Ishant on saliva ban: Competition should be fair

Ishant, who has played 97 Tests, reasoned that if the bowlers don’t shine the red ball, used in the longest format, then it won’t swing helping batsmen.

Ishant Sharma said the game should not be completely in favour of the batsmen. (File Photo)   -  AP

Senior India speedster Ishant Sharma believes that the ban on saliva to shine the ball will make things easy for batsmen and it needs to be ensured that the competition remains fair.

The ICC said that it has decided to ban the use of saliva to shine the ball in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ishant, who has played 97 Tests, reasoned that if the bowlers don’t shine the red ball, used in the longest format of the game, then it won’t swing helping batsmen.

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“If we don’t shine the red ball, it doesn’t swing and if it doesn’t swing then it becomes really easy for the batsman. I think the competition should be fair and not a batsmen dominated game,” the 31-year-old said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.

Saliva is primarily used on a new ball while sweat is used on the old ball when reverse swing comes into play.

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The lanky pacer, who has 297 Test and 115 ODI wickets to his name, feels that bowlers will need to take special precautions to ensure that they don’t use saliva as it is an old practice.

“I feel that the most important thing will be avoiding the use of saliva on the ball and refraining from shining the ball.

“We will have to take special precautions for this as we are used to shining the ball, especially the red ball,” said Ishant, who represents Delhi in domestic cricket.

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