Time for bowlers to be given a chance

FORMER Australian fast bowler Carl Rackemann believes the game's law-makers need to take a serious look at reducing the dominance of batsmen.

South Africa became the first team to score more than 400 runs in consecutive one-day international matches, following 408 against the West Indies with 411 against Ireland in a match that saw Hashim Amla overtake India's Virat Kohli as the fastest player to reach 20 ODI centuries (in 108 matches).

Pakistan's 6-339 against the UAE yesterday was the 16th time a score of 300 or more has been registered at the tournament.

Rackemann, who took 82 wickets for Australia in ODIs in the 1980s and '90s, said some simple changes would get the contest between batsman and bowler back on an even keel.

"When professional golfers started hitting longer balls because of new and improved clubs, the courses were lengthened," he told APN. "The opposite appears to be happening in cricket. Bats are getting bigger, but the boundaries are being brought in and grounds are getting smaller.

"When I played, we were allowed five men outside the circle; now it's four.

"The contest between bat and ball is now skewed towards the batsman."

Bowling teams have, however, been allowed two new balls at this World Cup, something Rackemann said was a good idea. "A score of 300 has almost become a par score nowadays, but with a swinging ball at the end of an innings, and if wickets are falling - that's what the game is all about," he said.

After Australia was bundled out for just 151 against New Zealand in its one-wicket defeat last Saturday, Rackemann said he believed our batsmen could hold back on the big shots at times. "Sometimes instead of taking a gung-ho approach, they could probably pull their heads in a bit and think about causing less damage to the scoreboard," Rackemann said.

"I'm sure they thought about that after the New Zealand game."

Australia's next game against Sri Lanka, at the SCG on Sunday, will present a huge challenge, with Rackemann hopeful our batsmen will be able to negotiate a swinging ball.

The Aussies failed to do that against Sri Lanka at the Gabba in January 2013, spearhead Lasith Malinga taking 3-14 as the home side was bowled out for 74.

"It's a crunch game and if the opposition can exploit swinging conditions, that will put a lot of pressure on Australia," Rackemann said.


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