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Thursday, December 12, 2019

It’s a different ball game: Ajinkya Rahane explains his pink ball lessons

With not too much time in hand, the BCCI had arranged a couple of pink ball sessions under lights  The Indian team will get only two full training days ahead of their first day/night Test at the Eden Gardens, starting November 22.

By: Sports Desk | Published: November 12, 2019 6:35:06 pm
India vs South Africa 3rd Test, IND vs SA 3rd Test, India vs South Africa 2019, South Africa tour of India 2019, George Linde debut, Ranchi Test, India vs South Africa preview Virat Kohli, right, and Rohit Sharma, center, run past teammate Ajinkya Rahane, left, during a training session ahead of their first Test against Bangaldesh. (Source: AP)

The pink ball will be a completely “different ball game” believes India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane, along with Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja, had a couple of practice sessions with the pink ball under the watchful eyes of National Cricket Academy (NCA) Director Rahul Dravid in Bengaluru.

Explaining the lessons learnt Rahane said that there is definitely extra lateral movement compared to the red ball which will force the batsmen to play late and closer to their bodies.

With not too much time in hand, the BCCI had arranged a couple of pink ball sessions under lights  The Indian team will get only two full training days ahead of their first day/night Test at the Eden Gardens, 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 actually 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 definitely it’s a different ball game as compared to red ball. Our focus was to look into the swing and seam movement and also play close to our body,” he observed.

Explaining how batsmen might have to alter their technique slightly he said, “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.”

Rahane also spoke about how big a role spinners would play and said, “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 concluded.

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