Sheffield Shield 2015-16
Behrendorff reveals pink ball secret
Boom Warriors quick explains his findings from bowling with the pink ball under lights last summer
30 June 2015, 03:15 PM AEST
Western Australia fast bowler Jason Behrendorff has given the first insight to Australia and New Zealand ahead of the ground-breaking day-night Test next summer.
The inaugural day-night Test, to be played from November 27 at the Adelaide Oval, will use a pink ball that’s been trialled in the Bupa Sheffield Shield for the past two seasons.
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Towering left-armer Behrendorff starred in the most recent trial in November last year, taking 10 wickets against the MyFoot Dr Queensland Bulls in Perth and discovering the prime time to bowl with the pink ball.
“I learnt that if I can bowl with a newish pink ball under lights I’m very happy – it swings around a bit,” Behrendorff told cricket.com.au.
“The thing about the pink ball is there’s definitely an advantage bowling at night.
“The ball swings around a bit more and even if it’s a bit older it still swings.
“And the balls were definitely improved this year (2014-15).
“The balls retain their shine a bit more and they changed the seam from white to green which might have helped the bowlers at night a bit.”
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While Behrendorff harassed Queensland’s batsmen to help secure an eight-wicket win, the balance between bat and ball was retained across the three matches.
Five hundreds and nine half-centuries (including three scores in the 90s) were tallied with the bat while four bowlers claimed five or more wickets in an innings.
“If you look at it, there were as many hundreds scored throughout those games as five-fors taken,” said Behrendorff.
“It’s good to see that contest between bat and ball.
“There’s been a lot of talk about how it’s going to work and how it’s going to play.
“I think there are tougher batting conditions at night so bowling at night is beneficial as a quick bowler I think in general to keep that swing and seam movement.”
Behrendorff is a fan of the day-night concept // Getty Images
Brett Elliot, Kookaburra's managing director, is confident the pink ball will continue to provide the important balance between batsman and bowler.
The version of the Kookaburra Turf pink ball that will be used in the day-night Test has undergone more research and testing than any of the red or white varieties in the past.
"We have done a lot of testing and worked with a lot of professionals to get the right shade of pink – funny enough, that has not been as easy as it sounds," Elliot said.
"We have gone through 16 different shades of pink and the construction of that has all changed as well – different cuts of leathers, base colours, different shades and pentanes of pink and then different finishes."
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And while Behrendorff found the ball to swing prodigiously at night, Elliot says the pink ball is as “close to the red ball as we could make it” with only a few minor tweaks to ensure the ball retains its colour.
"That's the only difference that there is a very fine film to help preserve the colour of the ball throughout the course of the game," he said.
"I don't think there is a perfect ball, but like the red ball and white ball the pink ball will naturally evolve once it is used at international level," he said.
"Once more data and more understanding is gauged naturally, it will have a life of evolution."