Hampshire coach Craig White believes that the pink ball being used for this round of Specsavers County Championship fixtures still needs improving.
The Dukes ball, along with the day/night format, is being trialled ahead of England’s day/night Test against the West Indies in August.
At the close of play on the second day of his side’s match against Somerset, White expressed concerns based on what he had been told by his players.
He said: “I can just go with what the boys say and they say the ball does go soft. It doesn’t sound like a cricket ball, it sounds like an indoor ball when it hits the bat.
“It’s hard to time and it just feels very soft on the bat when you hit it.
“[There was a] little bit of swing. I think with the new pink ball, [it] did a little bit. Possibly a little bit more under lights last night but that’s about it.
“I’m not sure what it’s like for the spectators but I find it hard to follow along the ground. I guess the spectators feel the same about that, you don’t know where the ball’s going so that’s another thing to take into consideration.”
Only 13 overs were possible due to rain at The Ageas Bowl, with proceedings called for the day around 6:30pm. In that time, Somerset progressed from 18-0 to 43-1, Marcus Trescothick the one wicket to fall bottom edging onto his stumps after trying to late cut a ball too full and too straight from Gareth Berg.
20-year-old debutant Eddie Byrom made it to 13* partnered at the close by Adam Hose, promoted to three in just his second first-class match, who struck two boundaries and will resume tomorrow on 9*.
“I thought we bowled better this morning,” he said. “I thought they were bowling in decent areas.
“[I] don’t think we were bang on the money last night. We’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings [and try to] make sure we get our bowling points.
“I think [Somerset] bowled well, they bowled straight, didn’t give as much. We’ll have fairly similar plans, try and attack with the new ball while it’s still hard and then once it gets soft just try and control the scoreboard and chip away with the wickets.”
One concern of late for Hampshire is the form of Rilee Rossouw. He made a ten-ball duck on the opening day and now has just 34 runs in his last eight first-class innings, including five scores of nought.
White, however, isn’t concerned. He said: “We think he could bat for the club at number 3 for a long time. He just needs to get a start and I think he’ll be away. I’m sure he’s frustrated and we’re all feeling for him, but I’m sure he’ll come through it.”