What is the right colour of the ball to play with in your practice sessions?

Cricket is rapidly evolving, and it's more competitive than ever. For young cricketers aspiring to represent their nation, smart practice is crucial. Achieving optimum results requires a balance between quality and quantity, along with a focus on precision. One small yet impactful detail is the colour of the cricket ball used during practice.

A ZAP Red Leather Cricket Balls hits the pitch and bounces off smashing dust all over

In this article by ZAP, we will understand the difference between the red, white and pink leather cricket balls and know which ball to include in your practice sessions. 

Understanding balls used in different Cricket Formats

The Pink, White and Red ZAP Leather Cricket Balls Placed beside one another

Cricket is played in three main formats: T20, One Day Internationals (ODIs), and Test matches. Each format uses different types of balls:

  • T20 and ODIs: Use white balls.
  • Test Matches: Use red or pink balls for day-night games.

Selecting the right ball for practice based on the format being focused on that day can provide a more realistic match scenario, your you an edge.

Differences in White, Red and Pink Cricket balls

The colour of the leather ball plays a significant role in matches. Different coloured leather balls have unique characteristics, and practicing with just one type won't prepare players for all formats. Here's how each ball colour impacts the game:

White Leather Cricket Ball


  • White leather balls are designed for visibility under artificial lights.
  • Tends to swing less compared to red balls.
  • Wears out faster than red leather balls.

When to Use:

  • Practicing hitting and aggressive batting techniques.
  • Preparing for T20 and ODI matches where the white ball is predominant.

Red Leather Cricket Ball


  • Read leather balls are used primarily in Test matches.
  • Swings more than the white ball, especially in favourable conditions.
  • Maintains its condition longer, leading to consistent performance.

When to Use:

  • Practicing swing and seam bowling techniques.
  • Preparing for longer formats like Test matches.

Pink Leather Cricket Ball


  • Pink season balls Used for day-night Test matches.
  • Enhanced visibility under lights.
  • It behaves similarly to the red ball but with slight variations.

When to Use:

  • Adjusting to conditions in day-night games.
  • Practicing both swing and visibility adjustments under lights.

Also Read: How are season cricket balls made?

Choosing the Right Ball for Practice

Selecting the appropriate ball for practice involves considering several factors:

  • Format of the game: Choose the ball that matches the format you are preparing for.
  • Match-like scenarios: Use the ball that replicates match conditions for better preparation.

Practice Focus for White Ball Cricket

  • Hitting Drills: Focus on power-hitting and boundary-scoring techniques.
  • Fielding Practice: Use white balls to simulate ODI and T20 fielding conditions.

Practice Focus for Red Ball Cricket

  • Swing Practice: Work on batting and bowling with swing-focused drills.
  • Endurance Sessions: Practice long-duration batting and bowling to build stamina.

Practice Focus for Pink Ball Cricket

  • Adaptation: Practice under lights with pink cricket ball and try to adapt to the different type of pace and bounce it offers.
  • Mixed Sessions: Combine red and pink ball sessions to adapt to both types of conditions.

Also Read: Cricket Batting Techniques | Cricket Bowling Techniques | Cricket Fielding Techniques

Using Tennis Balls or Synthetic Wind Balls for Practice:

Often times, coaches at cricket academies advise young cricket players to start off with tennis balls or synthetic leather balls. These are good for beginners who are just beginning to learn batting, bowling, and fielding techniques. Synthetic balls or wind balls can emulate the seam position and weight of a proper leather ball but are safer to use in the beginning. 

Not just for beginners, a lot of intermediate and pro cricket players also use tennis balls in their batting drills. They are excellent for players to hone their skills and get even better at their craft.


What are the main differences between white, red, and pink cricket balls?

White balls are used in limited-overs formats and wear out quickly, red balls are used in Test matches and offer more swing, and pink balls are used in day-night Tests for better visibility under lights.

What is the weight and size of international level leather cricket balls?

The MCC dictates the weight and according to them, when new, it should weigh between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces. The weight of a ball in grams is between 155.9 and 163 g and in kgs is around 0.1559 kgs and 0.163kgs.

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