Dukes passes Test for Kohli

In­dia cap­tain favours UK cricket ball

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - ROB FORSAITH

IN­DIA cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli has added his pow­er­ful voice to the grow­ing sup­port for Dukes, sug­gest­ing it is the best ball for Test cricket any­where in the world.

Host boards dic­tate whether a Dukes, Kook­aburra or SG ball is used in a Test. Shane Warne has been Kook­aburra’s loud­est critic in re­cent years, hav­ing long called for English Dukes to be used uni­ver­sally.

Kohli, the gun bats­man who will spear­head In­dia’s bid for their maiden Test se­ries win in Aus­tralia later this year, de­scribed Dukes as the most suit­able ball for Test cricket on the eve of his side’s clash with West Indies.

“I would vouch for that to be used all over the world,” Kohli told re­porters. “Be­cause of the con­sis­tency of the ball and how the bowlers are in the game at any stage be­cause the seam is so hard and up­right.”

SG is cur­rently cop­ping a player back­lash in In­dia af­ter is­sues in the first Test be­tween Kohli’s side and West Indies.

Kohli claimed the qual­ity of SG’s flag­ship prod­uct has de­clined while star spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win ad­mit­ted he was “pretty dis­ap­pointed” af­ter the re­cent game in Ra­jkot.

Kook­aburra’s balls have been a source of dis­con­tent among some Aus­tralian play­ers in re­cent years.

The Aus­tralian firm has made im­prove­ments since the is­sue’s nadir in 2015, when a new ball lasted just three de­liv­er­ies in a Test played on a flat WACA pitch. “Kook­aburra is still good qual­ity. What­ever lim­i­ta­tions a Kook­aburra might have, the qual­ity is never com­pro­mised,” Kohli said.

Vet­eran Ge­orge Bai­ley opined ear­lier this year that Dukes, which will again be used in the sec­ond half of the Sh­effield Shield sea­son to help play­ers pre­pare for the 2019 Ashes tour, is now pro­duc­ing a bat­ter ball than Kook­aburra.

Na­tional vice-cap­tain Josh Ha­zle­wood sug­gested last month the pres­sure is on Kook­aburra to im­prove its ball.

Mean­while, Kohli in­sisted front­line spin­ners Ash­win and Ravin­dra Jadeja will be able to adapt to for­eign con­di­tions and trou­ble Aus­tralia’s bats­men in the four- Test se­ries that starts at Ade­laide Oval on De­cem­ber 6.

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