Greg Chappell's suggestions too tough to execute: Cricket Australia
21 May 2021
Sanjay Manjrekar is someone who doesn't mind mincing his words and yet again he has come hard against the modern-day rules and regulations of cricket, something, that has been highly tilted in favour of batsmen for a while now. In a recent column for the Hindustan Times, Manjrekar has questioned the balance between bat and ball which has been constantly in favour of batsmen, especially in the modern times.
Attributing the changes in the dynamics of the game to the invention of the helmet, Manjrekar stated that it has allowed the modern-day batsmen to play a fearless brand of cricket and employ 360-degree shots. Manjrekar felt that a batsman from the yesteryears wouldn’t have dared to play those shots against express pace without having helmets.
“Would a batter go down on one knee against a big fast bowler, his face perfectly in line with a ball coming at 90 mph, to play a Dilscoop if he wasn’t wearing a helmet? When we gave batters helmets, we should have felt obligated to give something significant back to the bowlers too,” Manjrekar wrote in his column.
The evolution of cricket bats has also done wonders to even top edges going over the fence quite consistently. The broadness of the bats have meant that the batsmen always have an upper hand against the bowlers especially in the white-ball formats.
Manjrekar is not in favour of the easy sixes which the tail-enders often tend to get in the death overs off top edges despite not getting the middle of the bat. With so much in line, Manjrekar feels that bowlers need to be rewarded more in order to ensure a balance between bat and ball.
“For the game to stay absorbing and meaningful, especially to the discerning viewer, one must keep ensuring that there is a proper balance between bat and ball and it all makes sense in the end,” Manjrekar said.
“It pains me, especially in T20 cricket, to see the bowler being penalised 6 runs when he has bowled a superb short ball, bouncing at a legitimate height which a No.11 batter has slogged with eyes closed. The ball flies off the edge over the keeper, crashing into the sight-screen,” Manjrekar added.
Referring to baseball where a batter only gets points when he nails the ball out of the park or from the middle of the bat. No points are awarded if he gets an edge. However, in cricket, batsmen are rewarded despite the bowler actually winning the battle by deceiving him.
“In baseball, the batter gets no reward if the ball flies off his club behind him because he has not made a good enough connection. Baseball rewards success while cricket rewards failure; no wonder the batter in cricket has a sheepish smile every time this happens,” Manjrekar quipped.