Starc, Khawaja express concern over hardness of pink ball

Melbourne [Australia], Nov. 1 : Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc has raised concerns over the hardness of the pink ball, saying it loses its hardness very early and goes soft within 20 overs.

The left-arm pacer, however, feels there is a lot to like about Kookaburra's new edition of the pink ball, but added there is still scope for improvement.

"It's still losing its hardness way too early. I think after 20 overs it starts to go soft. Kookaburra are improving it a lot," Starc was quoted as saying by "They've changed the colour of the seam and put another coat of lacquer on it, which is helping the ball but I think we just want to see that ball stay hard for a lot longer than it does," he added.

Australia will be hosting two day-night Tests this summer, first against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval and then against Pakistan in Brisbane.

Expressing similar views, batsman Usman Khawaja also harboured concerns about the hardness of the pink ball, saying there is a lot of difference between Kookaburra's red and pink ball.

"The hardness is not the same ... the way they make the red ball and the way they make the pink ball is totally different," Khawaja said.

The left-handed batsman, who captained Queensland in Brisbane last week, said, "You don't normally see full-blooded edges not carry at the Gabba, so that was pretty disappointing." "It definitely swung a lot more at night.

You look at our game in Brisbane there was way more wickets fell at night," he added. The 29-year-old Aussie batsman further said that pink-ball cricket would bring the crowds, which is really important for cricket, especially Test cricket.

The inaugural day-night Test took place between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval last year, which went on to pull record number of crowds and huge television viewership.

Despite skippers Steve Smith and Alastair Cook both suggesting the Ashes should remain a red-ball contest, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) remain in negotiations about playing a day-night Test the following summer.

Source: ANI