Abhijit Bhattacharya, who was one of the on-field umpires during the first-ever pink-ball cricket match that was played in India, predicts the ball tends to behave a lot like the white ball used in limited-overs matches. Bhattacharya and Premdip Chatterjee were officiating in the CAB Super League final in 2016 in which Mohun Bagan beat Bhowanipore by 296 runs.
Recalling being part of the historic match, Bhattacharya felt the pink ball travelled better than the red ball but its behaviour was a lot similar to that of the white ball.
“I went into the game with an open mind,” Bhattacharya told Times of India. “For me it was just about a different colour. How different could it be from the red or white ball? I would say that the behaviour of the pink ball was closer to that of the white ball. There wasn’t too much difference.”
That game was played with the Kookaburra ball, which later debuted in the Duleep Trophy. Some players had voiced their concerns about its durability and visibility under lights but Bhattacharya is convinced that with the SG balls – which will be used for India’s maiden Test against Bangladesh starting Friday – there will be no such issues.
“As there was no marked change in its shape, we didn’t have to change the ball. In fact, it retained quite a bit of its characteristics. There was a fair amount of movement early on, but later it became easy. Mohammed Shami extracted some reverse swing too,” he said. “The players were sighting the ball better under lights and no one complained of any problem during the twilight zone.”