Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels that the trend of using heavier bats and making boundaries shorter in limited-overs cricket will further tilt the game in favour of batsmen and bowlers may become “endangered species”.

Chappell said the surge in boundaries and sixes may bring more “entertainment dollars” but it’s not good for the game as the bowlers may be forced to using extreme methods like bodyline and chucking.

“In short forms of the game there’s a chance bowlers will become an endangered species if the trend of heavier and better bats and shorter boundaries continues. This tendency has led to a surge in boundaries in general and sixes in particular.

While this may sound like a favourable result in a game competing for entertainment dollar, the long-term consequences may not be so desirable,” Chappell said.

“Bowlers need to be offered a crumb in the shorter forms of the game otherwise they’ll revolt, as they have done in the past, using extreme methods like Bodyline and chucking. If these trends continue, sooner or later the bowlers are going to declare war,” he said.

He said matches like the second ODI between India and Australia in Jaipur, which saw the home side recording the second highest ever successful run chase, have seen increasing “preference for power over artistry in batting”.

“In second ODI between India and Australia, 64 per cent of runs scored off the bat were accumulated in boundaries. Singles accounted for around 28 per cent of the scoring — majority of which would have been at the easier end of the scale, with the infielders back on the 30-yard circle — and about 43 per cent of the deliveries were dot balls.

“This means a reduced reliance on fielding and running between the wickets — two of the more exciting skills in the game.

“As the boundaries have been shortened and the bats have improved, the preference for power over artistry in batting has increased,” he said. — PTI

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