If you are a cricket fan, you must be aware that there are two balls usually used in cricket matches. In ODI(One Day Internationals), usually a white leather ball is used and in Test Cricket matches, a red leather ball is used.
Other than this, a pink ball is also used in order to tackle some problems related to red and white leather balls such as visibility, swing or deterioration issues. Earlier red balls were used for all the matches, but in the matches played at night, it was difficult to see the red balls, especially because its color looked like brown in the floodlights. White balls were actually manufactured for matches that were supposed to be played at the night time because of their good visibility, but they became dirty easily and also their quality worsened faster. White balls get dirty and deteriorate faster than red balls, but has greater visibility; and red balls are less visible than white balls(usually when a match is being played at night), but can last longer. Both of these issues are solved by the use of pink balls which are visible even at night and deteriorate slower than white balls.
Difference between red and white balls
There are many things that make a red leather ball and a white leather ball different from each other.
Red balls have a leathery structure because of no additional coating to it. It has the natural shine of the leather. Whereas the white balls have a glassy texture to them because of the polyurethane layer used on the white balls(balls manufactured by the Dukes). This layer is used so that the white balls do not get very dirty and acts as a protective cover for white balls.
White balls are smoother and softer than the red balls due to the additional coating of polyurethane used on them, making them prone to easy swings. Though the white balls starts to swing at an early age itself, it also loses this quality soon. Because of this, the white balls are usually replaced with another ball of the same age, but reconditioned by cleaning and whitening it.
Manufacturers: There are basically three main manufactures of the cricket bats namely Kookaburra, Dukes and SG.
According to Kookaburra, they make the red balls and the white balls in exactly the same manner with the same processes, except of dying them with different colors and this means that there shouldn’t be any difference in the quality of the balls, but according to the people who play with the balls, the white balls swing more than the red balls. At the early times, they will swing quite more and as the time passes and the ball starts to deteriorate, reverse swing can also be obtained.
Unlike Kookaburra, Dukes manufacture the red balls and white balls differently and this can mean that the aerodynamics of the balls may differ. In the manufacturing of white balls, they use two layers of the polyurethane fluid, one which is white in color and another that is a transparent and gives extra shine to the Dukes white balls. The red balls are manufactured differently and the outermost layer is the shellac polish after coloring it red. Conventional swing is easier, but generating reverse swing can be a little difficult in the beginning of the match.
Like Dukes, SG balls are also stitched manually, which makes them stronger as compared to the Kookaburra balls. According to the players and results of various experiments, obtaining reverse swing using SG balls is quite easy.
Though it is difficult to choose which balls are the best because each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Kookaburra balls are mostly used in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe test matches, Dukes are mostly used in England and West Indies. While India uses SG balls. It is visible Kookaburra balls are most dominating in the cricket world.