The Duleep Trophy opener here was a good start for the pink ball. In four days, the ball swung, spun and came nicely onto the bat. The Board succeeded in its experiment and might think of hosting a pink ball Test in the future.
India Green wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel felt it was too early to stage a pink-ball Test. “There is definitely a future with the pink ball but it will be too early to say. As we were playing, we didn’t know many things. Yesterday (Thursday), we experienced dew and it could be a factor,” said Parthiv after his side lost to India Red by 219 runs.
The match was played on a grass cover of 4mm on the pitch and a relatively lush outfield. Patel said rarely would a subcontinent nation play a Test on a green top. “I have been involved with cricket for a long time now and have seen Tests happening. But not on green tops and we should not be playing on green top wickets because you lose home advantage and that is the way it should be,” said Parthiv.
“I am not saying it will be difficult to host a Test with the pink ball but we have to see how it behaves on a drier wicket. We have played the Duleep Trophy match on a grassy wicket but let’s see how it does on a drier wicket and outfield,” he said.
The absence of reverse swing raised concerns. The ball doesn’t lose its shine and doesn’t get roughed up. On the other hand, the SG Test ball, which is used in day Tests, helps a bowler with swing, reverse swing and turn.
”Surely, there is a difference between the red, white and pink balls. SG Test does reverse a bit but the kind of glaze which stays on the pink ball, you don’t see reverse swing. Since there is a guideline of 4mm grass and lush outfield, the ball doesn’t get roughed up. I am not sure if reverse swing will happen or not with this ball. But if we play on a dry wicket or drier outfield maybe we could see that, but on subcontinent conditions I don’t think a game will be played with this ball with so much grass on the wicket,” said Parthiv.
The BCCI had decided to host one of the five Tests against the touring New Zealand with the pink ball. But later said it was not sure whether it would be a success.
The Australia-New Zealand Test is the only one to be played with the pink ball. Pakistan are planning to host West Indies at UAE with the pink ball in October. The dry wickets could be a parameter to take a call on the future of pink ball cricket.