A couple of days ago Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara claimed that batting was tough with the pink ball as he was finding it tough to pick the googly and the seam of the ball under lights. But Gautam Gambhir, who led India Blue to the final of Duleep Trophy, has insisted that the much debated pink ball behaves in exactly the same way as the traditional red ball.
Talking to ESPNcricinfo, the southpaw said he did not find anything different except the colour of the ball.
“We have to be clear, it is only the colour of the ball that has changed, nothing else has changed. It is a Kookaburra ball that behaves exactly the same way as a red ball or a white ball. People make so much fuss about the pink ball that it swings more or dips more, you can’t pick the wristspinners and so on. I believe the more you think about it, the more complicated you make the game. It is far more visible in the daytime as compared to the red ball because it is far more brighter. In the last two games that I have played, I have seen nothing different. The red ball and pink ball behave exactly in the same way,” the India Blue skipper said.
The BCCI has been contemplating to stage a day-night Test in India and to get a feel of the situation the Duleep Trophy’s format was changed this year. However, Gambhir did not sound too excited with the prospect of making the longest format of the game a day-night affair.
“I am a traditionalist, I have always believed it is meant to be played during the day, that is my personal observation,” he said. “You can change the 50 over to T20 format, but Test cricket should remain the way it has been because you can’t lose the charm. Ultimately, the idea behind the pink ball is so that you can pull the crowd back. In England and Australia, there are packed crowds during the day Test matches. Maybe because we couldn’t pull crowds during day time, we wanted to experiment. Maybe we could have promoted Test cricket in a far better and bigger way as compared to how we promote our T20 and one-day cricket. I personally feel we should keep Test cricket the way it is because night Test cricket would take the charm away from Test cricket.”
Gambhir last played a Test match for India in 2014. And with a bumper home season awaiting where India is scheduled to play 13 Tests, the left-handed batsman’s impressive performance in the Duleep Trophy might make the selectors consider him once again for a spot in the national team. Gambhir has so far scored 77, 90 and 59 in the three innings. However, Gambhir said that he is concentrating only on the Duleep Trophy for the time being.
“I am very happy because, obviously, at the start of the season, you are very nervous because you want to start off the season really well,” he said. “Three half centuries in a row is really pleasing and I hope I can continue this momentum into the season. But at the same time, I would have loved to convert these half centuries into hundreds. I still have two more innings to go.
“I have always maintained one thing that the platform does not matter to me. My job is, whenever I play and for whichever team, my job is to score runs. I have played enough to know that I can’t keep thinking about playing for India because that will be very selfish of me. If I am playing Duleep Trophy I should concentrate 100% on that. If I can’t do that, I wouldn’t be doing justice to my team. To be honest to your job, you have to be 100% on what role you have been given and what role you have to perform.
“In cricket, people relate you and your prime form to the amount of runs you score, but at the same time, if you are content and happy and at peace with your game, that is what I have always believed in. This word called form is a very overrated thing. If I am at peace with my game, I am happy with my game, ultimately I will end up scoring runs. But for people, golden phase etc. is all related to the amount of runs. At the moment, I am far more at peace with my game than when I was scoring all those runs for India.”
India Blue will take on India Red in the final from September 10.