Ishant Sharma has opined that the Dukes ball is likely to swing in English conditions even if no saliva is applied to it.
Team India will face New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, to be played at the Aeges Bowl in Southampton from June 18. With the current restrictions on the application of saliva on the cricket ball, players have had to make do with sweat, which might also not come to the bowlers’ aid in the cooler English weather.
During an interaction on the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Ishant Sharma observed that saliva not being allowed to be applied on the ball will not be a hindrance for swing. He added that the onus will be on the players to maintain the ball properly.
“I think it is not that difficult. I think the ball will swing even without saliva and somebody needs to take responsibility to maintain the ball. And if the ball is maintained well in these conditions, then it becomes easier for the bowlers to take wickets in these conditions,” Ishant said.
Both English and Kiwi bowlers generated prodigious swing in the recently concluded series between the two sides. With forecasts of overcast conditions in Southampton, the ball is likely to move around in the WTC final as well.
“You have to adjust to the lengths” – Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma highlighted that bowlers need to pitch the ball further up in England to make the best use of the conditions. He added that adapting to the cooler climate takes a while.
“You need to train differently and adapt to the change. In India, you get the reverse swing after some time, but in England, the length is fuller because of the swing. So, you have to adjust to the lengths. It is not easy to force that and the weather here is cooler so it takes time to acclimatize to the weather,” he added.
Ishant Sharma signed off by stating that Team India had a slightly uphill task to be in their best condition for the WTC final as they came on the tour with limited training behind them.
“And the quarantine makes it difficult because you cannot go to the ground, after IPL we were not allowed to go to the grounds and train. The way you train in the gym and the training on the ground is very different, so you have to adjust to that and it takes time,” he concluded.
There was speculation doing the rounds that Team India might play Mohammed Siraj ahead of Ishant Sharma in the WTC final. However, the 101-Test veteran might have sealed his place in the playing XI with a three-wicket haul in the intra-squad warm-up encounter.