India-England Tests: All about the latest fiasco regarding SG balls

Rajdeep Saha
·4-min read


India-England Tests: All about the latest fiasco regarding SG balls
India-England Tests: All about the latest fiasco regarding SG balls

11 Feb 2021: India-England Tests: All about the latest fiasco regarding SG balls

The SG balls have come under heavy scrutiny following the comments made by Team India duo Virat Kohli and R Ashwin after the first India-England Test in Chennai.

Both Kohli and Ashwin criticized the SG balls used for the first Test.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has asked Sanspareils Greenlands (SG) to review its quality.

Here are all the details.

Fact: SG balls deteriorated badly in the first Test

In the first Test, close-up pictures of the ball that were shown on TV gave everyone a glimpse of how the leather was coming off. The stitches on the seam also gave away. However, the pitch too may have played its part for the same.

Ashwin: Ashwin shocked by the response of SG balls

Indian ace spinner Ashwin, who took nine wickets in the match, highlighted the issue.

"I have never seen an SG ball tear through the seam like that. So it could well be a combination of how hard the pitch was on the first two days, even in the second innings after the 35th-40th over, the seam was getting sort of peeled off," said Ashwin.

Pitch: Ashwin feels the issue could be due to the pitch

Ashwin said the pitch could have played its part for the ball to get deteriorated.

"It was bizarre, I mean, I haven't seen an SG ball like that in (the) last so many years, but yeah, maybe it could be due to the pitch and the hardness of it through the centre which is making the ball get scuffed up." Ashwin further said.

Comment: This is what Kohli had to say

Kohli too expressed his disappointment.

"The quality of balls, honestly, wasn't something we were pleased to see, because that has been the issue in the past as well. Just for the ball to get destroyed in 60 overs is not something that you experience as a Test side and it is not something any Test side could be prepared for," he said.

SG: SG to use players' criticism as feedback to improve quality

The Times of India reached out to Director of cricket equipment manufacturer Sanspareil Greenlands, which is based in Meerut, about what the Indian cricketers had to say about the SG ball.

According to him the company sees criticism from the players as feedback.

He said the company would use that now to improve the quality of the balls.

Fact: BCCI asks SG to look into the matter

Anand confirmed to IANS that the BCCI has asked them to look into the matter. "We told them we will assess. Since some players have complained about the pitch. We will have to assess the ball's reaction on such wickets also," he said.

Dukes ball: Earlier, Kohli said he would vouch for the Dukes ball

Back in 2018, Kohli had expressed his concerns about the quality of SG balls.

"The Dukes ball, I think, is the most suited ball for Test cricket. If there's a situation I would vouch for that to be used all over the world because of the consistency of the ball and how the bowlers are in the game at any stage," Kohli told PTI.

2018 series: India vs WI, 2018: Ashwin seemed unhappy with SG balls

When India hosted West Indies for a two-Test series in 2018, Ashwin seemed unhappy with the SG ball and said it isn't the same as it used to be before.

"Pretty disappointed with the current SG ball. It used to be top-notch, the seam used to stand up strong even after 70-80 overs. It's not the same anymore," said Ashwin.

Details: Key details about the Kookaburra, Dukes and SG balls

Kookaburra, Dukes and SG are the three main manufacturers of cricket balls in international matches.

While we see the SG ball being used in India, the likes of England, Ireland and the West Indies use Dukes (manufactured in England).

Meanwhile, all the other Test-playing nations use the Kookaburra ball manufactured in Australia.

Difference: Explainer: How are the three balls different?

Notably, all the three balls have six rows of stitches around the central seam of the ball.

The Dukes and SG are hand-stitched in all six rows.

Meanwhile, the Kookaburra only hand-stitches two rows (inner seam).

The four outer rows are stitched with machines.

This is a reason why the seam of the Kookaburra is said to flatten faster than the other two.