Yuvraj, Raina upbeat about pink-ball challenge

prv_b5979_1471890938Ahead of the first game of the revamped Duleep Trophy clash between India Red and India Green at the Greater Noida Sports Complex Ground on Tuesday (August 23), the captains of the two teams – Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina – expressed their delight at being part of the pink ball experiment.

“It will be exciting and we expect pink ball to swing. Unless we are out there in the middle, it will be difficult to give a feedback,” Yuvraj said. “This match will also serve as a comeback opportunity for me as well as (Suresh) Raina. We all saw the Australia versus New Zealand encounter and how much the ball swung.”

The durability of the pink ball in Indian conditions has been questioned time and again, considering it needs specific conditions to retain its colour. The pitch is expected to have a fair share of grass cover to aid that requirement.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding an equipment in play, Raina exuded confidence of being part of a ‘great contest’, starting Tuesday. “I had played a game against Baroda and the pitch was good,” he said. “It will be a great contest. For the first time we will be playing for 90 overs in a day-night match. Look forward to enjoying the next four days.”

WV Raman, the India Green coach, felt playing with the pink ball during the winter season will be a big challenge for the bowlers. “The biggest challenge would be during winter when the ball gets wet, due to dew. Gripping would be an issue. Unlike in other countries, cricket is a winter sport in India,” he pointed out.

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