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.”
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).