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Anil Kumble hopeful of resurgence of spin bowling during saliva ban
Saliva Ban

Anil Kumble hopeful of resurgence of spin bowling during saliva ban

Anil Kumble is optimistic that a ban on using saliva to polish the ball will lead to spinners gaining more importance in Test cricket.

Kumble, who heads the ICC cricket committee, feels spinners will now have a bigger role to play in the outcomes of future matches held under the COVID-19 restrictions.

"You can probably leave grass on the surface or even rough it up and have two spinners," he was quoted as saying by AFP.

"Let's get spinners back in the game in a Test match. Because if it's a one-day or T20 game, you're not worried about the ball or shining of the ball."

The ICC is set to impose a complete ban on applying saliva on the ball since this practice harbours the risk of virus transmission.

This temporary measure is expected to prove detrimental for fast bowlers, who rely on reverse swing generated from keeping one side of the ball shiny in order to threaten opposing batsmen.

Kumble sees this development as probably the introduction of a maverick strategy to include two spinners while playing in Australia or England.

He predicted that ground staff would be keen on creating pitch conditions conducive to spin.

"In cricket, you have the surface you can play around with and bring about a balance between bat and ball," he said.

"All of us are yearning to start the game and not really worried about saliva or sweat or condition of the ball -- we just want to play cricket."

In the absence of saliva, there has been talk of inventing a wax applicator to shine the surface of the ball but Kumble is wary of such innovations as it could pave the way for ball-tampering.

"We've been very strict about substances that have been used on the ball," he said.

Altering the condition of the ball using an artificial substance continues to be a grave offence in cricket and is heavily sanctioned by the ICC.

#World Test Championship#India