Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Legendary West Indies seamer Michael Holding believes that the bouncer is here to stay, while former England pace bowler Frank Tyson feels that it is set to become a thing of the past.
Many pundits and former players have been discussing this subject ever since Australian batsman Phillip Hughes passed away after he struck on the side of the neck by a bouncer.
Ever since he was hit on the back of the head by Australia pace bowler Ray Lindwall during the 1954-55 Ashes series, Tyson has been convinced that the bouncer does nothing but inflict unnecessary pain.
“I think we’ve got to analyse the fact it’s been abused over the last few years,” Tyson told AAP. “I’ve always thought the short-pitched delivery should be aimed at one thing and one thing only – making batsmen play back.
“It was a weapon to get people out, not to hit people…and it was used sparingly. Now that’s all changed.”
Tyson also stated that it is “ridiculous” to allow bowlers to bowl two bouncers an over in Test matches and one per over in ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” Tyson said. “You should not be allowed to bowl deliveries that are above shoulder height, simple as that. But that’s for the moguls to haggle over.”
However, Holding does not want the bouncer to become extinct since he believes the sport will become too batsman-friendly.
“These are very rare occurrences. They’re very, very unfortunate and very, very sad,” Holding told AAP. “But that doesn’t mean the sport has to change. It was just a freak accident.
“We can’t tell fast bowlers not to bowl short anymore, we can’t draw a line halfway down the pitch and force them to bowl full.
“Each individual will get over it in their own way. How long it takes will depend on who it is…but I doubt it will have a long-term impact.
“They might be a little bit tentative now. But I don’t think Mitchell Johnson or anyone else is going to feel like he has to bowl fuller to India this series.”
Holding also noted that no bowler has ever tried to use the bouncer to intentionally hurt a batsman.
“Some people may say it, but it’s just bravado. It’s a macho thing,” Holding said. “They might start being a bit more careful with what they say.
“But I don’t think it will change anyone’s aggression…if someone gets hit under the arm and they wince a bit, the bowler is not going to start crying.”