The ongoing India-Pakistan series is only the third rubber since the International Cricket Council (ICC) amended the playing conditions for ODIs. The changes include two powerplays instead of three. The ICC has, in fact, imposed more restrictions during the powerplay overs, allowing no more than four fielders outside the 30-yard circle.
The impact of the changes may not have been felt in the series involving Sri Lanka and New Zealand, or the West Indies and Bangladesh. In this series, however, the new laws have been in focus.
MS Dhoni said, “With five fielders inside the circle, the tendency is to go for a big shot that will often get wickets for the bowlers. So I think it is important to treat each delivery on merit. If they are there to be hit, then you hit them.”
Misbah-ul-Haq said the rule changes have been slightly tough on the bowlers. “They (bowlers) are not used to these conditions where only four fielders are outside the circle. After the powerplay overs, they really have to be more disciplined,” he said.
The Pakistan skipper added that the batsmen’s approach at nets have changed. “You have to keep different things in mind. You always have the opportunity to score boundaries, so it will definitely change your approach. Batsmen find it a little difficult to rotate the strike with more fielders inside the circle.”