Banning bouncers following the death of Australia’s Phillip Hughes would be unfair on bowlers because batsmen always have the option of ducking under short-pitched deliveries, former India opener Virender Sehwag said recently…
Australia’s Phillip Hughes, who would have been 26 at the weekend, died recently from an injury caused by a ball striking him on the back of the head during a domestic match, triggering a huge outpouring of grief in Australia and around the world. Restricting Sehwag in full flow has been a very difficult task for bowlers over the years but the 36-year-old, who has scored two triple centuries in tests, feels there should be no clampdown on bouncers.
“It was very sad that Hughes died in such a way. But it’s part of cricket and injuries are part of any sport,” Sehwag told reporters at a promotional event organised by MoneyGram to mark next year’s 50-over World Cup. “You have an option to duck bouncers as a batsman. If you cut out the bouncers, then there is no fun left in the game and it’s already a batsman’s game. I have been hit on the helmet by quite a few bouncers. But it’s a weapon for the bowlers so they should not be robbed off it.”
The flamboyant right-hander, who last played for India in March 2013, was an integral part of the country’s World Cup-winning team in 2011 on home soil. He has not given up hope of playing in next year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand and believes India have the strength to defend the trophy. Leading up to the World Cup, India will play a triangular one-day series in Australia along with England but a four-test series starting this month will be their priority. Very strong at home, India’s problems on their travels have been well documented with the team losing 13 of their last 17 test matches on foreign soil. They were thrashed 4-0 on their last trip Down Under.
“I think we have a very good chance of doing well in Australia because the conditions will not be like in England where the ball swings and seams,” Sehwag said, referring to India’s series loss in England this year. “The only thing will be the extra bounce and I am hoping our team will be able to adjust to that and do well.”