Ashwin says size of stadiums not relevant in modern-day cricket

Ashwin’s comments have come in the context of unreal totals being put up by teams in this year’s Indian Premier League.

Published : May 04, 2024 16:02 IST , NEW DELHI - 3 MINS READ

Ashwin also firmly believes that a good bowler will find his footing and stand out among the pack with his innovations.
Ashwin also firmly believes that a good bowler will find his footing and stand out among the pack with his innovations. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR/The Hindu
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Ashwin also firmly believes that a good bowler will find his footing and stand out among the pack with his innovations. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR/The Hindu

The evolution of batting in modern-day is such that incredible power-hitting is slowly rendering the size of cricket stadiums irrelevant, world’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said on Saturday, fearing that the trend could make the game pretty one-sided.

Ashwin’s comments have come in the context of unreal totals being put up by teams in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sunrisers Hyderabad posted totals of 277 and 287 while scores of 250 have been surpassed by teams this season with liberal help from the extra batter in the form of Impact Substitutions.

“The stadiums built back in the day are not relevant in the modern day. The bats that were used back then were also used for gully cricket. With LED boards of the sponsors being used, the boundary has come in by 10 yards,” Ashwin, one of the leading voices in global cricket, said during a promotional event for his IPL team Rajasthan Royals.

Ashwin feels that if the trend continues, the game will become very one-sided in the coming days.

“It is tilting too far on [the] other side, which will make someone’s misery your great time. Bowlers will need mental boost,” the straight-talker said.

However, Ashwin also firmly believes that a good bowler will find his footing and stand out among the pack with his innovations.

“Game shifts balance and you have to find answers. There’s [a] clear window to differentiate yourself,” Ashwin said.

He is happy that Rajasthan Royals’ bowling attack hasn’t suffered a lot, unlike some of the other teams, even though he marvels at the ball-striking abilities of the batters over time.

“If you look at the Industrial rate (average runs conceded by teams in IPL), we have gone for less. We defended 180 in Jaipur in one game which was huge,” he said. “But you are certainly marvelled at ball-striking. At the end of the day, spectators come to watch fours and sixes,” said India’s second highest wicket-taker in Tests.

For someone with a very sharp sense of humour, Ashwin had a hilarious take on the size of boundaries this season.

“The ground in Jaipur, the boundary is huge. When I saw that, Dhruv Jurel said, ‘Bhaiyya this is so big,’ and I told him ‘Dhruv, at least let it be somewhere.’ Watching that, I felt at this stage of my career, I would need a bicycle to reach the (Sawai Mansingh Stadium) boundary. Then, in the next stadium, I felt I could walk and the next I could run and then in one I felt if I spit my chewing gum, it will cross the boundary rope for a six,” said Ashwin.

The Royals’ bowling coach Shane Bond summed it up aptly.

“For bowlers now, if you can bowl well, you can make a lot of money. Batting has evolved and bowling is catching up,” the former New Zealand speedster said.

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