'I think the quality of the ball must be maintained. There is no doubt about that, otherwise you have too many dead sessions in a Test match, which you don't want to see. You want to see exciting cricket and guys working hard for runs being in the battle all day. I totally agree with Ash,' Virat Kohli said
Hyderabad: India struggled against the swinging Dukes ball in England recently, but captain Virat Kohli backed it as “most suited” for Test cricket all over the world while slamming the quality of SG ball used at home.
After the first Test against the West Indies in Rajkot, India’s premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had criticised the SG ball.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the second and final Test of the series against the Windies in Hyderabad, Kohli backed Ashwin’s views.
'Totally agree (with Ashwin). To have the ball scuffed up in five overs is not something we have seen before. Quality of (SG) balls used to be quite high before. I don't understand the reason why it has gone down, because Dukes, Kookaburra balls are still good quality, whatever limitations Kookaburra might have, but quality is never compromised,” Kohli said on Thursday.
The skipper continued, “Even Dukes ball is most suited ball according to me, for Test cricket. If there is a situation, I would vouch for that to be used all over the world because the consistency of the ball. The bowlers are in the game at any stage, even the spinners, because the seam is so hard and upright and seamers as well, when the ball is hard you can get that extra pace. If the ball goes so soft in 10-12 overs, then your effort comes down by 20%.”
The Delhi batsman called for the administrators to maintain the quality of the play for Test cricket.
“I think the quality of the ball must be maintained. There is no doubt about that, otherwise you have too many dead sessions in a Test match, which you don't want to see. You want to see exciting cricket and guys working hard for runs being in the battle all day. I totally agree with Ash,” he said.
On young Prithvi Shaw, who had a memorable debut in Rajkot with a century, Kohli said he should be left alone and comparisons with past players were not right.
"I don't think he (Shaw) should be rushed into anything yet. Because you need to give a youngster a space to grow in his own abilities. This guy is supremely talented and he has got great ability as everyone saw. We definitely think he has it in him to play at the highest level and he can repeat what he did in the first game.
"He is a very keen learner and he is a sharp guy. He understands situations well. We are all very happy for him. We shouldn't compare to him to anyone yet. We shouldn't put him in a space where he feels pressure of any kind and he should be left in a space where he enjoys his cricket and slowly grow into a player we all believe in,” Kohli was effusive in his praise for the Mumbai batsman.
Meanwhile, India have named an unchanged 12-man squad from Rajkot for Hyderabad Test, which means that Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Siraj again missed out.
India’s 12-man squad for 2nd Test
Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur.
Last Updated 4:06 PM IST