Uthappa approves of pink-ball cricket

Amid players floundering their way into the new form of first-class cricket, Robin Uthappa has supported the pink-ball experiment, saying 'I'm all for it'.

Published : Aug 25, 2016 19:09 IST , Greater Noida

Robin Uthappa pointed out that sighting the pink ball was not a problem.
Robin Uthappa pointed out that sighting the pink ball was not a problem.

Robin Uthappa pointed out that sighting the pink ball was not a problem.

Grass and gloss have occupied the minds of the teams in the ongoing Duleep Trophy being played under floodlights. The gloss on the pink ball and the extra sprinkling of grass on the pitch has evoked mixed reactions from the participants but Robin Uthappa, who believes in batting on his terms, made the bravest remark of all. He welcomed the pink ball, like most, but also the grass. “I’m all for it,” said the India Green opener emphasised.

The curator is compelled to leave a 4mm layer of grass to help protect the shine on the ball. A discouraging factor for the spinner, the grass can cause ample discomfort to batsmen bred on placid pitches. But not Uthappa. “The ball has been turning a bit for the spinners. I do not really understand why, probably because the ball gets really old.”

And then Uthappa came up with a suggestion that invite a debate. “If that’s the case they could make a rule where the ball can be changed at 60 overs instead of 80 and then we can still have a good match. That option can be given.”

The experiment has gone down well with some players even though a majority of them are perplexed. Uthappa explained, “We started off badly. We bowled in bad areas. By the time we got our act together we lost the first session. When we came back they were very well set. I think the best time to bat with this ball is in the second session. I think the ball gets slightly older then and it becomes easy to bat.”

The conditions, too, have varied on the first three days of the match. “I think yes, the pitch did ease out a little bit more on the second day. Hopefully it will stay the same. Generally, the pitch in this part of the country starts to keep low towards third or fourth day, but hopefully with the grass on this pitch it stays that way.”

'Everything changes'

Uthappa found the format attractive. “It looks good. We have to give it time. Everything changes. The play starts late and you end very late. Once you play this format you will get used to it. There has been a lot of night (day-night) cricket with T20 and one-day and so I feel that once we play this format on a regular basis we will get used to it. The more we play the more we will understand how to play in this format.”

What about issues regarding spotting the ball? “Spotting the ball is not an issue. But I think the ball changes colour when the light changes. Towards the evening it becomes kind of orange but again in the night it becomes pink. Some players have felt the ball dip on them and that is a factor.”

What kind of role did he see for batsmen? “Once we see off the new ball, that period is simple as the ball doesn’t do much. It’s not a ball that we work with as far as shining is concerned. We tried shining the ball but not much is happening. However, it is early to say anything. You can’t say anything based on that.”

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