BCCI lays foundation stone for indoor cricket academies in six North-Eastern states

New Delhi: Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh believes the key to restraining aggressive batting in modern-day cricket lies in the bowlers’ ability to take wickets regularly after the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 2024 ongoing season saw teams breaching the 200-run mark at ease on multiple occasions. Harbhajan, who played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs, and 28 T20Is for India, emphasised that bowlers should aim for wickets even at the cost of conceding runs. He shared his insights in Episode 5 of the podcast series ‘180 Not Out’. “I believe that any bowler who says he can stop the run flow is not true. Be it Lasith Malinga, there has never been a better bowler than him in the T20 world. Jasprit Bumrah is that in the modern-day cricket. You can only break the momentum after taking a wicket. To take wickets, you need to bowl well,” Harbhajan told Raman Raheja, sports-preneur, media professional, and creator who put together this Podcast ‘180 Not Out’. The veteran player said that going for wickets in the shortest format is the only way out for the bowlers. “With skill, you can take wickets, not that with fluke you took a wicket, bowled the full toss ball and got the batter out. But that will not happen again. The full-toss ball will concede six more than getting a wicket. Economy rate will only improve when you try for a wicket,” he said. “That’s what I think should be the mindset. Whenever I have played any format, T20s, Tests, or ODIs, I look to take wickets. In that process, even if you concede some runs at the cost of 2-3 wickets, you have done your job. That should be the mindset,” the spinner added. The podcast series was also graced by former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir. The star batter expressed his views on the issue of two new balls being used in ODI cricket. “Two new balls in one-day cricket is probably the worst thing that can happen to One-day cricket. Imagine how many finger spinners play one-day cricket. There’s Nathan Lyon who’s got 400 wickets, there’s R. Ashwin who’s got 400 wickets, and they are not a part of the One Day team, and the only reason is that there is nothing for a finger spinner,” said Gambhir. “Imagine someone who has taken 400 test wickets will not play one-day cricket because they don’t become a wicket-taking option, or they end up becoming a defensive option. The reverse swing has gone out of the game completely. I want to see reverse swing, I want to see batters getting challenged, and someone bowling at 150 and reversing the ball is always a challenge. One rule that needs to change is getting rid of two new balls and having only one,” he added. –IANS ab/bsk/

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