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Ajinkya Rahane assesses the pink ball to be making heavy lateral movement

Ajinkya Rahane assesses the pink ball to be making heavy lateral movement

There’s still more than a week to go to that historic pink-ball Test in Kolkata – India will play in Indore first – but talks surrounding that test is the buzz of Indian cricket right now and Rahane also addressed a lot of questions surrounding it in his pre-match press conference for the first Test.

The Indian batsmen – including Virat Kohli have been practicing with the pink ball which could be a result of India’s rushed decision to take part in such a game that arrived immediately after the appointment of Sourav Ganguly as BCCI President.

In their part, some of India’s Test regulars, Ajinkya Rahane included, managed to squeeze in sessions with the pink ball at the NCA in Bengaluru over the last weekend, in order to at least be aware of how it might behave – both during the day and under lights – and what basic adjustments batsmen will have to make to their technique.

“I think regarding NCA, we had two good practice sessions, actually three or four but two with the pink ball – one during the day and one under lights. It was exciting. For me, it was the first time I played with a pink ball and it’s a different ball game as compared to red ball,” Rahane said.

“I didn’t play pink ball [before] so this is my first experience. The lateral movement is big, actually a lot more than the red ball. I’m sure we’ll get two good practice sessions in Kolkata. Adjustment wise I’m sure everyone will adjust very quickly. It’s just the mindset, technical skills will play a role. Mentally if you can adjust to the pink ball, then it’ll be good.”

The unfamiliarity with the pink SG ball gives rise to another grey area – about what could happen with the onset of dew under lights. Playing in November, dew is most likely to make its presence felt, but it is still not known in what manner it will impact the pink ball. Rahane, who’s had just one session under lights so far, expects to have at least one more in Kolkata to figure it out.

“Generally when dew comes into play, it becomes easy for the batsman. But I don’t know about the pink SG ball how it goes on to play when dew comes in. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m sure we’ll get one evening practice session in Kolkata. We’ll get an idea of when the dew comes in how the ball will behave,” Rahane said.

“We had to practice with the pink ball because we were not playing T20s or any other format. What we decided was to go and spend time at the NCA and if we can get a pink ball session, it’ll be great. For bowlers, it’s a different thing. Shami was there, Jadeja was there. We decided that we’ll have at least two sessions with the pink ball. But as I said, it’s not difficult to stay in the present. [Our] focus is on the Indore Test match first,” Rahane said.

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