Australian cricketer Steve Smith on Monday came out in support of the bowlers saying that it would hard to find a substitute to saliva a week after ICC Cricket Committee recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine ball in a bid to contain the spread of the virus when international action resumes post the pandemic break.
"I've always been one to want a fair contest between bat and ball, so if that's taken away, even as a batter I don't think that's great.
Whether they can find other ways with certain things, it'll be hard.
"I actually spit on my hands most balls and that's how I get grip and stuff. So that might take some adjusting to certain things like that, but that's something for the ICC to figure out what they want to do going forward and different regulations," he said.
Earlier in the day, premier India pacer Jasprit Bumrah said that he won't miss the hugs and high-fives as part of a wicket celebration but he will certainly miss applying saliva on the ball and feels an alternative should be provided to maintain the red cherry.
The new rule makes life tougher for the bowlers and Bumrah, like many former and current fast bowlers, feels there ought to be an alternative.
"I was not much of a hugger anyway and not a high-five person as well, so that doesn't trouble me a lot.
The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit," said Bumrah in a chat with Ian Bishop and Shaun Pollock on ICC's video series 'Inside Out'.
"I don't know what guidelines we'll have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative," he added.
Bumrah said not being able to use saliva makes the game more batsman-friendly.
"If the ball is not well maintained, it's difficult for the bowlers. The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter.
"So we need something, some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something - maybe reverse in the end or conventional swing."