Australia and India are all set to collide in a Day/Night Test match for the first time, at the Adelaide Oval on Friday, December 17, and the involvement of the pink-ball is adding to its excitement.
Though India played their first pink-ball Test last year against Bangladesh, the Australian team is a veteran in terms of playing Test cricket under the lights, having won all eight matches, including the first-ever international day-night Test against the Blackcaps, at the Adelaide Oval, in 2015.
Moreover, the conditions and the behavior of the ball are expected to be a lot different in Adelaide, then what it was at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Ahead of the historic series opener between India and Australia, let's take a look at features that differentiate a pink-ball from a red-ball.
Differences between red-ball and pink-ball:
Test matches with the usual morning to evening schedule are played with a red color ball. In the case of Day/Night Tests, the visibility factor comes into the picture as they are played under artificial lights, and hence, a pink-colored ball is used, as it is more visible than the red-ball.
Moreover, the red ball appears brown in color, as the play progresses, making it difficult for the batsmen to spot it under floodlights. The pink-ball, on the other hand, loses its shine more slowly and is easier to spot than the red ball.
2. Seam and Behaviour
The pink-ball is stitched with a black thread as opposed to the white thread on a red ball. The pink-ball also has an extra layer of lacquer (paint) to improve visibility under lights. The pink-ball is also said to swing a bit more, as it deteriorates a bit slowly.
The seam and behavior, although, might vary manufacturer wise. SG, Kookaburra, and Dukes are the three main manufacturers of cricket balls in the international circuit. While India uses the SG ball, England and the West Indies use Dukes (manufactured in England).
All the other Test-playing nations, including Australia and New Zealand, use the Kookaburra ball. While SG and Dukes are more or less the same, the same can't be said about the Kookaburra balls.
While the SG and Dukes balls are hand-stitched in all six rows, Kookaburra only hand-stitches two rows (inner seam) as the four outer rows are stitched with machines. As a result, the seam of Kookaburra balls is said to flatten faster than that of the SG and Dukes balls.
Also, the seam of the Dukes and SG balls is a bit more pronounced and so, in theory, ought to cause more problems to the batsmen.