Advertisement

Xavier Doherty


Doherty suggests rule tweak

Australian offspinner Xavier Doherty believes the newly introduced 'two new balls' rule should be enforced on a country-by-country basis to level the playing field for bowlers.

The rule, which states a new ball be used at either end in one-day cricket, was introduced to favour bowlers.

In part, it was added to counter the other new rule of having a maximum of four fielders in the outfield at any one time.

But in areas like the sub-continent, where the new ball is less dangerous and bowlers often rely on reverse swing and spin provided by older balls, batsman are cashing in.

On Australia's ODI tour of India, bat has dominated ball at a historic level.

Records are falling in nearly every game as both sides appear to be scorching past 300 with ease.

And Doherty, who has series figures of 0-169 in India, thinks the International Cricket Council should consider tweaking the rule ahead of the 2015 World Cup, to be played in Australia.

In countries like Australia and England, where wickets offer more bounce and seam movement, the rule could be in place to favour bowlers.

But on the subcontinent, he believes it might be advantageous to shelve it altogether.

"That's probably something they should look at," he said.

"Obviously with the scores we've seen here, there's been less impact with the new balls anyway.

"I don't think there's a real need to have two new balls over here.

"I think there is a case to have a country-by-country situation.

"I think even if there's a shortened game, we still use two new balls, which is a bit ridiculous. But that's the way (the rules) are.

"Leading into this World Cup, I'm sure they'll look at some different little things looking around those rules."

The left-arm spinner is wicketless through four games on the current VB Tour of India, but has compiled an impressive record against India's renowned power hitter.

Dating back to their first encounter in February last year, Doherty bowled 107 consecutive deliveries to Dhoni before conceding a boundary.

He has also bowled 53 dot balls to one of the game's premier ODI batsman and, despite failing to cash in with scalps, has done an admirable job drying the runs up in the middle overs.

With Mitchell Johnson looked at as Australia's weapon against the middle order, stopping the dangerous Dhoni is one of the biggest factors in wrapping up a series victory in game six in Nagpur on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old laughed off the statistic against Dhoni, which ended when the Indian captain thrashed a four and a six off consecutive balls off him in Mohali.

"Stats can probably lie sometimes," Doherty said.

"I haven't bowled to him in the last five overs and I'm sure that stat would change if I did because that's the way he goes about his innings.

"I guess that's the role for me, through the middle of the innings, to try and tie down whoever is batting and stack as many dots up as I can.

"Hopefully the wickets come either at my end or the other end.

"Bowling to MS ... he's one of the real power hitters in world cricket. It's a great challenge.

"I'd love to get his wicket at some stage in the next two games."

Doherty's economy rate of 5.63 doesn't leap off the page, nor do his series figures of 0-169 but, on batsmen-friendly wickets, he's done an excellent job, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin argues.

"He's played his role outstanding," Haddin told AAP.

"Obviously, traditionally, the Indians are very good players of spin and Doey's tied that middle part of the game up.

"It has allowed us to attack at the other end with our quicks and probably be a bit more attacking and looking for wickets.

"He's done his role outstanding and the quicks have been lucky enough to get the results at the other end."

Top Stories

Lehmann-announces-Burns-inclusion-still

Joe Burns in his Queensland Bulls gear // Getty Images

Hussey, Kallis all class as Thunder stop Heat


Smith, Sharma fined after second Test


Watson returns to lead allrounder role


No point sledging Aussies: Gavaskar