All About The Balls

in #cricket3 years ago


Today saw the start of The Ashes test series and it is amazing how home ground advantage has played it's part in the past. It is not only the local support and the different types of pitches but also the ball that is used. In Australia they use the Kookaburra and in England they use the Duke. This makes a big difference even though they are both red and weigh the same they do play differently. It is all to do in the stitching of the ball and how the ball plays.
New and a 21 over old Kookaburra.

The Kookaburra ball is made in Australia and has a lower seam than the Duke. The seam will stay prominent for around 20- 25 overs and soften allowing the spinners to come into the game. The fast bowlers will take advantage of whatever seam is available to help with the movement off the pitch. This is why the first 20- 25 overs is key for the Kookaburra ball as it gives you a limited time to take advantage of the seam. You may hear someone say the opening batsmen's job is to see off the new ball and that is normally the first 20 overs. Batting becomes easier once the shine and hard seam has disappeared.
Pitches in Austarlia are more abrasive than the English pitches. On the left is a Duke after 40 overs in English conditions and a Kookaburra after 40 overs in Australian conditions. Would be good to see them after being played with the same conditions as this tells us nothing about the ball.

The Duke has a more pronounced seam and is a little higher. This allows the ball to do more things and the ball will stay true for around 40 - 50 overs which is double that of the Kookaburra. English bowlers are used to this ball and know exactly what it can do under helpful conditions. The spinners will only come into play much later as the seam slowly disappears.

It is crazy that there isn't one ball use in test cricket as the Kookaburra is used by the majority of test playing nations. Australia,New Zealand,South Africa, Pakistan,Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe use this ball. The Duke is only used by the West Indies and England and the Indians use a ball called the SG. All of these balls play differently and give the teams a distinct advantage for home test matches and a disadvantage for away series if the ball is different.

I think it is about time the ICC chooses one of the balls and sticks with it as it is like what happened with Formula One many years ago. There were Pirelli tires and Bridgestone tires and some lasted longer than others under different conditions.This was scrapped as it was deemed unfair and the racing unbalanced and they settled with Pirelli tires as the chosen tire for everyone.

The Duke ball is used by two test playing nations compared to six using the Kookaburra and it is about time they go with one or the other. They are both excellent balls and to make it fair for the manufacturers use one for one day cricket and another for the longer formats of the game. I would be worried if one was favored over the other it would effect the other one. Cricket needs both balls to continue as they are quality and can't be replaced by just anyone. Years of craftsmanship and development has gone into this and they have stood the test of time.


I genuinely thought I was quite knowledgeable on the subject of balls and now I have been thoroughly ball shamed!

You still the main man when it comes to balls. These are just big red ones.

I can but try!! It's a never ending source of fascination!! My own, I might add, for clarity of course! :0D

This is fantastic article and I am pretty sure cricket lovers will love this article. You are right-- ICC should frame and fix a rule of using this ball so that it becomes a benchmark for all the team to try their skill. Duke ball has more grip even after the 20/30 overs and hence swings more than kookaburra.

I am also resteeming it as I really loved reading this article.

Thanks for the kind words. I have played with both balls and I think they both offer different challenges for bowlers and batsmen.

Very interesting. I never would have guessed there are such differences. In baseball there are so many rules and restrictions and guidelines on the balls, that I don't seem something like this happening here. I am going to have to dig into some cricket for dummies videos so I understand more what you are talking about in the future.

The cricket balls have some small differences that would change a game considerably wherever you are playing in the world. baseball doesn't use the grass pitch to deviate to the pitcher so it shouldn't have much effect plus home run balls are kept by the spectators. In cricket the ball is changed after 80 overs which is 480 balls as a minimum and the bowling side has a chance with another new ball.

In cricket ball, there are two important things to consider:-

  • one is its manufacturing in which "one hemisphere is rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the other" and it is universal for all
  • the second one is stitching and it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

The home advantage is very obvious for all teams, but choosing a particular brand of the ball to be used in the play is also important and you have highlighted very good points in that regard.

Stitching and seam is more evident on the Duke which helps with the swing and seam movement off the pitch. There is the durability factor as well which is why the Kookaburra is used in countries that have harder more abrasive pitches. I know India uses the SG ball, but have no idea as I have never played with it.

Wow, you have got very micro level knowledge about cricket and cricket ball. In INDIA, cricket is very famous and popular game and people are just crazy about it. Here in India cricket is next to religion. There is a strong emotional connect with the game. In INDIA, SG ball is used and it is little different from DUKE and KOOKABURRA.

I am aware of the SG ball, but never experienced how it plays. I suppose it is in between both balls and spinner friendly from quite early on in the game.

Wow I actually didn't know that personally that is some amazing trivia the difference of the two balls. Hope to see more of this kind of article and trivias about sports from you

Just some interesting things that most cricketers know.

In Duke Ball, the seam remain intact for almost 50 overs and it has prominent stitching where as in kookaburra, it hardly last for 20 overs and in SG ball the seam remain upright and intact for even 80 overs but it does not swing after 10 overs, as it loses its shine very quickly. But SG ball has got other advantage and that is reverse swing. SG ball is good for reverse swing after 40 overs or so. SG balls drift well in the air and hence it is another advantage for the bowlers.


The SG ball sounds as though it is great for spin bowlers and why India favor it. They are the only country that use it to my knowledge unless Bangladesh favor it as well.

Wow, what an amazing article, i am also thinking to write article about sports, May be i will start from tomorrow. Wish you best of luck for the next article.

Thank you. Write something on sports as that is what we all love.

Those who play county cricket in England, have very good experience with duke ball and they can bring this experience on a big stage.

England have got very rich history of county cricket and many players from other countries also play England's county cricket through various club.

Duke ball may be friendly with the pitch of England as you know the type of soils and pitches also vary from place to place.

Very neatly explained article and it was a pleasant reading. Thank you...steem on and stay blissful....

I am not sure, but some of my cricket friends who have played with both SG ball and kookaburra ball, used to say that the gripping of the ball with palm is perfect in kookaburra, as compared to duke or sg ball. May that could be one of the reason why kookaburra is so popular.

SG is good for spin bowling.
Kookaburra is good for swing bowling.
DUKE is good for seam bowling.

(Note- There is a difference between seam and swing bowling)

Although I love and watch cricket, I was not aware that the type ball also varies from country to country where the game is played. Very nice information and very well explained.

I'm all about the balls too.... :)
coincidence? who knows..... but educating about balls is essential to proper sportsmanship.

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