Updated April 22nd, 2024 at 21:30 IST

Players not happy with 'Impact Player' rule, coaches feel otherwise

Pacer Mukesh Kumar feels the rule is an unfair one for bowlers as there is no respite even if you get four batters out quickly.

Mukesh Kumar and Axar Patel | Image:IPL
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Axar Patel believes that his batting position has been affected by 'Impact Player' rule while Mukesh Kumar wants it abolished if there isn't some meaningful alternate help for the bowlers but Sourav Ganguly thinks that in a 12-a-side game, only the best all-rounders will survive.

With Rohit Sharma making it clear that he is not a big fan of 'Impact Player' which is a glorified 12-a-side contests which hampers the growth of Indian all-rounders, more and more top national team players are expressing their displeasure.

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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 all-rounder admitted that because of the rule, his batting position has been affected. "Whosoever is making the rules, they are thinking that everything will work as per batter's convenience. 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," Axar told PTI during a select media interaction.

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"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 starts from the first ball because they know that they have a player in seventh or eighth place," he said.

"That is why I am not a big fan of impact player rule, because as an all-rounder I know that they will either take a proper batsman or a bowler, not an all-rounder." Axar said he had already aired his views with DC skipper Rishabh Pant on the rule. "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 young player, then you have to give them their position, but because of that (Impact Sub rule) I have to come down the order." Australia great David Warner feels the 'Impact Sub' rule has diminished the role of an all-rounder to some extent from T20 cricket.

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"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," Warner said.

Pacer Mukesh Kumar feels the rule is an unfair one for bowlers as there is no respite even if you get four batters out quickly.

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"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 should not be allowed." Former India captain and DC mentor Sourav Ganguly and chief coach Ricky Ponting, however, thinks otherwise, saying a good all-rounder will always make it to the playing eleven.

"Little bit (affected) but good all-rounder still play, isn't it? Hardik Pandya is still playing. You look at Rashid, he's playing. He's in the 11th straight away, so good ones will always play. Glenn Maxwell played, obviously, he's taken a bit of a break, Mitch Marsh played for us, although he didn't get enough runs for us. But good ones will always be apart because they contribute either with the bat or with the ball," Ganguly said.

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"I don't think it diminishes the all-rounder's role but then for average all-rounders you have the option of bringing in a better batsman and a better bowler, but the good ones will always find a place in the side." Ponting too agreed with Ganguly on the much-debated subject.

"I think it's a bit of both. I think the batting skills have gotten better as well. I think the mindsets have changed a little bit. So when you put all those three things together, that's why we're seeing these 250 plus scores being made. You know what we saw in our game the other night was incredible, you know, for a team to get 125 in the power play.

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"We were doing some good things as well, but the impact player is definitely helping. You can stack your batting at the top. You can allow your batters to go out and play with freedom, and then if you get in trouble you can bring in a batsman to try and fix things up. So it's definitely helping but it's not ideal for a coach (to comment) and it's probably not. I'm not sure if it's good for all-rounders or bad for all-rounders but it seems to be leading to more runs," Ponting concluded.

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Published April 22nd, 2024 at 21:30 IST