As the Indian cricket board (BCCI) gets ready in less than a month to host its first day-night Test, the attention is now on how the pink ball will behave. The BCCI asked SG, the red ball makers used in first-class cricket in India, to provide 72 pink balls for the second Test match against Bangladesh beginning on November 22 at Eden Gardens.
As per reports, the Indian team management has asked for balls that behave similarly as the red balls do in India. Confirming the development, The Times of India quotes SG’s director Paras Anand as saying, “We have taken feedback from the players. Our thought process is to make the pink ball as similar to the red ball as possible.”
Anand said that he would be present at Eden Gardens for the Test and will keep his fingers crossed over the dew factor, which he said remained the biggest challenge for a ball regardless of its color.
Although the match timings for the day-night Test in Kolkata are yet to be announced, it is likely the BCCI will advance it by at least an hour. Generally, day-night matches have started in India at 1.30 pm, but to counter the dew, the match might start earlier.
Anand added, “The red ball has a dark color. That allows the players to shine the ball to help it swing all day. The pink ball already starts with a bright color. Balancing that is something that we are working on.”
Once a regular red ball’s lacquer wears off, teams usually shine on one side of the ball while the other side will lose color and get scuffed up.
The balls will probably be sent to BCCI by next week. That leaves the board to allow the test experts enough time to get used to the balls, such as Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav
Anand says that SG has been researching the pink balls’ actions for two years and has created an improved version. “Every brand has its strengths and weakness according to the conditions available in host countries. We have tried to balance out the amount lacquer and coating needed on the balls,” he remarked.