Indian captain Virat Kohli has heavily criticised the SG ball and has asked the media to give some space to the newly arrived batting sensation Prithvi Shaw.
The SG balls which are used in the ongoing Test series against Windies started losing their shape very early in the match. Kohli showed his displeasure with the SG ball at the press conference in Hyderabad.
"To have a ball scuffed up in five overs is not something that we have seen before," Kohli said. "The quality of the ball used to be quite high before and I don't understand the reason why it's gone down. A Dukes ball is still good quality, Kookaburra is still good quality - whatever limitations a Kookaburra might have, the quality is never compromised.
"The Dukes, I think, is the most suited ball for Test match cricket and if there's a situation, I would vouch for that to be used all over the world 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.
"And the spinners as well, if the ball is hard you can get that extra pace, but if the ball goes so soft in 10-12 overs, then your effort comes down by 20%. So I think the quality of the ball has to be maintained, there's no doubt about that. Otherwise, you have too many dead sessions in a Test match, which you don't want to see. You want to see exciting cricket and guys working hard for runs, being in the battle all day. I totally agree with Ash."
Previously, Ravichandran Ashwin had also criticised the quality of SG balls. "Right now, I would say the Kookaburra red ball is a lot better than most of them. Dukes is also right up there," he said after the Rajkot Test. "I'm pretty disappointed with the way the SG ball is at this point of time. When I started playing first-class cricket, the SG ball used to be top-notch, and you could bowl with it even after the 70th or the 80th over. The seam used to be standing up strong and straight, but it's not the same anymore."
Kohli even spoke about the enormous talent of Prithvi Shaw and asked people not to compare him with past cricketing greats.
"This guy (Prithvi Shaw) is supremely talented and he has got great ability as everyone saw," Kohli said. "We definitely think he has it in him to play at the highest level and he can repeat what he did in the first game. He is a very keen learner and a sharp guy. He understands situations well. We shouldn't compare to him to anyone yet. We shouldn't put him in a space where he feels the pressure of any kind. He should be left in a space where he enjoys his cricket and slowly grows into a player we all believe he can."
Kohli even backed his two premier Test spinners (Ashwin and Jadeja) and asserted that he has full faith on their abilities.
"You look at guys who are putting revs on the ball, that's something that I feel always works in overseas conditions. Guys who can get the ball to bite off the pitch are the ones to succeed - not just in the Indian conditions but overseas as well.
"If you see someone like Moeen (Ali) and the way he bowls, it's the pace on the ball that puts you in doubt. And a little bit of an area if provided, then that can create doubts in your head because of the pace that they (spinners) have on the ball. I think Ash (Ashwin) did that beautifully in England, he bowled quicker than he used to and something that he has added to his game. Jaddu (Jadeja) obviously is the bowler who has always done that. I think these two guys are equipped to do the job for us in any conditions."