Former Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting has come out against the use of bigger bats in Test cricket.
Is it the batsman or the bat? That’s a question that seems to trigger most debates about batting in the modern game. There has been a noticeable use of bigger bats in cricket recently; and as the game has gotten bigger, so, it would seem – have the bats. And now Ponting has joined the debate and said that the ICC should look at regulating bat sizes, especially in Test cricket.
‘I don’t know how they are doing it to make the size of bats they are making now,’ Ponting said. ‘The modern day bats and weight in particular — it’s just a completely different game. Full credit to them. If they are there use them, if there’s a better golf club or tennis racquet everyone will use it. It’s nothing against the players.
‘If you are strong enough to use them that’s fine, but you should not get a bat that’s bigger in size than (MS) Dhoni’s but a whole lot lighter. Chris Gayle’s the same. Everyone talks about Chris Gayle’s bat size, but it’s 3½ lbs (1.59 kg). He’s big enough and strong enough to use it. I only get worried when they are really big and really light.’
Ponting, who is a member of the Merylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket Committee, has said that he would raise his concerns with the panel. The MCC are responsible for the rules and laws that regulate the game. He also stressed that he didn’t mind the bats being used in the shorter formats, but was worried that their continued use in Test cricket gives the batsmen too much advantage over the bowlers, and takes away from the contest between bat and ball – which is the mainstay of Test cricket.
‘I think it will happen,’ Ponting said. ‘I am going in a couple of weeks for a World Cricket Committee meeting and that will be one of the topics talked about. I don’t mind it (big bats) for the shorter versions of the game. I would actually say you’ve got a bat you can use in Test cricket and a certain type of bat you can use in one-day cricket and T20 cricket.
‘The short forms of the game survive on boundaries — fours and sixes — whereas the Test game is being dominated too much now by batters because the game is a bit easier for them than it was.’
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