In a recent interview with Lallantop, Praveen, who has claimed 77 wickets from 68 ODIs, expressed his views candidly. He asserted that teams across international cricket adopt the common practice of roughing up one side of the cricket ball intentionally.This practice is aimed at facilitating reverse swing, an art that involves making the older ball move unpredictably in the air.
The former India pacer’s statement emphasises on a common tactic teams used in the past, when on-camera scrutiny was much less, to gain an advantage in manipulating the ball for reverse swing.
“Everyone tampers with the ball a little bit; the Pakistan team just does it a little bit more, from what I’ve heard. Now there are more cameras, but earlier it used to be abundant. They used to scratch it on one side, but you have to know how to use it. Everyone cannot do that; you have to learn,” Praveen, who was known for his astonishing ability to swing the ball both ways, explained in the interview.
The art of reverse swinging in white-ball cricket is diminishing due to the shift that occurred with the introduction of two new balls in 2011, which has limited the ability of fast bowlers to manipulate the older ball effectively. This skill, once mastered and popularised by legendary Pakistan bowlers, has faced challenges in the contemporary game due to the changes in playing conditions.