Indian captain Virat Kohli has backed Sachin Tendulkar’s criticism of using two new balls in ODI cricket. Tendulkar had voiced his concern in a Tweet after watching England chase down a target of 312 against Australia with ease in the fourth game at Riverside on Thursday, saying using two new balls were a “perfect recipe for disaster” in ODIs as it didn’t allow for the ball to reverse swing in the last 10 overs of the match. England had earlier scored a world record 481/6 -- the highest men's ODI total of all time -- in a crushing 242-run win at Trent Bridge on Tuesday against Australia.
Having 2 new balls in one day cricket is a perfect recipe for disaster as each ball is not given the time to get old enough to reverse. We haven’t seen reverse swing, an integral part of the death overs, for a long time. #ENGvsAUS— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 21, 2018
Asked to comment on Tendulkar’s observation, Kohli echoed his view, describing the situation as brutal for bowlers.
"I've read a lot of things about two new balls and I agree it's brutal for the bowlers,” he said. “There's hardly any room for attacking cricket left from a bowler's point of view if you do not provide pitches that assist them with the new ball.
"I have played ODI cricket when there was only one new ball allowed and reverse swing used to be a massive factor in the later half of the innings which as a batsman was more challenging. Nowadays, I honestly feel that it's very difficult for the bowlers with two new balls and if the pitch is flat they have no way out. Unless you have wrist spinners in your team which can do the job in the middle overs. Not every team has that cushion so they find it difficult."
Tendulkar’s tweet has sparked off a heated conversation on social media with the likes of Waqar Younis, Stuart Broad and Mitchell McClenaghan endorsing his view.
Reason why we don’t produce many attacking fast bowlers..They all very defensive in their approach...always looking for change ups..totally agree with you @sachin_rt reverse swing is almost vanished.. #SAD https://t.co/hPHoMXujcr— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) June 21, 2018
The concept of two new balls in ODIs, wherein the bowling team would get fresh balls from each end, was introduced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in October, 2011 to counter concerns over the 15-40 over phase becoming “boring.”