Change in rule will encourage spin August 25, 2007

Dravid pleased with Powerplay modification

Rahul Dravid brought Piyush Chawla on after the Powerplays in the first two ODIs © Getty Images

The International Cricket Council's decision to modify the Powerplay rule, allowing a third fielder outside the 30-yard circle for a period of ten overs, will give teams more spin options, feels Rahul Dravid, the Indian captain.

Leading a side that often relies on spinners, Dravid felt that the new rule, which will take effect from October 1, would help add variety to the crucial phases of games. India's decision to play two spinners in the second one-dayer at Bristol paid off but Dravid felt such moves would be more effective with the new system in place.

"I felt for a long time that the second and third Powerplays are monotonous," he said when asked about the difficulty of managing his resources in those overs. "Every one is bowling seam-up bowlers and there is no charm to the game. I must admit that it is really difficult to get through 20 overs of Powerplay with your spinners. I heard Daniel Vettori complaining about it and, as a captain, I've also felt it."

So far in the series, spinners have been introduced only after the Powerplays. Monty Panesar was called upon in the 21st over at Southampton while Piyush Chawla did not bowl until the 22nd over in both games. India have often introduced their spinners inside the Powerplays but have been wary about taking the risk on good batting pitches and in small grounds.

"Now [after the rule change] you are going to have a chance to put an extra fielder outside the circle in the second and third Powerplay," said Dravid. "It's going to give captains the courage to bowl the spinners in the Powerplays a lot more.

"As a captain I felt that you need to bring a bit of mystery element to it. Maybe we can bring spinners early on; maybe teams can play two spinners. I think that adds a bit more to the game other than having the same cricket. Now everyone is waiting for the 20 overs to get over to bring the spinners on."

There was another rule which Dravid touched upon as well. When asked if India were concerned about the non-striker taking off for a run immediately after the ball had been delivered. "We've discussed it," said Dravid of the England batsmen's approach, "but the rule now is that you can start the moment the bowler's back foot lands on the crease. We'll probably need to do it as well though it might not be that easy because most of us hit a lot of balls straight."

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is assistant editor of Cricinfo