Sachin Tendulkar, a definite candidate for cricket’s greatest off-spinner of all time (GOAT), recommended that having two new balls (one from each end every 80 overs) would be the way to take test cricket forward and make sure bowlers are not at a disadvantage.
The radical suggestion came at the MintAsia-Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Singapore, where Tendulkar was speaking.
Most changes in the game such as better bats and smaller boundaries have benefited batsmen, Tendulkar said. The two-new-balls approach would make it fairer, he added.
The former Indian player, who has demigod status in India and other cricketing nations, said he thinks instances of ball tampering (which he referred to as working on the ball) happen because bowlers try to get some of that advantage between the time the new ball loses its shine and starts reverse swinging (which is typically between the 25th and the 55th overs). Having two balls, with the umpires at either end controlling them, would prevent this, Tendulkar said. Tendulkar also had a similar suggestion on improving One Day Internationals, which are squeezed between tests and T20s. He said these could have four quarters, with teams alternating innings—a move that could render redundant the toss advantage and the dew factor (which disadvantages teams bowling second in day night games).