Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Mithun on Monday, December 1, admitted that he had suffered a fair amount of trouble while picking the seam of the pink-ball, especially during the twilight period in the historic Day-Night Test against India at Eden Gardens last month.
Mithun, who batted despite copping a blow on the helmet from Ishant Sharma in the second innings of the Tigers’ maiden pink-ball Test, felt it was more of a case of his lack of reflexes more than anything else while saying making adjustments with the pink cherry was difficult than red ball.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Mithun said: “I saw the ball pitching and in which line it pitched. After pitching, when the ball landed, then the ball was cutting inside. And it was difficult for any batsman to judge.”
The keeper further explained, “Because you can (only) leave bouncer after watching the pitch of the ball and I did not go to play because I was going to leave that ball but when the ball took the movement to inside, then I became totally blind and I had no reflexes. You either play pull shot or leave against short balls. When a short ball moves after landing then I think it's not so easy for any batsmen to wait till the end to watch and leave the ball. Maybe I am not that good a batsman because some top batsmen can move the head away even from that point of time. But it [Test series] was a good learning experience for me.”
Reflecting back the experience of playing in the ball in the first-ever pink-ball Test, the right-hander said: “I think the most difficult part about the pink ball is picking up the seam. We didn't have any experience with the pink ball. Practice and match are totally different. We practiced two-three days, but when we practiced with the pink ball, I was asked about the difference and I couldn't describe then but when we started playing then we understood how big the difference was.”
The 28-year-old further added that the ball tends to move prodigiously and also skids through, making things tough, especially in the twilight hour.
Mithun continued, “Like with the red ball you can pick up the seam early and make adjustment knowing in which direction it is going but with a pink ball that is not the case and more so during the twilight hour. At that point in time [during the twilight hour] pink ball swings more and pace also increase substantially even when the weather is damp and you just can't pick the seam. It seems the pace is more than the normal days and it also skids.
I was also keeping wickets and I felt that the ball is giving me lots of pain even though I was wearing the gloves. The ball moves late when you are picking the ball for... For example Saha, is the world's one of the top keepers but even he also struggled to grab the ball. Off the pitch, the ball moves a lot. Even after crossing the batsmen to till it comes to the keeper the ball still keeps moving and all these things don't happen with red balls.”
Mithun signed off by saying, “And honestly speaking, the pink ball is very hard and certainly there were some differences. If the ball is exactly the same as the red ball then it would react like a red ball.”
(With Cricbuzz Inputs)