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Why are pink balls used instead of red in day-night Tests?

India and Bangladesh will be playing with the pink ball for the first time.

Pink Balls. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS via Getty Images)

India and Bangladesh are gearing up for their first-ever Day-Night Test at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata starting on November 22. These two sides are the last, among the top 10 Test-playing nations, to adopt this form of the game with the first of its kind played between Australia and New Zealand back in 2015. For the Tests to be played under the lights, Pink ball is used instead of the traditional red ball which has left many confused.

There is a notion among a few of the fans about the red ball not being used in the day-night Tests. The main reason for the same is the pink balls are visible during the night time under the floodlights, unlike the red balls which are less reflective. The red balls are not clearly visible as much as they do during the day time which is why normally we witness, the umpires calling off the day when the light goes down in the day Tests.

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Pink ball, on the other hand, are bright and can be picked up under the lights which makes it easy for the batsmen and the fielders to spot it. Further, the white balls can’t be used as they clash with the traditional white clothing

Pink ball swings less during day time

However, there are few more challenges which the bowlers will have to face while bowling with the pink ball. Also, the ball tends to lose its shine after a few over which is why extra lacquer is applied to it while the curator also leaves more grass on the surface. While it doesn’t swing much early, the shining pink ball livens up the action under the lights. The bowlers get a huge amount of swing and batting in the third session is more challenging.

Both India and Bangladesh will have to consider these challenges before taking the field on Friday and plan accordingly. India are leading the two-match series by 1-0 and at the moment, are the favourites to win their 12th consecutive series at home. But even they are playing with the pink ball for the first time which will Bangladesh at least a chance to have their say.

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