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Players warming to pink ball

Cricket

Not so long ago, Australian cricketers were seeing red over the pink ball.

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But batsmen have provided much needed positive feedback to the new-look Kookaburra at the Queensland-NSW day-night Sheffield Shield clash at the Gabba – a pink ball Test host venue this summer.

Althought not all are tickled pink.

In February, a revised pink ball with a new black seam was used in a Shield round to address visibility issues.

It didn’t go well.

The ball quickly lost its shine and deteriorated so badly it had to be replaced inside 20 overs during games in Adelaide and Brisbane.

However, in a shot in the arm ahead of this summer’s two day-night Tests the ball has held up well at the Gabba with no visibility complaints.

The new ball has kept the black seam – replacing the original green and white used at last season’s historic Adelaide Test.

It also has a thicker lacquer ball covering to ensure it retains its shine longer.

“That is something that they have improved,” said NSW’s Kurtis Patterson after his Shield ton at the Gabba.

“Because it held up a lot better and stayed harder throughout the innings.”

Queensland’s ex-Test opener Joe Burns also seemed to have no complaints after his masterful 129 yesterday.

The Bulls batsman hinted that the pink ball still favoured bowlers – but only in the night session.

“It is certainly different to the red and white ball, it reacts differently in different situations,” he said.

“During the day it doesn’t do a whole heap, but at night it does a bit.

“It alters your strategies and you have to stagger your plans for the game.

“It was very challenging under lights, the first two days under lights the ball certainly does a lot more.

“The last session holds the key to each day’s play.”

Patterson added: “That ball started swinging after 65 overs as soon as night fell”.

Still, it is encouraging signs ahead of Australia’s two day-night Tests this summer.

Adelaide will host the first in the finale to the upcoming three-Test series against South Africa from November 24.

Adelaide turned on spectacular sunsets during the first day-night Test match. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Adelaide turned on spectacular sunsets during the first day-night Test match. Photo: Dave Hunt / AAP

Pakistan will open their series against Australia with a pink ball Test at the Gabba from December 15.

Cricket Australia are hoping they can replicate the huge success of the historic first day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last summer.

NSW will resume on Thursday at 0-51 in their second dig – holding a lead of 48 – with Test opener David Warner not out 41.

-AAP

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