Former India captain Rahul Dravid feels that T20 cricket has gone through a transformation over last decade with batsmen showing comparatively more signs of improvement skillwise than the bowlers.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo’s ‘Talking Cricket’, Dravid spoke about the impact that the shortest format of the game has had on players. “You know from my experience, I think the batsmen have may be — are slightly ahead of the bowlers in terms of the way their skills have improved over the last 9, 10, 11 years in T20 cricket but the bowlers are slowly catching up,” Dravid said.
Dravid then explained that what are the impediments that bowlers have faced with the evolution of the game. “…I think bowling has maybe because the very nature of bowling is such that you’re limited physically by the amount you can do. It’s not that you can go on…You can’t obviously go on bowling for two hours, two and a half hours, three hours, right every day because you’re going to get injured or you’re going to break down at some time,” he explained.
“So, the opportunities for bowlers to work on their skills is limited physically, by the physical demands and the nature of the job that they are doing whereas batsmen I think have a little bit of a leeway because they are able to push themselves physically and practice a lot more than say bowlers do.”
Dravid said it would be quite a task to ensure that the battle between bat and ball is an equal one in T20 cricket. “I think T20 cricket is only going to get you know bigger and bigger. I think we need to be a bit careful that we maintain, still maintain the balance between bat and ball. I see that as one of the major challenges of T20 cricket. What we don’t want in time is to become — every score to become a 200 plus score where we are always seeing power hitting skills,” Dravid said.
“We want somebody to, even if it’s for two overs, you want somebody to negotiate a difficult spell, you want someone — to see someone’s ability against the turning ball and how he negotiates that and how he’s still able to score at seven-eight runs an over against a good spinner on a track that assists the spinner as well. So, I think we need that balance. I think otherwise you know you just might put up bowling machines and see who hits it further. I see that as a major challenge,” he added.