Sachin Tendulkar makes harsh statement, says ODIs getting 'boring and predictable'
- India legend Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013
- Tendulkar wants ICC to remove saliva ban as well
- Tendulkar also claimed that the current ODI format is difficult for bowlers
India legend Sachin Tendulkar has claimed One-Day Internationals (ODIs) are "boring" and are becoming "predictable".
The 2011 Cricket World Cup winner, Tendulkar, said that the use of two new balls and modern-day fielding restrictions are making ODI cricket difficult for bowlers and, thereby, taking away the balance between bat and ball.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2023 in New Delhi, Tendulkar did not hesitate to give a harsh assessment of ODI cricket's current state.
Over the last few months, there have been several questions raised about the future of ODI cricket. But the International Cricket Council (ICC) has rubbished the concerns over the reducing importance of ODIs, pointing out that countries across the world are scheduling a "healthy" number of ODIs.
However, the increase in the franchise-based T20 leagues across the globe and the jam-packed cricket calendar has forced pundits and former cricketers to raise questions about the relevance of the ODI format.
"It's getting monotonous without any doubt. There are two parts. One is the current format and the next is which I feel it should be played. Let me talk about the current format which has been there for a while now is two new balls. When you have two new balls, it eliminated reverse swing. Even though we are in the 40th over of the game, it's actually the 20th over of that ball.
"There was a bit of discolouration and the ball gets softer. When the ball started discolouring, picking the shiny and the rough side becomes difficult. That element is missing today because of two new balls," added Tendulkar.
Current ODI format heavy on bowlers, says Tendulkar
Tendulkar went on to also add that he had spoken to spinners about fielding restrictions and how the community was not happy about how having five fielders inside the 30-yard circle in the last 10 overs of the ODIs.
"Also for spinners, I have spoken to a few spinners. I was trying to understand their mindset with 5 fielders in the ring. The bowlers are saying that we don't have the freedom to change our lines. Even if we know that, there is a possibility of batter making the mistake, if we change our line then we might have to pay a heavy price. They don't have the protection now in the current format.
"The current format is heavy on the bowlers. it's challenging with 5 fielders in the ring and 2 new balls," the former cricketer added.
Meanwhile, Tendulkar also suggested that the ICC should reconsider its decision to ban saliva to shine the ball. The ban took place in 2020, when the world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a series of lockdowns and suspensions of sports across the world.
The ICC also introduced a rule wherein the opposition team would be awarded five runs for using saliva on the ball. Back on November 22, Nepal were given five penalty runs after UAE's Alishan Shafaru used saliva to shine the ball.
Sachin Tendulkar: ICC should remove the saliva ban
However, Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket back in 2013, said that "saliva on the ball should be back".
"I am not a medical expert, but saliva on the ball should be back. It has happened for over 100 years and nothing drastic has happened. Yes, the decision was rightly taken in 2020, but that is now behind us. Now, it is something that should be considered," Tendulkar said at the same event in Delhi.
The 49-year-old former cricketer, who is the only batter in the world to score 100 centuries in international cricket, also spoke about the difference of using sweat and saliva to shine the cricket ball.
"If you think that is unhygienic, I have seen guys putting the ball under their armpit. Saliva is important when the ball is new. The texture of saliva is slightly different to your sweat. You make one side heavy and keep the other side light... we don't touch the other side of the ball light. The imbalance of the weight helps you swing the ball," added Tendulkar.
When the ban came into place, Australia's current captain Pat Cummins asked the ICC to allow the use of an artificial wax-like substance to shine the ball.