Virat Kohli © PTI
Virat Kohli © PTI

Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis have already spoken on two new balls in ODIs. Now Virat Kohli, in the press conference before India‘s departure to Ireland and England, spoke on the same issue. He believes it is unfair from the the bowlers’ point of view: “I’ve read a lot of things about two new balls and I agree it’s brutal for the bowlers. There’s hardly any room for attacking cricket left from a bowler’s point of view if you do not provide pitches that assist them with the new ball.

“I have played ODI cricket when there was only one new ball allowed and reverse swing used to be a massive factor in the later half of the innings which as a batsman was more challenging. Nowadays, I honestly feel that, yeah, it’s very difficult for the bowlers with two new balls and if the pitch is flat they have no way out. Unless you have wrist spinners in your team which can do the job in the middle overs. Not every team has that cushion so they find it difficult.”

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav played major roles in India’s success in the limited-overs series in South Africa. They kept the run rate in control in the middle overs and provided the team with wickets. Kohli pointed this out as an advantage for India: ”If the pitches are similar to what you get all over the world, which is for shorter formats being batting friendly, and people want to see runs and all that. What’s been the difference with us is the two X-factors in the middle overs. We’ve actually been able to create flat wickets into exciting ones because of our variety. From that point of view, I’m very excited to see these guys bowling in conditions that might not assist them so much. But it’s the skill in the wrist that did the job in South Africa, and I’m sure teams are thinking about it. ”When it’s a full 50-over game you cannot go that hard for 20 overs in a row. They can get you out in any particular over. They give the fast bowlers the freedom to attack even more.”

India play 2 T20 Internationals against Ireland before going to England for a series of 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Tests.