India off-spinner R Ashwin on Friday disagreed with Shane Warne’s views that all Test cricket should be played with the pink ball, saying that while Australia may have worked out the conditions, the Indians are still not ready. He, however, felt there is a place for the pink ball in Test cricket.
“I still think the pink ball is at a very nascent stage of where Test cricket should head forward. But I am sure it is very exciting for a lot of people watching the game. I feel the ball that we played with at Eden Gardens is a different sort of pink ball than the one we played with today, i.e. the Kookaburra. That one was SG (Sanspareils Greenlands),” said Ashwin after picking four for 55 on the second day of the first day-night Test.
“Adelaide has hosted the maximum number of pink-ball Tests and they are five years into it. They have got lots of things going in their favour in terms of how the ball works, how the lights are etc. I would say that it is at a very nascent stage (for us and others). To be trying way too many things, pushing players too the rim, I am not really sure, but there is a place for pink-ball Test,” he said.
Ashwin termed India’s bowling performance on Friday a notch better than the one in the 2018 Adelaide Test when India had scored 250 in the first innings, just six more than what they have done in the ongoing Test. While India took a lead of 15 back then, this time they managed to get a lead of 53 by bowling Australia out for 191 in the first innings to move into driver’s seat.
“We repeated a bowling performance which was a notch better than the last time. The last Test match was also pretty similar,” said Ashwin while speaking to the reporters.
Ashwin’s four for 55 is his best performance in countries outside Asia and West Indies, as Australia were skittled out for 191. The off-spinner added that the Covid-19 break helped him get back to playing cricket.
“I want to play cricket from inside and somewhere I felt I might not have had the joy walking out there and playing it for a while. It is quite natural; it does happen to people. For me, to bring about that joy, I thought it is not the greatest of times. But my reflection of time is sitting out there and enjoying watching cricket which I had lost,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin said that Bumrah has worked hard on his batting which is now paying dividends. The India fast bowler had scored a half-century in the second warm-up game, a day-nighter, prior to the first Test.
“Firstly, I would like to say that Jasprit is an extremely competitive cricketer. He likes to take the battle on. Ever since he has come onto international cricket, his bowling has been there for everyone to see.
But honestly he has put a lot of effort in terms of how much he bats and how much he has improved his batting. There have been times when he has walked in and dressing room has changed vibes. He looks ominous while defending also. It was a no-brainer to send him. Even in that little time he batted, he infused a lot of confidence,” said Ashwin.