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The use of the new ball during a game of cricket is a reflection of the fact that the ball suffers a degree of damage and wear and tear during the course of a game, and that this can have a marked effect on the way in which the ball behaves. This deterioration is sometimes utilised by bowlers who wish to make the ball move through the air more as it travels – something known as swing bowling – but it may make things more difficult for faster bowlers trying to maximise pace. The introduction of a new ball is designed to regulate the game and in particular the delivery of the bowlers. During games of test cricket, the new ball can be requested by the fielding side after 80 overs have been delivered. In One Day International matches, the fielding team uses two new balls, one from each end of the wicket, when bowling their 50 overs.
The main effect of the new ball is to encourage the bowling team to deliver high paced bowling rather than spin bowling. Depending on the ability of the batsmen to handle fast bowling, this could lead to more wickets falling or more runs being scored, and the art of betting successfully following the introduction of a new ball depends upon taking the time to study the form and habits of the individual bowlers and batsmen.
In terms of in play betting, the introduction of a new ball is likely to see a period of the game in which either more runs or scored or more wickets taken. If a team is particularly dependent on a talented swing bowler to take wickets, for example, the new ball will generally be good news for batsmen, who may take advantage of the extra pace on the ball to score more runs in general and boundaries in particular.