IPL 2024: What is the new bouncers rule and what is its impact?

Fast bowlers allowed two short balls per over this season

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The Indian Premier League got off to flying start on Friday as defending champions Chennai Super Kings eased past Royal Challengers Bengaluru, offering teams and fans a lot to think about over the coming weeks.

Chennai were expected to prevail at their home ground – the MA Chidambaram Stadium – as their squad is built around optimising the slow nature of wicket there. However, on Friday, Chennai found the going tough for a significant period and were lucky to emerge from it unscathed.

Batting first, Bangalore made a strong start before losing their entire top order to Bangladesh left-arm quick Mustafizur Rahman. At 78-5, the writing was on the wall. Wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat (48) and Dinesh Karthik (38) weathered the storm and plundered boundaries at the end to take the total to 173-6, which did pose a few problems for Chennai.

One particular passage showed this IPL is going to be a lot different than previous seasons. This time, fast bowlers have been allowed to bowl two bouncers per over, instead of the one.

That means pacers can bowl short almost the entire over, which will force the power hitters to access other sides of the ground and not just plant their foot down and swing across the line.

The new changes were highlighted during Chennai's chase. Royal Challengers pacers Cameroon Green and Alzarri Joseph went for the short ball straight away, drastically reducing the number of areas Super Kings batsmen could access.

Ajinkya Rahane was caught at square leg off a Green short ball, while new recruit Daryl Mitchell simply could not get going after being targeted by short deliveries throughout his stay. Mitchell was caught at long-on while trying to pull Green down the ground.

Match winner Shivam Dube (34) has a major weakness against short-pitched bowling and spooned several chances on the on-side while attempting a pull. But Bengaluru captain Faf du Plessis did not have a single player inside the fence there.

But Dube somehow survived the test and worked the singles as the asking rate never climbed too high.

The new bouncers rule was expected to pose new challenges to batsmen and South Africa's former pacer Dale Steyn said those who struggle against it have nowhere to hide.

"Short ball tactic is already showing who can and who can’t … Gana be a long IPL for some batters," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan said teams now have a big weapon with which they can target batsmen.

"Two bouncers rule will be used to target certain batters from every team …" he wrote on X.

England all-rounder and Punjab Kings player Liam Livingstone said batsmen need to be prepared to play the short ball and added bowlers finally have something in their favour in T20 cricket.

“Bowlers have complained for a number of years about everything being in the batter’s favour. They finally got something back in their favour," he said.

"It will be good for those in the field. To have two bouncers available against some of the best hitters in the world will be a great asset for us as a bowling unit."

India and Delhi Capitals pacer Mukesh Kumar said bowlers can use the second bouncer as a surprise weapon to keep the batsmen guessing.

"It will keep the batters guessing about when will the bowler come up with his second bouncer, and that way, the bowler can gain some upper hand," Kumar told Sportstar. "After delivering one bouncer, the bowler can play mind games, bluff, and add a bit of variety to his bowling in a bid to puzzle the batter."

Updated: March 23, 2024, 10:33 AM