Who would have thought, in just a few months time test cricket will be being played under lights.
It’s being touted as the possible saviour to a format that has being floundering world wide, apart from Australia and England.
To get here has been a long time in the making.
It hasn’t been a venue, format or a change in a staunch tradition which has caused most of the concern, but rather the colour of the ball.
Believe it or not the Australian fast bowlers will be steaming in at the Adelaide Oval with a pink ‘rock’ in their hands, with the reigning domestic player of the year, Jason Behrendorff, saying it gives the quicks a distinct advantage.
“The thing about the pink ball is there’s definitely an advantage bowling at night,” Behrendorff told cricket.com.au
“The ball swings around a bit more and even if it’s a bit older it still swings.”
The towering Western Warriors quick starred in the most recent trial game under night conditions with the pink ball, taking 10 wickets against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.
“I learnt that if I can bowl with a newish pink ball under lights I’m very happy – it swings around a bit,” Behrendorff said.
“The balls retain their shine a bit more and they changed the seam from white to green which might have helped the bowlers at night a bit.”
It’s been a long and extensive process to get the shade of pink just right, with ball manufacturer Kookaburra trying 16 different shades.
“We have done a lot of testing and worked with a lot of professionals to get the right shade of pink – funny enough, that has not been as easy as it sounds,” said Kookaburra managing director Brett Elliot.
“I don’t think there is a perfect ball, but like the red ball and white ball the pink ball will naturally evolve once it is used at international level.”
The most recent trial period during the Shield season wasn’t entirely a bowler’s paradise, with the bat doing a bit of damage as well.
“If you look at it, there were as many hundreds scored throughout those games as five-fors taken,” said Behrendorff.
“It’s good to see that contest between bat and ball.
“I think there are tougher batting conditions at night, so bowling at night is beneficial, as a quick bowler I think in general to keep that swing and seam movement.”
Behrendorff is back in training after an extended break with stress fractures in his back.