Former Test captain Ian Chappell has suggested umpires should step in to protect tail end batsmen from being peppered with bouncers by fast bowlers looking to quickly end an innings.
Chappell, speaking about the issue in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, insisted he didn’t want to ban bouncers, but said there should be scope for an umpire to step in of it becomes clear a tail-end batsman is at risk of being injured by short bowling.
Such a rule already exists in Test cricket, with umpires allowed to request a bowler stop bowling short if they believe a batsman is at risk of injury - however it has rarely been enforced.
Chappell said, in the wake of Indian bowler Mohammed Shami copping a broken arm from a Pat Cummins short ball, that the umpires should consider their role.
“If a guy looks like he’s pretty hopeless against them you’ve got to give him some protection,” Chappell said.
“It’s not hard to see who’s in trouble when you’re facing the short stuff.
“Now the bowlers have got to be able to give them one — let them know, ‘Mate, if you’re going to hang around here you’ll cop it’.
“After that the umpires have got to say, ‘Just bowl the guy out, don’t try to kill him’.”
Indian number 11 Shami isn’t the only tailender to be injured by a short ball this summer, with Harry Conway suffering a concussion during Australia A’s tour match against the visitors.
Chappell said his was another example where the umpire should have stepped in.
Second concussion sub of the match at the SCG:
Harry Conway is out, replaced by Mark Steketee.
CA say he did not report concussion symptoms on the field when hit but when assessed again after play he did#AUSvIND #AUSAvIND
— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) December 12, 2020
“He got bombarded a bit,” Chappell said.
“I thought there was an excuse for the umpire to step in there and say, ‘Get him out not knock him out’.
“Harry’s no star with the bat. Those are the guys who have to be helped out a bit.”
MCG pitch will get a result: Brad Haddin
The MCG pitch is likely to boost India's hopes of big total but Brad Haddin expects there will still be enough early assistance for bowlers to ensure there is a result in the Boxing Day Test.
The famed venue produced a much-maligned wicket, which was graded "average" by the match referee, for its previous Border-Gavaskar Test in 2018.
It came a year after a drawn Ashes Test at the MCG was marred by a pitch rating of "poor" that brought global shame.
The MCG, in consultation with Cricket Australia, worked hard to remedy the issue and presented a much-improved deck for last year's trans-Tasman Test.
"It's been an interesting wicket over the last few years," Haddin told SEN.
"They'll leave a bit of grass on it. It'll be a bit bowler friendly for the first few days then it'll be placid over the back end of the game.
"You just want a contest between bat and ball. We've seen those games where it doesn't look like you're going to get a wicket.
"But they've done a lot of work to it, so I think you'll see enough in it to get a result."
Pat Cummins admitted earlier this week that his memories of the most recent Border-Gavaskar Test at the MCG were of a "pretty flat and boring" pitch.
"Last year against New Zealand was a really good wicket. It had a bit of sideways movement, pace and bounce, so hopefully much the same," Cummins said.
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