Pragyan Ojha has called for further experimentation of the pink ball in domestic cricket before implementation in home Tests, saying spinners generally found it difficult to grip the ball during the recent Duleep Trophy competition which also witnessed the bat dominating the ball.
“It's too early to say much about it. We played just one tournament (Duleep Trophy) in the country and much needs to be done to make it suitable for the conditions here,” Test discard Ojha told the Times of India.
“The pink ball has to be improved so that there's right balance between bat and ball. As a spinner, I had found it very difficult to grip the ball in the first match. This meant that we were not able to spin the ball much and that was to the advantage of the batsmen,” added the left-arm spinner, who suffered an injury during the league phase of the competition.
SG ball is what is usually used in Indian cricket, but as the first step to the pink experiment the Duleep Trophy was played with a pink Kookaburra ball which requires a specific set of conditions to last.
Reports suggested that the pitch for the inaugural day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide last year had a more-than-normal coating of grass to help delay the wear and tear of the ball and that in turn resulted in exaggerated lateral movement.
“Spin has been our strength and if spinners are not able to generate turn with the pink ball then that it is a cause for worry. The other thing is reverse swing which is another big factor on flat pitches here,” Ojha said.
“The other problem was the dew factor, especially in the sub-continent. Hence, I feel there is still some time to go before we can play a day-night Test in India. The players need more exposure to the conditions and playing with pink ball. Even in Australia, a lot of matches were played on the domestic circuit before they played the historic first Test,” he added.
The 30-year old Ojha nurtures hopes of an international comeback. “Why not. Age is not a key factor but performance and form is. Last year Ashish Nehra made a comeback and now the selectors have recalled Gautam Gambhir, so I believe that if a player performs consistently then he will get a chance,” he said.
“It's a very long Test season at home and very important one for me too. I am working hard at my game and looking forward to do well and knock the Indian doors again.”