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Has Cricket Become a More Batting-Focused Game?

Cricket has always been a topic of discussion in the sports industry as it is one of the biggest sports in the world. It is always in the headlines because of the thrill and entertainment it produces for cricket fans from across the globe.

Whether it is an international tournament or a T20 cricket league, Cricket never fails to surprise and that is all possible because of the quality of players it produces every year.

Over the years of its existence, the sport has witnessed some major changes in the rules and regulations and the format. In the last two decades, the rate of change has been higher with the T20 format taking centre stage.

The game has become fast-paced and has adopted a completely different nature altogether. In the old times, Test cricket used to be the primary focus of the players as it was the real test of their talent but now they rely on T20 cricket for the longevity of their international career.

Overall, Cricket has witnessed some amendments in the rules and regulations and these regulations have also made the game a batsman’s sport. The majority of the rules are against the bowling unit and now the batting unit is mostly the match-winner. The inclination of sports has changed due to the existence of the following reasons.

Flatter Pitches

A pitch plays an important role in the outcome of a cricket match. Different countries are popular for different pitch conditions. For example, India is known for its support of spin bowling and batsmen.

Austrian pitches are known to be inclined toward the batsmen and Pakistani pitches are always inclined towards the pace bowling. However, it has come to notice that the trend has seen a change where modern pitches are flat which doesn’t provide any support to spin bowling.

This impacts the game in the middle overs and hence the spin bowlers always fail to make an impact when their time comes.

New Ball Rules

In the year 2011, ICC came with a major change in the rule book where two new balls will be used in both innings in the ODI format. This gave a major advantage to the batsmen as the bowlers will have less time with the ball and there won’t be much reverse swing.

Bowlers will miss out on swing and seam movement and that makes it difficult for the early spells to pick wickets. This flattens the initial overs and forces bowlers to rely on variations later, giving batsmen an advantage early on.

While bowlers can exploit the old ball's wear and tear later, the two new balls make it harder to build pressure throughout the innings.

Fielding Restrictions

Fielding restrictions in limited-overs cricket like ODIs and T20s challenge bowlers by limiting their control over field placement. During powerplays, for example, fewer fielders are allowed close to the batsman, restricting bowling strategies for dismissals and containing runs.

This forces bowlers to be more creative and rely on variations in pace and spin to take wickets. While batsmen can capitalize with boundaries, these restrictions also open scoring areas, demanding greater adaptability from bowlers throughout the innings.

The balance of power in cricket has undeniably shifted towards batsmen. Flatter pitches rob bowlers of swing and bounce, while the proliferation of new balls and fielding restrictions in limited-overs formats like powerplays make it harder to take wickets. However, the argument isn't one-sided.

Rule changes like limiting bouncers and the introduction of DRS have offered bowlers a fighting chance. Additionally, some argue the thrill of high-scoring matches keeps fans engaged.

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