Yuvraj Singh felt “it moved a bit more than SG Test” while Robin Uthappa’s observations varied from “colour change” to “lack of reverse swing” as the first set of inputs on BCCI’s much talked about ‘Pink ball’ Day/Night experiment came to the fore.
While there is no denying that Day/Night cricket always brings in more people as one saw at least 800-1000 spectators during peak evening hours on all three days of the inaugural Duleep Trophy match, the BCCI will still need to figure out a few things before they seriously think of pursuing the idea of a Test match.
For starters, there has been varied opinions on whether an individual batsman has been able to sight the pink kookaburra ball well or not but everyone agreed that not much effort was required to “maintain the ball” unlike the conventional red kookaburra, SG Test or Dukes.
While Yuvraj did not have a great time with the willow but his input will be the most valuable one for the BCCI.
“I thought the pink ball moved a bit more than the SG ball. It was pretty exciting, the pink ball doesn’t go old. It was coming onto the bat nicely,” the India Red skipper and a two-time World Cup winner said after the match.
Veteran glovesman Parthiv Patel sees future in Pink ball Test but he conceded that this ball skids a bit more.
“I had no problem in sighting. During the day, I could see the ball better. Not used to getting the pink ball coming to you. It’s a matter of getting used to it but visibility was not a problem.”
“As far as future is concerned, too early to say. Definitely there is a future. But dew could be a factor. The ball skid and moved more. Also I don’t think you can have Tests in sub-continent using this much of grass,” said Parthiv.
However both Robin Uthappa and Parthiv feel that reverse swing will be difficult with pink ball as the shine and gloss of the ball doesn’t seem to wear out.
“We tried hard but there was no reverse swing. There is conventional swing but the shine is maintained so well that there is no chance of reverse swing. I also found that colour varied at different times of the day.
“At one point, it looked light pink, followed by orange at one point of time before it looked bright pink under lights. I think we will get used to it as much as we play,” said Uthappa.
If one goes by Abhinav Mukund, who scored the maximum runs from either side, there were “initial difficulties during net sessions” but in the match he “did not have problems sighting the ball”.
“I think a lot of people had issues sighting the ball, but I didn’t have any issues with visibility. The wicket was damp, that’s perhaps why so many wickets fell on the first day. But I feel the swing was a conventional one and not because of pink ball,” was the gist of what Man of the Match Mukund said.
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who got 9 wickets in the match said: “Pink ball was dipping well and the drift was also good but there wasn’t much turn on offer as you don’t require to maintain the ball.”
One of the centurions Sudip Chatterjee spoke about the dew factor.
“On the third evening, the ball was getting heavier due to the dew so it was difficult for bowlers to grip the ball. But while batting, I did not face much problem and a good batting pitch also contributed to it,” he concluded.