India are playing the first Test in Chennai with a revamped Sanspareils Greenlands (SG) ball. The new ball is said to have a pronounced seam, harder core and will be of a darker shade of red. Following feedback from the players, SG made changes and gave the handmade ball a machine-like finish.
On the contrary, Ravichandran Aswin shares that the ball seemed to tear through the seam in the ongoing game. Ashwin is surprised by such as it is not something that usually happens with an SG ball. The veteran off-spinner opines that maybe it was the hardness of the pitch which led to such behavior of the ball.
“In this game the ball was pretty bizarre for us. Because I’ve never seen an SG ball tear through the seam like that,” said Ashwin in a virtual press conference. “It could well be a combination of how hard the pitch was on the first two days. Even in the second innings, after the 35th-40th over, the seam started to sort of peel of. It was bizarre. I haven’t seen an SG ball like that in the last so many years. But yeah, maybe it could be due to the pitch and hardness of it… But we will have an answer for it going through the series,” he added.
Ravichandran Ashwin on Joe Root and his sweep shots
Playing his 100th Test, Joe Root has been England’s best performer with the bat. He top-scored in both the innings having scored a double century in the first and 40 in the second. He has been the most successful Englishman in the subcontinent and the credit goes to his impeccable sweep shots. Ashwin explains that he is a very cautious batsman. And was very careful when it comes to sweeping him.
“In the first innings…the number of sweeps he played off me was very very minimal. He was very careful with how he was going to sweep. We had plans in place and we had lines in place. When good players play you can make your plans and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” pointed out Ashwin.
“When he probably did that in the second innings, he was not in the same comfort level I thought… he was getting beaten in the flight… it does make a difference when you play on a day one pitch and when you play on a day four pitch there is a massive difference, it’s not the same. Because the pitch here tends to get slower and slower and the runs start to go a little squarer off the pitch which is something that as a player from this part of the country I do understand that’s how it works.“