England Test captain Joe Root has backed introducing the Kookaburra ball to the County Championship to benefit his side.
The Dukes ball is currently used in the Championship and is renowned for the assistance it provides seamers. At the instruction of the ECB’s cricket committee, the ball that was used in last summer’s Championship featured a less prominent seam than the one used in 2017 and 2018, in the hopes of creating a more even balance between bat and ball. However, the 2017/18 specification Dukes ball was still used for England’s Tests last summer against Ireland and Australia.
The Kookaburra ball is used in Tests by most nations that play the format – including Australia, South Africa and New Zealand – and in contrast to the Dukes, features a less prominent seam and is known to lose its shine quicker.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Root explained what changes he would like to see in county cricket to boost his side’s fortunes and promoted the idea of using the Kookaburra ball for half a season.
“I would like to see a few big changes in county cricket to benefit the Test team,” Root said. “There are things we won’t be able to change, like when the games are going to be played. That is going to be a struggle with the Hundred coming in and T20 Blast not moving. But things like using the Kookaburra ball for half a season.
“It is a flat seam, does not stay as hard for as long, so our bowlers get used to bowling with something that does not do as much. Batters get used to that style of cricket, which can be slow and attritional at times.
“Anything to prolong games and incentivise bowlers in particular to be more skilful and encourage them to bowl fast, or really accurate, have good reverse-swing skills that can travel well in Australia and Asia, would be great for us.”