The fear of a blow to the head has always kept batsmen on their toes. It dictates their temperament, and playing style. Over the years, the evolution of modern helmets has made this aspect of the game less risky for the men with the bat in hand.
For former India batsman Gundappa Vishwanath, who played a majority of his career without helmets, the falling standards of technique are a matter of concern.
“In the past we never had an option of having protective gear for our heads. It was all about backing your technique,” Vishwanath said. “One would just go with a mind-set that the ball could not hurt you.”
Former India player, Anshuman Gaekwad, who was hit on the ear while on tour to the West Indies, remembers not being fazed by the blow.
“I was in hospital for two days. My ear drum in the left ear was ruptured. It did not faze me. There was no alternate way, in which I could have avoided the injury,” Gaekwad said.
However, with the unfortunate Phil Hughes episode, talk of newer designs for helmets has gained traction.
According to former India captain, Dilip Vengsarkar, helmets need to be evolved if possible.
“If there is a way for the helmets to provide more protection without becoming cumbersome for the batsmen, we should look into it,” Vengsarkar, who played with a helmet without a visor, said.