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Pink ball still not a pretty sight for Aus

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Rob Forsaith

The pink ball has improved markedly since last year's inaugural day-night Test but Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Starc still harbour concerns about its hardness.

Australia will host two day-night Tests this summer, facing South Africa at Adelaide Oval later this month before hosting Pakistan in Brisbane.

Cricket Australia and its English counterpart remain in negotiations about playing a day-night Test the following summer, despite skippers Steve Smith and Alastair Cook both suggesting the Ashes should remain a red-ball contest.

Starc, who played for NSW in a day-night Sheffield Shield contest at the Gabba last week, felt there was a lot to like about Kookaburra's new edition of the pink pill.

But Australia's spearhead added "it's still got a long way to go".

"It's still losing its hardness way too early. I think after 20 overs it starts to go soft. Kookaburra are improving it a lot," the left-armer said.

"They've changed the colour of the seam and put another coat of lacquer on it, which is helping the ball but I think we just want to see that ball stay hard for a lot longer than it does.

"You don't normally see full-blooded edges not carry at the Gabba, so that was pretty disappointing."

Khawaja, who captained Queensland in Brisbane last week, is unsure if the pink ball will ever behave like a traditional Kookaburra.

"The hardness is not the same ... the way they make the red ball and the way they make the pink ball is totally different," Khawaja said.

"There are really different tactics.

"It definitely swung a lot more at night. You look at our game in Brisbane there was way more wickets fell at night.

"That is not saying pink-ball cricket is not good cricket ... it will definitely bring the crowds in which is really important for cricket, especially Test cricket."

Khawaja suggested introducing day-night Tests as the sport's fourth format could help the concept thrive.

"That way the players will start to accept it a bit more," the left-hander said.

"Now when you mix the formats together it blurs the lines a bit. Cricket hasn't really worked it out yet."

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