Virat Kohli wants to replace SG balls used in Test matches played at home
There are no regulations put in place by the ICC regarding usage of balls in different countries.
Updated - Oct 11, 2018 2:59 pm
Indian captain Virat Kohli has called for the England-made Dukes ball to be used in Test match cricket all across the globe. He also expressed his displeasure at the poor quality of the SG balls which are used exclusively in Test matches played in India.
At the moment, the ICC has not enforced any specific guidelines regarding the use of different balls in different countries. India have been using their home-made ‘SG Test’ from the early ’90s, the balls are manufactured by Sanspareils Greenlands in Meerut. However, both England and the Windies have stuck to the Dukes ball, its hallmark being the pronounced seam. On the other hand, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka use the Kookaburra ball, which is manufactured in Australia.
In a press conference prior to the Hyderabad Test against the Windies, Virat said, “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, even the spinners, because the seam is so hard and upright.”
Don’t understand why SG balls quality has gone down: Virat Kohli
Similarly, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had also spoken about how the Kookaburra ball suits him, and that he is more comfortable bowling with the Australian-made ball than with the ‘SG Test’. He had said, “Right now, I would say Kookaburra red ball is a lot better ball, Dukes is also right up there. 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.”
Kookaburra balls are machine-made and have a low seam, while the Indian SG balls are handmade and have a wider seam. Dukes balls are manufactured in England by hand – they are darker in colour compared to the SG and Kookaburra balls because they have a coating of lacquer.
Referring to Ashwin’s complaints against the SG balls, Kohli said, “I totally agree with him. To have a ball scuffed up in five overs is something that we haven’t seen before. The quality of the ball used to be quite high before and I don’t understand the reason why it has gone down.
“A Dukes ball is still good quality, Kookaburra is still good quality. Whatever limitations a Kookaburra might have (seam goes flat), the quality is never compromised,” Kohli went on to explain.
Following India’s tour of England which saw 4 closely fought and balanced Test matches, many have called for the Dukes ball to be used in Test cricket worldwide. However, whether the ICC will take a call regarding this matter anytime soon is yet to be seen.