After Ashwin, Kohli slams quality of SG ball

After Ashwin, Kohli slams quality of SG ball

Virat Kohli feels Dukes ball, manufactured in England, last longer than the Indian product SG ball.

Despite his six-wicket haul for the game, R Ashwin wasn’t a completely satisfied man after the first Test against the West Indies in Rajkot. The Indian off-spinner had expressed his displeasure over the quality of the SG ball.

“I am pretty disappointed with the SG ball. It used to be top-notch, the seam used to stand up strong even after 70-80 overs. It’s not the same anymore. The Kookaburra is the best red ball but the Dukes ball is also right up there,” said the 32-year-old, who credited his county success with Worcester to the Dukes ball used in England.

On Thursday, ahead of India’s second and final Test against the West Indies, captain Virat Kohli backed Ashwin’s opinions. “I totally agree with Ash. 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's gone down. A Dukes ball is still good quality, Kookaburra is still good quality. The Dukes ball, I think, is the most suited ball for Test cricket and if there's a situation, I would vouch for that to be used all over the world,” Kohli said.

Many current players have voiced their interest in playing with Dukes ball thanks to its durability when compared to Kookaburra. Made of hand-stitched four-piece leather, the Dukes ball offers good seam movement to the pacers. The quality of leather helps it to keep its shape and meet the demands of the gruelling nature of Test cricket.

“The consistency of the ball is good. The seam is so hard and upright. 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,” Kohli offered.

From the England series, apart from Ashwin, another bowler happy operating with the Dukes ball was Ishant Sharma. Following his country stint with Sussex, the lanky pacer had said that he felt good bowling with it.