India vs Bangladesh: Why everyone is talking about the Pink Ball?

Kunal Joshi

Pink Ball Test: Cricket has evolved a lot over the years making it more exciting for the viewers as well as the players. In India, the sport is one of the most popular and is watched by millions across the globe. Although international matches had started back in 1844 ,Test cricket began officially in 1877. Later, ODI cricket was introduced which became an instant hit among the fans. ODI cricket is played wearing coloured clothes which are a complete contrast to Test cricket which is still played in the traditional white jersey. Initially, red balls similar to ones in Tests were used in one-day internationals. The white ball was introduced with onset of day-night ODIs.

Cricket fans across the globe still consider Test match as the most interesting format and modern-day cricketers to agree with it. To attract more viewers and make Test cricket more interesting, ICC introduced the concept of Day/Night Test matches in 2015. This was done to revive the falling viewership of Test cricket. With the debut of Day/Night Test matches ICC also introduced Pink Ball.

Red Ball

The red ball is the original and the oldest version of the ball which is used in conventional Test cricket matches. The red ball which is used in Test cricket weighs between 156 grams-162 grams and usually assists fast bowlers when it is new. The ball generally swings a bit and if the Test match is being played in a country like England or New Zealand where the weather is generally windy.  The red ball is stitched with a white thread which makes it a little easier to spot during the day. While manufacturing the red ball manufacturers also use wax which helps the ball shine.

White Ball

The white ball is as heavy as the red ball but it swings much more than the red ball because of lacquer. The white ball is used in ODI and T20 cricket because it is easily visible once the floodlights are turned on. However, the issue with the white ball has been the fact that it gets dirty and deteriorates rather quickly during ODI matches. ICC looked into the issue as batsmen were facing problems in spotting the ball because of its colour. This is why in 2012 the ICC changed the rules and started using two new balls from each bowling ends during the innings.

Pink Ball

The pink ball has been the topic of discussion as India takes on Bangladesh at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens for their first-ever Day/Night Test match. Pink ball’s seam is black in colour similar to the white ball. This is done keeping in mind the day/night format of the game. Another major difference is the use of lacquer, makers use wax to shine the red ball whereas the pink ball and the white ball have lacquer to make it shine. The weight of all three balls is the same.

According to experts, the pink ball will provide a lot more swing than the red ball in the first 15-20 overs of the game as the lacquer will not come off easily and the ball will stay hard and new for a longer period of time. The pink ball being used in the India vs Bangladesh Test match has been manufactured by SG which will be different than the pink ball manufactured by Kookaburra.

Another important thing to note is that this is the first Test match which is being played in the winter season with the pink ball. All the Day/Night Test matches played till now have been in the summer season.