Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday expressed his displeasure over the poor quality of the SG balls, which India use at home matches. Kohli stressed at the ball’s poor quality and said that England-made Dukes ball be used instead.
"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," Kohli said in a pre-match press conference ahead of the second and final Test against West Indies on Friday.
With no specific guidelines by the International Cricket Council, different countries use different balls. India have been using the ‘SG Test’ ball, manufactured by Meerut-based Sanspareils Greenlands, while England and West Indies use UK-made Dukes ball, with the most pronounced seam. Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, on the other hand, use the Aussie-based Kookaburra balls.
Virat Kohli came in support of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who had earlier complained over the quality of the ‘SG’ balls after first Windies Test. "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,” Kohli said.
"A Dukes and Kookaburra ball is still good quality. Whatever limitations a Kookaburra might have (seam goes flat), the quality is never compromised," Kohli said.
"The seamers as well are benefitted if the ball is hard, you can get that extra pace but if the ball goes so soft in 10-12 overs, then your effort comes down by 20 per cent. I think the quality of the ball has to be maintained, there's no doubt about that. Otherwise, you have too many dead sessions in a Test match, which you don't want to see. You want to see exciting cricket and guys working hard for runs, being in the battle all day. I totally agree with Ash," the skipper added.
The Dukes ball, compared to SG and Kookaburras, are darker in colour due to a coating of Lacquer. Dukes' hard-stitched pronounced seam assists the bowlers far longer than an SG or Kookaburra ball, that have wide and low seam respectively.
(With Agency inputs)