Shami, Saha give pink ball a thumbs up

Mohammed Shami and VVS Laxman pose for the cameras before a pink-ball event AFP

India fast bowler Mohammed Shami and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha have offered positive reviews of the pink ball, two days into the first pink-ball match in India: the Super League final at Eden Gardens between club teams Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore. While Shami was excited by the swing on offer, Saha termed the pink Kookaburra ball's visibility "perfect".

"It's very bright and glows like radium," Shami said, according to PTI, after claiming a five-for for Mohun Bagan. "With red or white balls, there was some visibility problem as it took [on] the colour of grass. Definitely I will prefer this ball, this is much better. The biggest plus point is [the swing] under lights, what else does a bowler want?

"There was a bit of moisture in the afternoon, so it helped initially. But then, under lights, there was more movement undoubtedly. It's challenging for both batsmen and bowlers."

In response to concerns raised after day one over whether the pink ball would reverse-swing, given the ball does not deteriorate much, Shami said: "[Yes] the ball retains it colour and shine. But if we can maintain the dryness, I'm sure it will reverse. It did [reverse], I noticed."

Saha agreed the ball offered the fast bowlers quite a bit, but said there should be few problems picking it up under the lights. "Every ball is swinging a bit either way, which was never the case with the red Kookaburra. [But] the visibility is perfect.

"Red or white, the ball invariably lost its colour after it became old. But here there's no such difficulty at all. The pink ball has better visibility. But batsmen will have problems if a pacer consistently bowls 140kph."

Saha had referred to the demands the pink ball makes of the batsmen after the first day as well, pointing out how they had taken guard outside the crease to counter the swing. After adding 81 for the fifth wicket with Anustup Majumdar for Mohun Bagan, he had told the Telegraph: "The ball continued to swing even during the latter stages, which doesn't happen with a red ball. [But] if you apply yourself against the pink ball and on this kind of a green wicket, you will surely get runs. That's what Anustup did. I too could've got more if not for [a] false stroke."