Former Australia captain Mark Taylor feels banning the traditional practice of using saliva to shine the ball will upset the balance between bat and ball in Test cricket.
The International Cricket Council recently prohibited the use of saliva to polish the ball as an interim measure to mitigate the risk posed by the deadly coronavirus.
The decision received mixed reactions from the cricket fraternity, with several pace bowlers urging the ICC to allow some alternatives to shine the ball.
Mark Taylor, who played 217 matches for Australia, provided his take on the issue and said that Test cricket will suffer most by the move.
“I think it is a bit of a concern because I like, particularly in Test matches, to see the ball slightly dominate the bat, it is much better game when Test cricket is played that way.”
Mark Taylor thinks bowlers will get predictable
The cricketer turned commentator believes that not using saliva may upset the balance between the bat and ball in Test cricket, with bowlers becoming predictable.
“My concern will be that if the players can’t shine the ball and the ball does get very straight and very predictable we are going to see more and more runs, more and more high scores in Test match cricket.”
Taylor further added that the longest form of the game shouldn’t be dominated by batsmen and high scorers.
“And that is not the best Test match cricket. Test cricket is much better when the score is around 300.”
Calls on the umpires to be lenient
Mark Taylor, who scored 7525 runs in 104 Test matches, said that the umpires will have to be lenient towards awarding the five-run penalty for applying saliva on the ball.
“They have said try and be lenient which I’m sure they will be but eventually one umpire is going to stick his neck out and say ‘that’s a five run penalty.”
Notably, the ICC introduced the system of issuing two warnings per innings to players found violating the saliva ban. Any further violation will result in a five-run penalty.
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