Rajasthan Royals paceman Sandeep Sharma welcomed a rule change in the Indian Premier League (IPL) that allows bowlers to send down two bouncers per over, saying it would keep batsmen guessing and make the game more unpredictable.

Twenty20 cricket has largely been a batsmen-friendly format with bowlers allowed only one short-pitched delivery every over, including in international games, but the Indian cricket board tweaked the rule to level the playing field at this year’s IPL.

The change was successfully trialled during India’s domestic T20 tournament.

“I think the bowlers get some help with this,” Sandeep told reporters after Rajasthan beat Lucknow Super Giants by 20 runs in their opener on Sunday.

“Earlier, batsmen were able to predict where the bowler would bowl if he had used his one bouncer already. It would be easier for the batsmen.

“But with two bouncers, the batsmen are also in two minds that there’s still one bouncer left for the bowler to use.” West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran, whose unbeaten 64 went in vain during Lucknow’s unsuccessful chase of 194, also backed the rule tweak. “It’s a good rule.

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Especially when a guy comes in to bat, it’s effective. If someone doesn’t like the short ball, you can pepper him with a couple of them,“ Pooran said.

“But in saying that, we as players and bowlers need to do our homework as well. Some batsmen, they like the short ball as well,” the West Indies batsman added.

KL Rahul underwent concussion protocols after being struck on the helmet by New Zealand paceman Trent Boult but the Lucknow skipper did not dwell too much on the rule or his team’s loss.

“It is just the first game and I’m not going to make too much out of it or over-analyse,” Rahul said.


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