Pink-ball cricket produces fast cricket and a lot of things attached to the ball are different compared to its red counterpart, Ravichandran Ashwin opined on Saturday. From balance to revolutions, the pink-ball was behaving differently at Motera, a reason why some deliveries turned big, while the other skidded through.
“Even before I started the game, in the nets, I used to be a little sceptical. When I bowled, the balance of the ball was a lot different to the red ball. When you try to put too much revs, it wasn’t rotating as much at the seam as I thought the red ball was rotating. If at all, it fell on the seam, it was spinning quite big at that time. It wasn’t responding the way the red ball was responding. Whatever was happening was happening really quicker off the surface. If we played a red-ball game on the same surface, the pace of the game must have been a touch slower. These are all the things I’m talking about in hindsight,” Ashwin said.
Unpredictability as regards to the degree of turn, or the ball going straight through, created confusion among the batsmen. As Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation, 21 out of 30 wickets went down to straight deliveries. And as Ashwin mentioned, Ahmedabad’s low-scoring Test wasn’t a case in isolation in pink-ball day-night matches.
“If you give a little bit of favour stacked towards the bowlers, this is what might happen. When there is a little bit of advantage to the bowlers, where it swings more or seams more, the margin of error for the batter is so little. Instead of the ball beating the bat, or getting a thick edge, it gets a fine edge and goes to the ‘keeper. These are the things we’ve noticed. It happened even at Eden Gardens against Bangladesh.
“It could very well be spoken about that we played really well and won the game but that has been the nature of pink-ball Tests. Even in New Zealand, when England were all out for 69 (58 actually), we got all out in Australia for 36. When you look at the larger history of Test cricket, you might say these are one-off occasions. But these are a regular affair.”
Asked if the Indian players are apprehensive about playing pink-ball Tests in the future, Ashwin said: “There’s no apprehension. If there was apprehension, we would have expressed. The pink ball has got (given) a new dimension to the game, so it’s about adapting. You play more and more and get used to it, the players are going to adapt better.”
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