Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/10/21/dhoni-chappell-feel-for-bowlers

Dhoni, Chappell feel for bowlers

UPDATED 21 October, 2013 4:27PM AEST | by AAP 3

Why would anyone want to be a bowler?

Power-hitters are being handed bigger bats, boundary ropes are dragged in, fielding restrictions hamper you further and flat pitches worldwide offer nothing - no matter how much you bend your back.

Life if certainly tough for seam bowlers and spinners alike in the modern game, as highlighted during the ongoing entertaining India-Australia one-day series.

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Targets of 300 or more have been set in each of the three matches to date - and they've twice been chased down, breaking numerous records along the way.

The dire scenario for bowlers even prompted India's captain and precision slogger MS Dhoni to joke that there might be no place for them in the future.

As one-day cricket becomes more and more like a graveyard housing the shattered careers of once-promising bowlers, Dhoni showed a sympathetic side.

After wowing the Mohali crowd with a devastating 139no off 121 balls on Saturday, Dhoni discussed how recent rule changes are killing bowlers.

Fresh in his mind would've been the brutal, match-winning 64 off 29 balls from Australian allrounder James Faulkner, which was key to the tourists chasing down the target of 304 with three balls to spare for a 2-1 series lead.

The most significant change is the demand of having five fielders inside the 30-metre circle at all times - providing a maximum of four on the boundary.

That drops to three during batting powerplays.

But when asked if he had any changes he would make in light of the recent struggles of bowlers from both teams this series, with a wicked grin Dhoni said: "I think only two bowlers should play, all batsmen should play and the part-timers should bowl."

Even someone who takes such delight in clearing the fences can see the negative impact it is having on the game's current and future bowling stocks.

So too can former Australian captain Ian Chappell, who has urged cricket administrators to "offer bowlers a crumb" or be witness to a revolution akin to Bodyline.

"In the short form of the game there's a chance bowlers will become an endangered species if the trend for heavier (and better) bats and shorter boundaries continues," Chappell wrote in his column for the Hindustan Times.

"...You can't blame the bowlers for thinking they're being served up as cannon fodder for the pampered batsmen.

"...Bowlers need to be offered a crumb in the shorter forms of the game otherwise they'll revolt, as they've done in the past using extreme methods like Bodyline and chucking."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.

First Posted 21 October, 2013 4:24PM AEST

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