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Tactical fielding substitutions causing slow over-rates reckons Mohammad Kaif

Every cricketing format provides the players with ample number of timely breaks and much in addition to that as well. However, there is still a stipulated and designated time period for the starting and ending time of each innings which recently has been the centerpoint in the ongoing 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Due to some suspected ways most of the recent IPL matches have been rolling past the midnight slot. 

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma and Rajasthan Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane have already paid the price for committing their respective first slow over-rate offence. During a recent interview, Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Mohammad Kaif talked about how his team has been on the receiving end of two tactical slow over-rate incidents.

Teams are planning in advance

Kaif made an astonishing revelation that the teams in the IPL have started planning in advance on how to stretch the game for a longer period of time. He mentioned that calculated and pre-planned fielding substitutions are leading to such offensive incidents. 

He cited the example of the instance during the recent DC vs KKR match, where Rinku Singh came out as a substitute fielder twice for Andre Russell and Piyush Chawla, who left the field after completing his quota of four overs. While during the game against KXIP, Sarfaraz Khan never came out to field for the entire game and there was no clear information on his injury status as well. 

"Teams are planning in advance so that their quick fielders stay on the field longer and the slower fielders don't. The umpires should see that the fielding changes (substitutions) don't waste a lot of time. In the DC vs KKR game the other day, Russell went out and Rinku Singh came in to field for him. Rinku also came in and fielded for Piyush Chawla, who bowled his four overs quickly and left the field,” said Mohammad Kaif.

"Saw that again in our last game against KXIP. Sarfaraz didn't come out to field for the entire match. He got hit on the gloves but nobody knows the injury; maybe the umpires know," he added.

The former Indian cricketer also noted that the teams are using only those players as substitute fielders who are quick in the field. "The substitute fielder took a good catch at long-off to dismiss Ingram. Teams are making these changes and it's probably not right," concluded Kaif.

I don't think that is the main reason

However, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) head coach Tom Moody does not completely agree with Kaif's revelation. Moody mentioned that his team hasn't faced any over-rate issues till now as they bowl eight overs of spin. He stated that the referrals also take crucial point of time away, but reckoned it is not the main reason for the time lapse.

"I certainly don't think that's the main reason. It's not something we have come against and is certainly not a tactic we are looking at. We have had our playing XI on the field,” quoted Tom Moody.

“We haven't had any over-rate issues personally because we generally bowl eight overs of spin. That's definitely an area you want to manage carefully because you want to keep the game moving; you don't want to drag it on too slowly. Referrals are going to take a little bit out of the game but I certainly don't think that's the main reason," the SRH coach added.