With the saliva ban, bowlers are handicapped: Tendulkar

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NEW DELHI: Cricket in the post-coronavirus world has come with its share of restrictions. While limitations off the field include players having to stay inside bio-secure bubbles, the biggest challenge on the pitch has been the saliva ban. And India pacer Jasprit Bumrah had during the IPL spoken about how it could be a big factor in Test cricket wherein reverse swing plays a major role. The legendary Sachin Tendulkar has now echoed the sentiments.

Speaking to ANI, Tendulkar has said that bowlers have been handicapped with the saliva ban and the lack of substitute for saliva could mean tilting the game heavily in favour of the batsmen. He went on to add how it was like restricting the scoring areas for batsmen.

Sachin Tendulkar

“With the saliva ban, bowlers are handicapped if you do not have a substitute for saliva. Today we do not have any substitute for saliva. Cricket was always like it, sweat and saliva were always there. I would say saliva is more important than sweat, so it is almost as good as 60 per cent. Bowlers would rely more on saliva as compared to sweat.

“If I have to balance it out, bowlers would be 60 per cent depended on saliva and 40 per cent on sweat. That is being taken away from them, to me, bowlers are handicapped without a doubt. There should have been an alternative, but the alternative is still not there so it is literally like asking a batsman you cannot score runs on the offside, you can only score on the onside. It is literally like that. There is no substitute provided for saliva and that’s why bowlers are handicapped,” he pointed.

With the rule here to stay for the moment, the Indian bowlers will definitely have to look at other ways to make inroads into the strong Australian batting line-up in the four-match Test series that gets underway from Thursday at the Adelaide Oval. And going by their form in the limited-overs series, their task could be cut out as only T Natarajan impressed in the ODI and T20I series.

But Tendulkar begs to differ and feels that not every day is the same. He goes on to point that the format is completely different and judging a team ahead of a Test series based on their performance in white-ball cricket is unfair.