The pink ball will be a very “different ball game,” asserted Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday, saying that its extra lateral movement compared to the red cherry would cause batsmen to play late and closer to their bodies.
Rahane, along with test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja, had a few practice sessions with the pink ball under the watchful eyes of National Cricket Academy (NCA) Manager Rahul Dravid in Bengaluru ahead of the historic Day/Night Test against Bangladesh starting November 22.
“We had two good practice sessions, actually four but two with pink ball one during the day and one under lights. It was exciting,” Rahane said ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh starting on Thursday.
“For me, it was the first time I played with the pink ball and it’s a different ball game as compared to the red ball. Our focus was to look into the swing and seam movement and also play close to our body,” Virat Kohli’s deputy observed.
Following his initial sessions, Rahane’s conclusion was that the batsmen would have to slightly change their technique
“What we found out after the practice session was that the (new) pink ball does a lot more than the red ball. You have to play slightly late and close to your body. We had a word with Rahul Bhai as he was also there,” added Rahane.
There have been complaints about spinners going out of the equation during a couple of Duleep Trophy seasons with the pink ball.
“I think they played with the Kookaburra ball in Duleep trophy, that’s a different thing. With the SG ball, I am not so sure. We played against spinners in Bangalore and they were getting good revs (revolutions) on the ball. Yes, the shine is completely different to red ball but it’s very hard to compare with SG ball and the kookaburra ball,” he explained.
Rahane admitted that without a reference point he is starting fresh.
“I’ve never played with the pink ball. And what I’ve heard from other people is that the kookaburra ball is easy for the batsmen. But what we saw in Bangalore is that the SG ball was doing a bit for the fast bowlers.
“For spinners, it is difficult but it is very hard for me to say right now about kookaburra and SG ball.”
The 31-year-old believes the primary goal would be to “mentally” adapt to the pink ball and expect that after those things will fall in place.
“I’m sure we’ll get two good practice sessions in Kolkata. I’m sure everyone will adjust very quickly. We are used to playing different formats after T20s we play Tests.
“It’s just the mindset, technical skills will play a role. Mentally if you can adjust to the pink ball, then it’ll be good,” he said.