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Pink ball could prove the difference for England in Adelaide Test


Opinions remain divided on how much England will benefit from using the pink ball but many believe Adelaide Oval represents their best chance to win an Ashes Test.

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Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, who require 10 more wickets to become the most potent new-ball pairing in Test history, are capable of creating chaotic collapses with sideways movement.

The expectation is they will be a handful while bowling under lights on an Adelaide pitch that has extra grass to ensure the pink Kookaburra stays in shape.

The innovative fixture also arguably places greater importance on the toss, while both captains will be desperate to ensure their side bowls as much as possible at twilight.

“I’ve always thought this is their best chance of winning,” former Australia captain Ian Chappell said.

“But they need to make it happen. Otherwise they’re in big trouble for the rest of the series.”

Chappell wasn’t overly encouraged by Anderson’s output in Australia’s second innings at the Gabba, where the hosts cruised to a 10-wicket win.

“I’m not sure what his mental state is with the Kookaburra ball but the pink ball might liven that up a bit,” he said.

Former England allrounder Ian Botham, who rarely sees eye-to-eye with Chappell, offered a slightly different view about England’s hopes of levelling the series.

“They will enjoy playing under lights. It’ll suit the attack, Anderson in particular,” Botham said during an interview atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

“It’s just a little bit of the rub of the green you need to go your way in Adelaide. That is (why) you want to do your bowling once it gets dark.”

Usman Khawaja, who became the first Australian to score a day-night Test ton last year in Adelaide, suggested the pink ball was no longer the source of batsmen’s nightmares.

“The pink ball has changed a little over time. It’s become a bit more consistent… definitely improved,” Khawaja said.

Anderson and Broad claimed a combined 10 wickets while bowling with the pink Dukes ball during England’s home day-night Test against West Indies earlier this year. 

“They have got exceptional players and I think with the pink ball, that is going to suit their bowlers,” Nathan Lyon said yesterday.


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