Former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin slams bowlers complaining about SG balls

The made-in-India SG balls were first introduced in 1993, when Azharuddin was the captain of the Indian cricket team.

Published: 16th October 2018 01:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2018 01:18 PM   |  A+A-

Former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin. (File Photo | PTI)

By Online Desk

Former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin slammed the call for Duke balls by Team India, especially the bowlers. He stressed that the SG (Sanspareils Greenlands) balls have helped India dominate in home conditions.

The made-in-India SG balls were first introduced in 1993, when Azharuddin was the captain of the Indian cricket team. The pronounced seam of the balls help Indian spinners to grip them well on rank subcontinent turners and that has led to the team’s brilliant home record.

“I remember the years - since 1984-85 - when the Dukes balls were used and how the seam used to go rough. It was clear that in Indian conditions they wouldn’t work. It was in 1993 when the SG was first introduced and India went on to dominate all cricket they played at home. Look at the overall country-wise average of bowlers bowling with different balls in different conditions. That will give you the answer. So, what’s the fuss about?” Azharuddin said in an interview with TOI.

Recently, the likes of Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav had objected to the use of SG balls in India.

Indian captain Virat Kohli and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin too have joined the bandwagon and spoke about the need to introduce Duke balls (manufactured and used in UK) in India.

Azharuddin though differs from the present crop.

“I really can’t understand what their (Team India) grouse is. Statistics say everything."

“When our spinners go to Australia, they find it tough to even grip the Kookaburra. In England, look at how Ashwin delivered and how Moeen Ali did (with the Dukes)."

“If you’ve taken six wickets (Kuldeep’s haul in the Rajkot Test against West Indies), then how can you complain about the ball? Even in pace bowling, Yadav picked a 10 wicket haul, no? So, where’s the complaint?” said Azharuddin, the fourth most successful Indian captain, in the interview.

In the last 25 years of the usage of SG balls, the team has only lost three Test series against visiting sides, with spinners contributing heavily in most of the victories.

“You’ve got to use what suits your conditions best. That’s also the challenge in Test cricket. I can’t go to England and say we’ll play with SG. They’ll have the Dukes ball. Similarly, if England are coming here, there is a different set of challenge they are going to face,” Azhar adds.

Stay up to date on all the latest Cricket news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp