's going to suffer the most because of this restriction — spinners or pacers. While MS Dhoni feels spinners will be the worst affected, the Pakistan skipper believes that it would be the pacers who would come under pressure.
“People have been complaining that spinners no longer flight the ball. I don't know what they expect the spinner to do with one fielder less outside the circle. It's a rule more in favour of teams who play more fast bowlers,” said Dhoni, after the six-wicket loss.
And with India having to make do with part-time bowlers in the absence of a genuine fast-bowling all-rounder, Dhoni feels it's going to hit them hard. “We have been managing with part-timers, so I don't know whether it will be possible now. Perhaps those who can bowl will need to take their bowling even more seriously.”
The Pakistan skipper has his reasons.
“Spinners can still control but it is very difficult for the pacers, especially at the end without a third man and a fine leg. Nowadays batsmen play lap sweep and different strokes, making it even more difficult. A spinner can still bowl on one side of the wicket with three or four on the boundary,” said Misbah.
He revealed that captains are not consulted before these rules are changed by the ICC committee. “It would be better if the committee consults captains before bringing in new rules,” he said.
What Dhoni didn't say was that his team will have to play well be stay in the reckoning.