India has stacked extreme pressure on England in the current four-Test series for the Anthony de Mello Trophy. The host is currently leading the series 2-1, while the visitor was utterly decimated in the third-day-night Test in Ahmedabad, which was over within two days.
Team India has given England a reality check after decimating it in the third day-night Test for the Anthony de Mello Trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Having outplayed the visitor within just two days by ten wickets, the host now leads the four-Test series 2-1, with a game to go at the same venue.
However, things have not really settled down from the third Test, as the aftermatch continues regarding the state of the pitch, which robbed the viewers of an intense clash between the two sides. While England, along with other English greats and experts, continue to cry foul play, Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who was one of the most impactful spinners in the game, has given his honest verdict on the pink-ball Test and quick finishes.
Ashwin feels that while the game is generally considered batsman-friendly, a mild advantage to the bowlers can turn the game upside down. "Honestly, if you give a little bit of favour stacked towards the bowlers, this is what might happen. Because of the ball… a little bit of advantage towards the bowlers. It starts to swing more and the margin of error for the batter is so much more little. Instead of the ball beating the bat or probably getting a thick outside edge, it ends up getting a fine edge and goes behind to the keeper. These are things that we've noticed and it even happened at the Eden Gardens when we played Bangladesh," he said, reports ESPNCricinfo.
"It could very well be spoken about how we really played well in that game and won that game and all that… but that's been the nature of the pink-ball Test. Even the one in New Zealand, where England got all out for 58, and we got all out in Australia for 36 - if you look at the larger picture of Test cricket, you might say these are one-off occasions, but these are regular affairs in pink-ball Tests.," he added.
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Speaking on the pink ball, Ashwin reckoned that its behaviour remains uncertain, as more games need to be played to judge it better. "When I did bowl, the balance of the ball seemed very different to that of the red ball - when you tried to put a lot of revs, it probably wasn't rotating as much on the seam as I thought the red ball was rotating. Clearly, the chance of it catching the glossy surface was far greater and if at all it caught the seam, it was, you know, spinning quite big at times, and it was not really responding the way the red ball might respond. Whatever was happening was happening a little quicker off the surface, so I think it did make a difference," he considered.
"There is no apprehension as such for the pink-ball Test. I think it's completely a new sort of a facet that's being introduced into the game. You are used to playing with the red ball, and everybody is conditioned, like I said, to play with the red ball, and suddenly, they've brought in the pink ball. And, the pink ball is bringing new dimensions to the game, so it's about adapting. If you play more and more and obviously get used to it, the players are going to adapt better for good," he continued.
Finally, he spoke about the difference between the Indian manufactured SG balls with the global manufacturer Kookaburra but could not identify the actual distinction between them. "So, the surfaces have been different - different conditions and different dynamics to the ball. I think what I realised with the pink ball in Australia was it definitely aided more bounce and pace off the surface than the red one. Here also, it was the same. It offered more bounce and pace off the pitch than the red ball would. That's probably due to the lacquer in the ball and also probably the slightly prouder seam that both these pink balls have. I can't really differ much at this point and I'll have a very few sample size in my hand when I'm done," he concluded.
Last Updated Feb 28, 2021, 2:05 PM IST