The explosive batting performances seen in this year's Indian Premier League have sparked discussions among fans and players, raising questions about its implications for Twenty20 cricket and the upcoming World Cup.

The IPL, known for its affluent teams, is set to conclude in Chennai on Sunday, marking the culmination of a season characterized by unprecedented dominance from batters. Sunrisers Hyderabad, who were slated to compete against the Rajasthan Royals for a spot in the final on Friday, shattered the IPL scoring record twice this season with staggering totals of 277 and 287.

One of the primary factors attributed to the towering scores in the 17th edition of the IPL is the impact player rule and its astute utilization. However, it's worth noting that this rule will not be applicable in the imminent World Cup, set to commence shortly in the United States and West Indies. Introduced last year in the IPL, the rule enables the replacement of a player named in the starting lineup at any point after the toss. This affords teams batting first the opportunity to include an additional power-hitter lower down the order, who can then be substituted by a bowler during the fielding innings. Conversely, when batting second, a bowler can be replaced by another player. Critics of the rule argue that it has disrupted the delicate equilibrium between batsmen and bowlers, which is fundamental to the dramatic essence of cricket.

Additionally, experts have pointed out the role of flatter IPL pitches and shorter boundaries in contributing to the surge in batting supremacy. Bowlers have faced immense challenges in containing the batting onslaught during the initial six overs of powerplay, as only two fielders are permitted outside the inner circle.

Several young talents, such as Australia's Jake Fraser-McGurk (Delhi Capitals) and England's Will Jacks (Bengaluru), have thrived in this IPL, exhibiting striking strike rates of over 234 and 175 respectively. Renowned Indian spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin emphasized that attributing the high scores exclusively to the impact sub rule undermines the abilities of the batsmen. He asserted, 'Even if the impact player rule wasn't there, scores would be this high. In my opinion, batters have more confidence and pitches everywhere have been standardized. In the future, all bowlers will need to be hitters because we know that no matter how well we bowl, we also need to be able to bat. The game is headed in that direction.'

Although many individuals within the cricketing fraternity argue that it's premature to predict whether the trend of aggressive batting will persist beyond this IPL, veteran Australian opener David Warner is skeptical about a run-fest at the World Cup, citing factors beyond the absence of the impact sub rule. Warner underlined that the pitches in the West Indies, in particular, are expected to offer favorable conditions for bowlers due to their slower nature and propensity to aid turn. He also highlighted the influence of natural elements and the likelihood of predominantly day games, drawing from his experience in the Caribbean Premier League.