The return of Ravi Ashwin and the pink ball challenge


Australia, Dec 18 (ANI): India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates a dismissal during the first test match of the series in Adelaide on Friday. (Photo Courtesy: ICC Twitter/ ANI Photo)

Former players like Shane Warne for use of pink ball in all formats of Test.

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India’s spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin feels that while the pink-ball Test is at a “very nascent stage”, there is definitely a place for pink-ball Tests on the international calendar.

The senior campaigner didn’t get many overs to bowl when India first played a day-night Test in November last year against Bangladesh, but Ashwin was the star of the show at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. He feels that the use of the pink ball in the longest format would need every ground to have the required inventory. “I still think that pink-ball is at a very nascent stage of where Test cricket should head forward. It is very exciting for a lot of people watching the game. The first Test we played at Eden Garden was a different pink ball and this at Adelaide is a different pink ball, this is Kookubura,” Ashwin said during a virtual press conference.

“So, Adelaide has hosted the maximum number of day-night Test if I am not wrong in terms of stats. They are five years into the pink-ball Test arena, so I think they have a lot of things going further on how the ball works and how the lights are, etc,” he further said.

“I would say it is at a very nascent stage and we are trying too many things in terms of pushing players to the certain brim. I am not really sure but I think there is a place for pink-ball Test surely,” he added.

On Thursday, former Australia spinner Shane Warne had called for using the pink ball in all Test matches, citing that the red ball “doesn’t do anything” and goes soft after 25 overs. “I’ve been saying this for the last few years. I believe the pink ball should be used in all Test matches. Day games, not just day-night games,” he had said on Fox Cricket’s The Big Break.

Australia, Dec 17 (ANI): India’s Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot during the first test match of the series at Adelaide Oval on Thursday. (Photo Courtesy: BCCI Twitter/ ANI Photo)

Ashwin, who stole the show on day two of the pink-ball Test by picking four-wickets, said he felt like “making a debut” as he stepped on the field to play an international game after ten months.

Ashwin last played a match for India in the longest format of the game in February this year as all sporting fixtures were either cancelled or postponed post that due to the coronavirus pandemic. The senior campaigner said he never imagined that he would be playing Test cricket amid the coronavirus scare and expressed his happiness over international sporting action resuming.

“I am so happy that we are playing Test cricket again. It’s been a long time and I didn’t imagine that we will be playing Test cricket looking at what’s happening around,” Ashwin said during a virtual press conference.

“Me being extremely mad about the sport, did a lot of work during the lockdown. So it was refreshing to go out there and bowl, the feeling was great the pink-ball Test and all that new thing about the pink ball,” he added.

While the Indian bowlers dominated the show on the second day of the pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval, Australia skipper Tim Paine grinded it out as he hit an unbeaten 73 runs to bring the hosts closer to India’s first innings total. And the captain said he is delighted to have contributed in a crunch situation.

Paine was the highest run-getter from his side, followed by Marnus Labuschagne, who played a knock of 47. In the first innings, India was restricted to a total of 244 by the Australian bowling attack.

When asked about the reason why both teams struggled to score runs at a high pace, Paine said it was because of the quality of fast bowling ability that both the teams have before adding that adapting to the pink ball takes a bit of time.

“Definitely the quality of the fast bowling. Pink ball, that is probably another factor. It is hard in this game where there are five or six very high-quality fast bowlers, who do not miss much. It also takes a bit of time to adapt to the pink ball, and it is not as easy to pick up. I know it looks great on the telly (TV) but it is harder for the players,” he said.

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