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News

Axar, Mukesh speak out against Impact Player rule: 'It only works for a batter's convenience'

Michael Hussey, CSK's batting coach, said the rule had made IPL games "fun" to watch, but admitted that it's "scary" from a bowler's point of view

PTI
22-Apr-2024
Delhi capitals allrounder Axar Patel believes that his batting position has been affected by Impact Player rule, while his team-mate Mukesh Kumar wants it abolished if there isn't some meaningful alternate help for the bowlers.
Axar and Mukesh are the latest Indian cricketers to speak out against the Impact Player rule, after India's captain Rohit Sharma had said that he felt the rule was hampering the growth of allrounders in the country.
The Impact Player rule, introduced in 2023, allows all IPL teams to substitute a player - batter or bowler - during their respective innings as per the demands of the match, but it has raised eyebrows in the ongoing season.
Axar, who sees himself as an allrounder, admitted that because of the rule, his batting position has been affected.
"Whoever is making the rules, they are thinking that everything will work as per batter's convenience," he said. "Obviously, it has been difficult (for the bowlers). According to me, it's difficult but obviously you will have the opportunity as well that you can perform well in that situation, if you have the skills then how you can use them.
"Because of the Impact sub rule, everyone gets one more batsman so they think that they will use the batsman in case, the batting unit doesn't go well. And whosoever comes to play, they don't take much time and start (hitting) from the first ball because they know that they have a player in seventh or eighth place.
"That is why I am not a big fan of the rule, because as an allrounder I know that they will either take a proper batsman or a bowler, not an allrounder."
Axar said he had already aired his grievances with Capitals' captain Rishabh Pant.
"We (Rishabh), Dada (Sourav Ganguly) and Ricky (Ponting) have talked about it. I can play early, but if you want to give the chance to a young player, then you have to give them their position, but because of that (Impact Sub rule) I have to come down the order."
Axar's team-mate David Warner also said that the Impact Player rule has diminished the role of allrounders in T20 cricket, but he felt it offers IPL captains a chance to adapt and be tactically flexible.
"Well, the game is evolving, right? So I think people are just trying different things. If you got 15-16 people on the bench, you know you want to maximise as much as you can. Is the game going to change a lot in the next 10 years? It probably will.
"I feel like it's taken the all-round option out now. We are adapting as cricketers, so we're enjoying that and and it's also tactically when you're sitting on the bench, you know, if you're not scoring runs, then you can put that batsman in."
Mukesh, though, said he felt the rule is an unfair one for bowlers as there is no respite even if they get four batters out quickly.
"If 12 players are not playing at the international level, then what is the need of it in IPL? With 12 players, even if four wickets are down, the next player is not scared of getting out or making the team stable, they come and play their shots. So either the nature of tracks should be changed or 12 players should not be allowed."
Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings' batting coach, said that the rule had made IPL games "fun" to watch, but admitted that it's "scary" from a bowler's point of view.
"It's hard for bowlers, especially if the conditions are good for batting because the batting orders are lengthened and batsmen have more freedom to come out and continue to go hard," he said.
"So, it must be a great spectacle for the crowd to keep seeing these scores growing all the time and it probably puts a bigger emphasis on execution with the ball. It can be really difficult at times for bowlers but we've put a big focus on death bowling, particularly with the Impact Player [rule].
"I've been hearing some commentary on people favouring it and not in favour. I think from an entertainment and spectator point of view, it has been really good. From a cricket point of view, we can argue until the cows come home, really. I still think it has been quite good."