Manchester: It was expected to be a batting carnival at the 2019 World Cup, especially after England and Pakistan almost walked their way to 300-plus totals in the last series before the showpiece event on English soil.
However, in this edition of the World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has actually done a good job to keep the bowlers in the game and spice up the matches. India pacer Jasprit Bumrah believes that things are only going to get tougher from here on.
The leader of the Indian bowling attack, Bumrah feels that the wickets have slowed down comparatively from how it played at the start of the tournament and run making wouldn’t be easy. In fact, he has cited the game against Sri Lanka as well — India’s last group game — and said that while it didn’t slow up as much as was feared by the Indian think-tank, the pace did go down.
“Some day some bowler can go for runs. You can give credit to the batsmen when they play well, but overall, wickets are getting slower,” he confessed.
Bumrah though feels that the Indian attack is up for the challenge even on slower wickets. “Everyone is taking a lot of responsibility and that is good because you are trying even harder. We are happy that everyone has done well and everyone is contributing — Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya and even I have taken wickets. This is a positive sign. It is a healthy competition and one that you would want to have going into a crucial game like the semi-finals,” he pointed.
ICC CEO Dave Richardson also said that it was a conscious effort to not let the batsmen run away with the games and let the bowlers have a go and balance things out.
“We have looked at bringing in balance with even wickets. It is not about preparing batting paradises. The weather also comes into the picture and a wicket with even bounce throughout the game is what we look at,” he said.
Asked if this sets a precedent for the future tournaments because the general notion has been that batsmen are ruling the roost in world cricket these days, especially in the shorter formats, Richardson said: “Yes, the idea is to have balance. The overcast conditions in England also helps. It allows you that position.”