India vs England: the SG ball brought up to date after Virat Kohli’s criticism

The hand-sewn Sanspareil Greenlands (SG) ball, used for test matches in India, is under surveillance after the first test as players have complained about the stitches coming off.

Bullet Destroyed: Kohli

Indian skipper Virat Kohli, in his post-match comments, said he was unhappy with the quality of the ball. “The wicket was flat and slow and the quality of the ball was not something we were very happy to see because that has been an issue in the past as well. Just the fact that the seam of the ball is completely destroyed in 60 overs is not something you feel as a test team and something any test team could be prepared for, ”said Kohli.

It was weird: Ashwin

After day four, Ravichandran Ashwin, who won nine wickets in the game, also spoke about the problem with the ball but said the harshness of the pitch could have been a factor. “I’ve never seen an SG bullet tear (pass) through the seam like this. So that could well be a combination of the hardness of the ground the first two days, even in the second run after the 35th-40th the seam was kind of loose, ”said Ashwin. “It was weird, I mean, I haven’t seen an SG ball like this in the last few years, but yeah, maybe it could be due to the pitch and how hard of it through the center. which passes the scuffed ball.

Not the first time

In the series of two tests against the West Indies in 2018, Kohli, upset with the quality of the SG ball, demanded that the Dukes ball, used in England, also be introduced in India. “Having a scuffed ball in five overs is not something we’ve seen before,” Kohli said. “The quality of the ball was quite high before and I don’t understand the reason why it fell … The Dukes, I think, is the most suitable ball for Test Match cricket and if there is a situation , I would vouch for this to be used all over the world… ”At the time, Ashwin said the SG ball was better when he started playing domestic cricket. “When I started playing first class cricket, the SG ball was top notch, and you could play with it even after the 70th or 80th. The seam was tough and straight, but it’s not the same, ”Ashwin said.

Reaction of bullet manufacturers

SG, based in Meerut, has been providing official match balls since 1993. SG’s marketing director Paras Anand told the Indian Express on Tuesday that they would listen to what the players had to say. “We’ve heard what the feedback is and we’re going to work to make sure that even though the wicket is as hard and abrasive as the Chennai wicket, the ball remains good. If the seam tears after 50 to 60 overs, the wicket could be the reason. Every week we test balls on different surfaces, after 50 overs, after 60 overs. We have a counter in the factory, which is very difficult. We test it there, and then there’s a lab test and a field. We guarantee high quality in the manufacturing process. But we will listen to the players. “

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane practicing with the ball in Chennai. (Twitter / BCCI)

Ball change

After players criticized the ball in 2018, manufacturers worked on quality control. The ball used in the current series has a pronounced seam, a harder core, and a darker shade of red – changes made after talking to players.

‘Abrasive gate’

Before playing on day five, James Anderson, who cast a winning spell, said: “The wicket is so abrasive that our second new ball in India’s opening innings was reversed after four overs. We are not far from the reverse (swing). “

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