Allow use of external substances or else forget for some time that reverse swing exists: Irfan Pathan

Allow use of external substances or else forget for some time that reverse swing exists: Irfan Pathan

According to Irfan, moisture on the pitch should be kept in favour of the bowlers, resulting in the ball gripping the surface more.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The International Cricket Committee, under the leadership of Anil Kumble, induced several interim changes to the game in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The cricketing scenario across the globe, which was halted since months, marked its return with the England-West Indies Test series.

However, the world witnessed significant changes to the sport in the post-coronavirus world. One of the much-debated changes which the ICC introduced to the game is the ban on using saliva. The ICC’s move left the world divided into two sections. While one set felt that it’s necessary to reduce COVID-19 risk, other segment believed that it completes takes the advantage off the bowlers.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has also dished out his opinion on the newly-introduced rule, saying that the bowlers should forget about getting reverse swing with the old ball in the COVID-19 era.

Since saliva is thicker, it affects reverse swing: Irfan Pathan

After watching Mark Wood and Jofra Archer on the fifth day of the first Test against West Indies, Irfan felt that bowlers will have a tough time until the saliva ban gets lifted. In the recently concluded Test encounter between England and West Indies, pacers from both sides had a hard time shining the ball.

“Since saliva is thicker, it affects reverse swing more than conventional swing which requires sweat for shining the ball. Till the pandemic is there and the rule stays, the bowlers will have it a bit tougher than usual,” said Irfan as quoted by Times Now.

Irfan also suggested the ICC to allow the use of external substances to shine the ball. Saliva plays a crucial role in shining the ball and making it perfect for reverse swing. Irfan also proposed to make pitches that are favourable for seam bowling.

“Simple. Allow use of external substances or else for some time forget that reverse swing exists. Make pitches that will be conducive to seam bowling,” he added.

According to Irfan, moisture on the pitch should be kept in favour of the bowlers, resulting in the ball gripping the surface more.”If there’s moisture, the ball would grip the surface and then both sweat and saliva are out of the equation,” said Irfan, who donned the India jersey in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is.