A new ball brings new hope to the bowling attack. As a result, often the change of ball is interesting as it shifts the momentum somewhat. But the 2nd Test against Bangladesh vs Windies saw a bit more of it.
Changing the ball became much more frequent in this game. In a Test match, a ball is used for 80 overs. After that, the bowling side gets the option to change the ball and use a new one.
But if the shape of the ball gets anomalous, the ball can be changed given it does not pass the gauge Test.
This is what happened in this Test. Every 1-2 hours, the ball failed to pass the ball gauge and had to be changed. These changes shifted the game’s momentum radically.
In the first innings of Bangladesh, the ball had to be changed for being out of shape in the 22nd over. Bangladesh lost only 1 wicket by then, Tamim Iqbal was looking comfortable and set for a big one, and there were only 10-12 minutes to lunch.
In came the new ball and within only 4 balls, Tamim Iqbal was dismissed to a delivery which rose quickly and Bangladesh lost their 2nd just before lunch.
The next impact of ball change resulted in Bangladesh’s best period in the game.
During the Windies' first innings, the ball had to be changed at 36.3 overs. Windies, at that time, were in full control with 129/1. Within the next 15 balls, 3 wickets fell, including their in-form captain Kraig Brathwaite who scored a half-century.
The next similar incident happened in the 109.5 overs when the 2nd new ball taken by Bangladesh had to be changed due to the ball being too big.
Within 6 deliveries, Alzarri Joseph was dismissed by Khaled and Bangladesh packed the tail of the Windies.
The next time the ball had to be changed before the due time was after the 21st over of Bangladesh’s 2nd innings. But Shanto and Shakib dealt well with it this time making no immediate effect.
In fact, there is a fun part for Liton Das in this. After 19.2 overs, he asked for a change of bat. He hit a boundary in the very first ball he faced. But a couple of deliveries later, he was undone by a good-length delivery by Seales.
However, the biggest one is yet to be mentioned. It’s the 2nd new ball change for Bangladesh. Before the new ball was taken, the Windies could score only 10 in 12 overs with the loss of 1 wicket.
This was a moment when the Windies were only 24 runs ahead, and only 1 wicket could expose their tail.
That’s why Shakib hesitated to take the 2nd new ball instantly and took it in 84th over.
After the new ball was taken, they scored 54/0 within 14 overs only changing the picture of the game drastically.