“SG Test” has been the cricket ball in India for all top grade cricket, including Tests. The balls produced by Meerut-based Sanspreils Greenlands have once been the favourite of Indian cricketers.
Virat Kohli, however, is not happy with the quality of the SG balls. The Indian captain has instead recommended that Test cricket all over the world should be played with the England-made Duke balls.
Sanspreils Greenlands, India’s leading manufacturer and exporter of cricket equipment, feels, if required, modifications are possible to address players’ concerns. “We have not been able to talk to Virat and Ashwin. So, it is difficult to talk about their concerns. The issue, if any, can be addressed with minor issues,” Sanspreils Greenlands Director Paras Anand told insidesport.co.
Kohli has played all cricket in his formative years with the SG ball. He, however, feels the quality is not the same what “we have seen before”.
Since, there are no ICC guidelines, different countries have been using different balls for international cricket – India plays with SG, it’s Duke in England and the West Indies while in Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan Kookaburra balls are used.
Indian cricket board has been regularly using the SG balls for international cricket for over two decades. The SG Test has been the official approved ball by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Kohli has expressed his displeasure at the poor quality of the SG balls that India use at home, reports PTI.
“The Dukes ball, I think, is the most suited ball for Test cricket. If there’s a situation I would vouch for that to be used all over the world because of the consistency of the ball and how the bowlers are in the game at any stage, even the spinners, because the seam is so hard and upright,” Kohli said on the eve of the second Test against the West Indies.
Kohli was reacting to a complaint by R Ashwin, who had earlier said that he felt better bowling with the Kookaburra than “SG Test”.
“I totally agree with him. 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 has gone down.
“A Duke ball is still good quality, Kookaburra is still good quality. Whatever limitations a Kookaburra might have (seam goes flat), the quality is never compromised,” Kohli explained.
“The seamers as well are benefited 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. I totally agree with Ash,” Kohli said.
Earlier, Ashwin, after the first Test against the West Indies, has stated that SG balls are of sub-standard quality. “Right now, I would say Kookaburra red ball is a lot better ball, Dukes is also right up there. Pretty disappointed with the current 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,” Ashwin had said.
Kookaburra balls are machine-made and have a low seam, while the India-made SG balls are handmade and have a wide seam.
Duke balls are manufactured in England and are handmade. They are darker in colour compared to SG and Kookaburras due to the coating of lacquer.