Birmingham - Moeen Ali is confident it will take more than a
pink ball to put him off his stride during England's inaugural day/night Test.
The off-spinning all-rounder was England's man-of-the-series
after starring with both bat and ball during the recent 3-1 Test triumph at
home to South Africa.
Now Birmingham-born Ali returns to the city's Edgbaston
ground, where he came through the youth ranks with Warwickshire before joining
Midlands rivals Worcestershire, for what will also be the England team's first
taste of floodlit Test cricket in a series opener against the West Indies
starting on Thursday.
There has been much talk about how the pink ball - required
for floodlit Tests as the players' traditional clothing makes the white ball
familiar from one-day internationals as unusable as the standard red - will
But Ali, who hit a fifty but bowled just three overs during
the day-night round of County Championship fixtures scheduled as preparation
for this Test, said: "It's different... it feels lighter off the bat.
"Sometimes you don't feel like you've hit it, and it
goes; other times you've nailed it, and it doesn't," he added at an event
staged by series sponsors Investec.
"But you get used to it ... I did by the end of the
As for bowling with a pink ball, the 30-year-old Ali, who
against South Africa became the first man to take 25 wickets in a four-Test
series, said: "The seam is good - it's not quite as slippery. It spun,
maybe because the seam is hard.
"Seeing it is fine. It will be interesting at twilight,
but I will try not to think about it."
There have been suggestions that the pink ball does not
swing as much or for as long as the traditional red cricket ball.
Meanwhile Dukes, the British-based manufacturer of the pink
ball in use for this week's day/night Test have also had to endure a 'knocking
campaign' from Australian rivals Kookaburra.
But Dukes managing director Dilip Jadojia said much of the
debate was "ill-informed".
"One has to take many of these comments with a pinch of
salt," Jadojia told Britain's Press Association this week.
"I ask for real evidence and at this moment there is no
issue with the ball," added the India-born businessman, who bought Dukes
"Cricketers are nutters, and I know because I am one,
but I've also been involved in making cricket balls for 45 years.
"The pink ball is not an alien thing. It's just
perception, opinion and psychology," he insisted.
But while some are debating the validity of pink balls, others
are questioning the wisdom of playing day/night Tests in England, given how
much longer it takes to go dark in an English season compared to an Australian
Ali, however, said the potential for drawing a new audience
had to be considered as well.
"It might take time for people to get used to it, but
it's a great idea ... if it helps bring the crowds in."