Pink ball makes Indian debut

Which way will it spin?

Monty Panesar Wednesday 13th November 2019 06:02 EST

There is much euphoria around the landmark change in Indian Cricket with the introduction of the first ever day/night Test match. The pink ball will be played for the first time in the India vs Bangladesh match commencing on Friday, 22nd November at Kolkata's Eden Gardens. And the stadium is expected to receive an audience of about 50,000 spectators on the first three days of the Test match.
In my view, this is a good move for Indian Cricket and if it is a success it will change the concept of day/night test cricket.
The SG pink ball will play a huge factor in how the test will go. The hardness and durability of this pink ball will also be instrumental in the Day-Night test match.
In the Duleep Trophy (India's domestic first-class cricket competition), the Kookaburra ball wasn't received very well. This was because the colour, the seam and hardness of the ball were not durable for the 90 overs format.
The BCCI officials have been working on the pink ball for the last three years. The Kookaburra ball has a lower seam in comparison to the SG pink ball. The former stays at swinging and seaming position till 20 overs only. After this stage, the seam starts to fade away and the ball becomes difficult to grip for the spinners.
The Indian fast bowlers have found the ball swings more than the red ball but once the hardness goes the movement and swing is not the same as the SG red ball.
Spinners may find tha the pink ball skids more than it turns but if the wicket has extra grass then it will help with movement and spin of the pink ball.
Movement of the ball will be important because you don't want the pink ball to favour the batsman because the fans will switch off from day/night cricket.
Dew is also likely to play a factor at Eden Gardens and may determine how many overs are bowled in the day. To eliminate the due factor, Eden Gardens groundsman Anand has mooted the idea of starting the game an hour earlier than scheduled. Everything seems to be a success for day/night cricket in India except the dew factor. I hope that it doesn't play a huge part for we need this new format to be successful.
In the meantime, it appears that Saurav Ganguly the new president of BCCI has started imposing his decisions on the Indian Cricket Team. He has already got Virat Kolhi to accept his decision that the first Day-Night cricket match should be played at Eden Gardens.
Ganguly was the president of the Bengal Cricket Association where they have played with the Kookaburra pink ball. He appears to be well aware of how to make day/night cricket a success in India.
But is this start of an era where Saurav Ganguly is seen to be imposing his authority over Kohli and the beginning of a dictator style leadership? Only time will tell!
You can follow Monty Panesar @MontyChannel

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter