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Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly backed reverse-swing bowling and denied it had links to ball-tampering, in the wake of bowlers expressing concern that the art was on the decline and game getting too batsmen-dominated due to the use of two new balls in ODI cricket.

“Reverse swing is not connected to ball tampering. It is also about the conditions. It happens in the sub-continent more due to dry pitches and rough outfields. It will be less in these parts of the world where it is a green outfield and pitch with grass on it.

Ganguly was speaking to the media on Tuesday after a two-day meeting of the MCC World Cricket Committee at Lord’s.

“Remember, in 2005 Ashes the ball reversed (for Simon Jones). It is not always connected to ball-tampering… Reverse swing will continue, depending on how old the ball gets. In modern ODIs, the ball is new for long periods of time. Also, it makes life a lot more difficult for spinners.”

Bowlers have complained about lack of reverse swing proving a major setback. India skipper Virat Kohli too pointed out after the 1-2 ODI series loss about the ball not reversing with MS Dhoni collecting a match ball to be studied by the team’s bowling support staff.

Ganguly said contrary to any discussion on using Dukes across Test nations, there was talk over whether the Dukes white ball can be used in ODIs instead of two new balls being used now. “A lot of people are in favour of using one white ball to improve the quality (of game). As we have seen, the new kookaburra doesn’t swing.

“As reverse swing has declined over the years, the runs have gone very high. In the last four years, England have gone beyond 300 some 30 times, which is the highest for any cricket country.”

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said reverse swing has become crucial for the hapless bowlers.

“The reason reverse swing has become such a big thing is wickets have become flatter and flatter and bowlers are trying to find a way to keep themselves in the contest.

“Let’s give a fair playing surface and that will look after itself from there.”

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