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Cricketers Parvez Rasool and Shahbaz Nadeem do not find pink cricket balls to favour spin bowling

ANALYST
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315   //    28 Aug 2018, 19:10 IST

Sheffield Shield - SA v NSW: Day 1
The pink ball

The second match of the ongoing Duleep Trophy tournament saw 31 of the 38 wickets that fell, being claimed by spin-bowlers. The tournament has been using the pink cricket ball for the past few seasons and judging by the latest result, it may have appeared that they are very conducive for spin-bowling. But as India Red spinners Parvez Rasool and Shahbaz Nadeem caught up with the media, it was astonishing to see that they felt otherwise.

Both players did not hesitate in stating that the pink cricket balls offer little advantage to spin. While Nadeem said that the ball's resistance to variations hampered his process of wicket-taking, Rasool spoke of how he could not get the ball to grip the pitch and turn after the first 15 or 20 overs.

Nadeem, who went wicketless in the first innings, completed a five-for in the second. He said: “As a bowler, I have a few variations. But it is difficult with the pink ball as nothing much happens after pitching. With the red SG Test ball, it is easier to vary your pace and you can get the ball to grip the surface. With the pink ball, you just have to be consistently accurate with your line and length and hope the batsmen commit mistakes."

Rasool, in turn, agreed with his compatriot on the difficulties faced by a spinner in bowling with the pink ball. “I bowled with the new ball quite a lot in this match because when the pink ball is hard, you can get to grip and turn. After the first 15-20 overs, you get absolutely no help unless the pitch is conducive to spin," he said.

He also added that the normal SG Test cricket balls usually used in domestic matches in the Indian circuit, highly contrasted with the new pink ball as the former apparently had a better grip on the pitch, also drifting down the track if needed. Rasool picked four wickets in the first innings and another three in the second, eventually ending with match figures of seven-for. Nadeem and Rasool thus accounted for 12 of the 18 India Blue wickets that fell in the game.

"Another problem," Nadeem observed, "was that the ball deteriorated early". The balls were, in fact, changed every fifty overs so, because either all the grip was gone, or the ball itself had deformed, rendering them useless.

With the Indian international side still sceptical about day-night Tests in which pink balls will be used, such complaints from those who already have enough experience using them will only slow down the trust-process even further.

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