Before this World Cup, there were speculations that it would be the one where batsmen will stride out, plant their front foot and bulldoze the bowlers. The pitches in England would also assist their stroke-making, but if the first week is anything to go by, the bowlers have made a statement and the batsmen have struggled to get going, especially against the new ball.
New Zealand seamer Trent Boult believes that the reason behind the same is the balls being used in the tournament. The Kiwi bowler has revealed that the balls provided have more gloss on them which is assisting seam and swing more than the other balls.
'Different gloss on the balls'
"The balls are actually different for this tournament," he said on Friday (June 7). "They've got a different gloss on them, they're painted differently, so there's definitely been a little bit more swing. The white balls have been quite prominent, you can see the quarter seams and everything with the ball, but it's fully covered now. It's nice to hold in the hand and it's moving a little bit, so I'm very happy," Boult said.
What has also assisted the fast bowlers is the fact that the matches have started earlier. The morning conditions and moisture on the pitch are helping the seamers extract movement and then there is always movement in the air for skillful bowlers.
"Conditions have been good but I believe there should be that little period at the start of the game where it's an even battle of bat versus ball, so it's nice to see the ball moving like it is at the moment," Boult added.
However, despite all the assistance early in the match, there has been a lack of reverse swing and this could be because two new balls are being used from either end which is not helping the bowlers in getting a scuffed up ball later in the match.
"I'd love to see [just] one ball in ODI cricket to be honest," Boult said. "I think any reverse swing at the end can really help any death bowler, the margin for error becomes slightly bigger and the hitting zone is a little bit smaller."
Apart from Boult, pacers like Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Starc have been brilliant in the competition so far. They have troubled the batsmen with their skill and pace.