‘It’s like asking batsmen to score only on the off-side’: Sachin Tendulkar explains why bowlers today are left ‘handicapped’
Like many former cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar has been vocal about the lack of balance between the bat and ball in today’s generation of cricket. And rightly so. Besides growing clamours that various T20 leagues across the world have given batsman the license to go for big shots, rules such as the free-hit after a no-ball and the use of heavy and thick bats do tend to tilt the game in the favour of the batsmen.
Weighing in on the same, Tendulkar reckons that the bowlers are at a disadvantage, especially with the ICC banning the use of saliva in the post-Covid-19 era of cricket, which the former batsman feels has left bowlers around the world handicapped. Over decades, saliva and sweat have been used as means to retain shine on one side of the ball, which helped the bowlers generate reverse swing, but while sweat can still be used, Tendulkar feels it’s not as effective as saliva.
“With the saliva ban, bowlers are handicapped if you do not have a substitute for saliva. Today we do not have any substitute for saliva. Cricket was always like it, sweat and saliva were always there. I would say saliva is more important than sweat, so it is almost as good as 60 per cent. Bowlers would rely more on saliva as compared to sweat,” he told ANI.
Tendulkar believes there should have been an alternative as taking away the advantage of saliva comes as a huge setback for the bowlers. “If I have to balance it out, bowlers would be 60 per cent depended on saliva and 40 per cent on sweat. That is being taken away from them, to me, bowlers are handicapped without a doubt,” he added.
“There should have been an alternative, but the alternative is still not there so it is literally like asking a batsman you cannot score runs on the offside, you can only score on the onside. It is literally like that. There is no substitute provided for saliva and that’s why bowlers are handicapped.”