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Pink ball cricket under lights – A great opportunity

Manoj Tiwary, Piyush Chawla, Parthiv Patel and S Badrinath speak on the exciting prospect
during a New Zealand cricket training session at Seddon Park on October 8, 2015 in Hamilton, New Zealand. The new pink ball will be used during the upcoming test series against Australia.

With the possible introduction of the pink ball with the Duleep Trophy likely to be played under lights on its return to the domestic circuit, in the 2016-17 season, new facets to the game will be revealed. While the followers of the game would be excited to watch, the cricketers too are looking to understand and adapt to the new challenges.

Piyush Chawla, who led Central Zone to the title in 2014-15, said: “It is obviously going to be something new and exciting for us. It is much talked about these days. It will be a different experience for the players and so I am looking forward to it.”

Discussing the pink ball which was used in the Test between Australia and New Zealand and a club match in Kolkata which aided the pacers, the leg-spinner added, “(From) Whatever I have seen and heard the ball (stays) is quite shiny and glossy for long, so it could be a little difficult for the spinners, But we will have to find something (a way) to get something out of this ball as well (to be effective).

Speaking about the ball and the challenges to the batsmen, Bengal Ranji Trophy captain Manoj Tiwary said, “It is going to be a great opportunity and a big challenge as well because a pink ball does a lot of things (movement), especially under lights it swings a lot, seams a lot. Hence, as batsmen we have to make sure that we are improving our skills. To really go against a moving ball you need your basics right and your technique up to the mark to improve chances of scoring good amount of runs in such conditions.”

“Also, you have to have a lot of patience. Nowadays most of us, we tend to play on the rise, play through the line (as) we know that the pitch is not going to do much; it is going to be at knee height bounce. Those kinds of shots won’t be easy under lights with the pink ball. So these are the challenges we have to face as a batsman and we have to be prepared for it,” Tiwary, who led East Zone in Duleep Trophy.

Like his peers, Parthiv Patel, too is looking forward to the prospect. “It will be a new challenge for all of us to play under lights in a four-day game with the pink ball. I don’t think any of us have played before. Having seen one of the games, the (pink) ball does swing slightly more than the normal one so we will have to make sure that we are well prepared for the condition.”

Discussing the aspects to be kept in mind while preparing for the challenge, the wicketkeeper-batsman said, “What I have seen or heard is that they have said that the pitch is required to be slightly greener than the normal one so that the ball stays well throughout the day and night, but something which we will have to tackle (is) the swing (which is) more than what usually we do (get) with the SG ball. So we will have to work on (that), try and be more defensive (as batsmen) or try and see off the swing whenever that happens.”

“I have been around for lot of the years; (with) every new challenge there is something which motivates you, and gets the best out of you so I am looking forward to this Duleep Trophy,” he mentioned.

Senior batsman, S Badrinath said: “It is an unknown commodity. The pink ball Test was played in Australia and the Indian conditions would be very different from what you find in Australia, England or New Zealand. I would be interested to see how it all unfolds. It is a good way of testing the waters by playing with it in the Duleep Trophy because we will have to see what is going to come. In India, at night the dew factor is much more so that is one thing that has to be considered and all the other conditions etc. It is a good initiative to test the waters (in domestic cricket first).

Prajakta Pawar

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Shardul Thakur - I like to travel when I am not playing

Mumbai pacer says he loves travelling with his friends

When I am not playing cricket, I like to travel a lot. I may not travel long distances, but I do travel to places nearby like Lonavala etc. which makes my day. Spending time with my friends and doing fun activities with them helps me unwind. We do a lot of different things like going to a movie, eating out, playing tennis-ball cricket, football and sometimes even badminton. But travelling is something that I enjoy the most. I love to visit places with scenic beauty, especially beaches.

Even when I am playing in Mumbai, at the Wankhede Stadium, I like to go and sit at Marine Drive. After playing, I go and sit there for an hour or so. I most definitely enjoy the cool breeze, it is very soothing. It gives us some time away from the game and relaxes the mind. I love the sight of the sun setting down. I like that picture a lot. Sometimes I just go to see the sunset.

Recently, I had been to Vagator beach in Goa and it was very relaxing to sit there in the evening. There was a restaurant called ‘Thalasa’ which I liked a lot and would like to visit again. My home in Palghar is close to the beach, so I have grown up around the beaches and probably because of that I enjoy the seaside.

I also love seafood. I have enjoyed it a lot since my childhood. Pomfrets are my favourite. I like trying out different preparations of seafood as well, and I make it a point to visit such places that serve seafood. However, the tastes differ in different regions. The way it is prepared in Goa is different from the way it is prepared at home and down south, it is even more different. 

Exploring different places with my friends is something I look forward to doing when I am not playing cricket. We are four-five of us who take these trips whenever we can and we drive down to the destination.

Shardul Thakur

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