Just pink ball, not rocket science
The makers of the pink SG ball used in the Eden Gardens Test against Bangladesh have claimed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is “pleased” with the product.
In spite of the hype and anticipation surrounding India’s first Day-Night Test, the match was over in a little more than two days with Bangladesh capitulating to India’s pace battery.
Though the ball-makers are already rejoicing at the pink ball’s “success”, the operations team of the BCCI has so far reserved its judgement. They will wait for a feedback from Team India players before giving marks to the pink ball.
“We spoke to the BCCI operations team and they were very happy. They told us that SG has done a good job and gave us a thumbs up,” marketing director, Sanspareils Greenlands (SG), Paras Anand told The Telegraph.
“It was the first time the pink SG ball was used at the international level. But we were very happy to see the Indian fast bowlers being so effective with it.
“Batting-wise, Virat Kohli got a hundred, while (Cheteshwar) Pujara and (Ajinkya) Rahane got half-centuries. So people were able to score runs as well.
“The BCCI wanted the ball to retain its colour for a longer duration, which it did; the seam should be pronounced just like it is in a red ball; and that the ball should stay hard.
“In the past, when the pink ball was used in the Duleep Trophy, it used to get soft and visibility became a factor with its seam disintegrating. On this occasion, all the three issues were addressed and the BCCI was very happy with what we supplied.”
When contacted, Syed Saba Karim, BCCI general manager (cricket operations), said: “We can’t say whether we are happy with the ball or not because we are yet to receive feedback from the players on this matter.
“Once we get that feedback, only then will we speak to SG… Now that the Test match is over, we will be talking to the players soon and then get their feedback.”
SG, though, remain confident of more matches with the pink ball, at least in the domestic circuit.
“Considering how the ball did, we believe there will be more pink-ball matches in our domestic circuit so that players can get used to the ball and playing during twilight. We are confident that it will be in the pipeline,” Anand said.
India captain Virat Kohli, who scored 136, didn’t seem to have any complaints about how the pink ball behaved when the floodlights were on.
“Under lights, it was a different experience... The ball was coming on faster off the pitch. It seamed a lot more under lights, swung in the first hour of the second session but seamed throughout the evening till the end of day’s play.
“So it felt good to be in that situation where there is something new and something to challenge you. As a batsman, you enjoy situations where you are challenged,” Kohli said after India’s thumping win by an innings and 46 runs.
The India captain came on to bat when the lights were on and made 136 at a strike rate of 70-plus. Pujara and vice-captain Rahane hit fluent half-centuries too, proving that batting against the pink ball isn’t really rocket science.
One may still argue that most of Rahane’s runs came during the first session on Day II, while barring the trio, other batsmen struggled to get going.
That said, it must be remembered that just like the others (who didn’t get big scores), Kohli, Pujara and Rahane too were playing a pink-ball Test for the first time. And like their captain, Pujara and Rahane’s contributions too were equally crucial for India.