Red-hot Kuldeep hits Green for six

Red-hot Kuldeep hits Green for six

Red-hot Kuldeep hits Green for six
The outcome was on expected lines. On the fourth and last day of maiden pink ball contest, India Red, needing just three wickets, lent finishing touches and opened their Duleep Trophy campaign with a 219-run victory over India Green on Friday.

Green captain and overnight batsman Suresh Raina played an entertaining knock, but his fightback was halted at 90 by chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who finished with second innings figures of 6/88 and a haul of nine wickets in the match. His maiden five-wicket haul in first-class cricket on Thursday had placed Red on the verge of victory and they needed a mere 10.2 overs this afternoon to seal the issue.
Beginning the day at 217/7 in pursuit of gigantic 497, Green had little hold over the match. Raina with an overnight score of 42 motored himself on course to a century despite losing his companions in quick intervals. After Raina’s dismissal, Akshay Wakhare sent off Pragyan Ojha in the next over to seal the contest for Red.

The pink ball experiment had evinced excitement on all the four days, right from assessing the playing conditions under lights, and the behaviour of kookaburra ball. The batsmen of both teams struggled in the first innings, save Abhinav Mukund, before coming to grips with the pink ball.

“When I went to bat I could not make out the revolutions of the ball under the lights. The ball is bit glazy, when lights fall it shines and I could not make out the seam of the ball. After spending some time on the wicket I was watching the ball properly. The sighting maybe is a matter of getting used to it,” Red batsman Gurkeerat Singh reasoned.

The track with 4mm grass helped the seamers initially before spinners began to get good turn from the pink ball. However, there was no reverse swing, the persistent shine of the ball being a factor.

“SG Test ball reverses a bit. With the gloss on the pink ball there won’t be much chance. The reverse swing I am not sure will happen. Maybe if we play on a drier pitch and drier outfield we might get the ball to reverse,” opined Green wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

He also felt the grass cover in day-night Tests would rob India of home advantage. “In sub-continent conditions I don’t think an international game would be played with this much of grass on the pitch. I have been seeing Test cricket for quite a few years and I don’t remember it being played on a green top in home conditions. Ideally we shouldn’t be playing on green top pitches. There is definitely home advantage and we should be taking it. That’s how it should be. We’ll have to see how the ball behaves on a drier pitch,” Parthiv said.

“We all came with preconceived thought that there will be a lot of movement around but it didn’t move as much as we thought. It was good to be playing the first pink-ball game and be part of history.  It was an ideal four-day pitch where you it could turn a bit, swing and good to bat on as well.”

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