India have played two pink ball tests so far, having won one against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in Kolkata (November 2019) and got run over in the other by Australia in Adelaide (December 2020).
The biggest challenge for the Indian team will be the pink balloon and its nature. The pink SG ball, compared to its red counterpart, is coated with several layers of pigment and also has an additional layer of lacquer. This extra layer helps the ball last longer than the red ball does. During the Kolkata test in 2019, it was evident that the bullet’s lasting shine helped it swing longer and longer. The ball also traveled faster through the air and off the pitch.
Former England cricketer Monty Panesar smells of the pink ball and the dynamics associated with it make the playing field level for both teams. “The pink ball is going to swing and sew at some point. It’s not like the red ball. The pink ball moves in the air, it recedes. This pink ball neutralized India’s home advantage. The question is, if this Indian team can hold their cool when the ball moves in the air or flips and doesn’t panic? the left arm spinner told TOI in a London interview.
Who doesn’t like crowds 🤗🤗We are happy to have the support of #TeamIndia fans 🇮🇳 and it will be no different… https://t.co/zboBTtWVPl
– BCCI (@BCCI) 1614076945000
“Very recently, India was marked by the pink ball in Adelaide. They were eliminated for 36 – the lowest score ever achieved by an Indian team in Indian Test cricket history. They are definitely wary of this test. It’s a unique test now, a completely different ball game with the pink ball. If the ball starts swinging and sewing again, the Indian team will think: is this Adelaide again? ”
WATCH: the pink SG ball made in Meerut
Panesar believes the Motera Stadium pitch will surely help the spinners, but time for England to gain ground would be the ‘after dinner session’ when the ball tends to swing and sew.
#TeamIndia trains under the lights as they prepare for the pink ball test at Motera Cricket Stadium. 👍👍 @ Paytm… https://t.co/35Zjeb1vAZ
– BCCI (@BCCI) 1614009063000
“Probably the ground will turn a bit. Clearly, India will capitalize on its strengths. But, there’s the after-dinner session where the pink ball swings and sews a lot. I think it plays out in the hands of the England team. If the ball starts to sway and sew a bit, I think England have a good chance of winning this test.
For Panesar, the “match” between Virat Kohli and Jimmy Anderson is likely to define the outcome of the match. “There is a lot of pressure on Virat Kohli to win this series in order to keep his position as Test captain. The battle, for me, is going to be Anderson versus Kohli. If Anderson rocks the ball or the other way around, then it will be interesting to see how Kohli goes to fight that. This is what will make everyone scream.