The coronavirus pandemic has brought in temporary but significant changes into how cricket is played. While the usual buzz around venues is absent with fans not being fully permitted yet to attend matches in several countries, some fundamental changes have been forced to ensure safety in times of coronavirus.
One of these is the ban on usage of saliva to shine cricket ball that has an impact on the degree of swing a bowler can generate. However, senior India pacer Ishant Sharma is confident that the conditions in England mean that non-application of saliva will not matter to how much swing a bowler an produce.
“I think it is not that difficult. I think the ball will swing even without saliva and somebody needs to take responsibility to maintain the ball. And if the ball is maintained well in these conditions, then it becomes easier for the bowlers to take wickets in these conditions," Ishant said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.
India are to start their UK tour when they face New Zealand in the final of the ICC World Test Championship from Friday. After that, they will be up against England in a series of five Tests which is slated to begin from August 4.
Ishant has quite an experience of bowling in English conditions having part of previous India tours and knows what adjustment a bowler needs to make to make impact.
“You need to train differently and adapt to the change," Ishant said. “In India, you get the reverse swing after some time, but in England, the length is fuller because of the swing. So, you have to adjust to the lengths. It is not easy to force that and the weather here is cooler so it takes time to acclimatize to the weather."
Ishant, 32, reckons that quarantine has made the challenge of adjusting to conditions even more tougher. “And the quarantine makes it difficult because you cannot go to the ground, after IPL we were not allowed to go to the grounds and train. The way you train in the gym and the training on the ground is very different, so you have to adjust to that and it takes time," he said.