As you know, cricket has three types of balls — Red for Tests, White for ODIs and T20Is, and Pink for day-night Tests. But have you ever wondered which cricket ball swings the most? Well, even I was clueless.
So, I decided to dig deeper to find out which cricket ball generates more swing — Red, White, or Pink.
Let’s get the ball rolling.
Swing Potential of Red, White, and Pink Cricket Balls
The red cricket ball has been in use in Test format since the beginning of the sport. The white cricket ball, on the other hand, made its debut in the late 20th century in limited-overs games. While the pink ball was introduced recently for hosting Tests under the floodlights.
Apart from the colour, every ball has different characteristics. Although the manufacturing process is similar, there are some factors that influence swing bowling.
Which factors? You see, the cricket ball’s seam plays an important role in swing bowling.
The red and pink cricket balls tend to swing more due to their pronounced seam as compared to the white ball. The firm and pointed seam allows bowlers to grip the ball properly, providing significant swing movement through the air.
On the contrary, the seam of the white ball is less prominent, which might limit the amount of swing the ball generates in the air. However, the white ball is harder than the red or pink balls.
The white balls are polished more to prevent them from losing their shine earlier. To keep the ball shinier and visible, a hard coating is applied to the surface of the ball.
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This hard coating and polishing result in a finer and smoother finish, allowing the ball to swing more due to less resistance. But as the ball goes through wear and tear, the conventional swing potential reduces.
Talking about the pink ball, it is not hard coated like the white ball; instead, it has a polyurethane (PU) coat. Moreover, the pink ball is lighter than the red and white balls. These two factors make the pink ball swing more for a longer duration than the other two balls.
As you can see, there is no definitive answer to the question. All 3 cricket balls have the potential to generate swing due to their distinctive characteristics. Moreover, other factors like playing conditions, ball conditions, and the bowler’s skills also play a significant role in extracting swing from different types of cricket balls.
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