Dukes vs Kookaburra vs SG – The Comparison of Cricket Balls

Test cricket in England has the same craze as it was ten or twenty years before. What would have been the reason behind this?

Among many other factors, the most important one is the Dukes ball which effortlessly moves in and out, making the game more engaging. It is always a feast for an ardent cricket fan to watch a game that has an equal balance between the bat and the ball. And the Dukes ball does it.

Likewise, the white Kookaburra ball is setting a different standard for the limited over games in cricket.

However, there are certain characteristics for all three brands of cricket balls used in international cricket. And those differences have a lot to do with the performances and mindset of the players.

Here, let’s dwell deep about the three internationally used cricket balls.

The Dukes ball 

Raised seam. Scottish leather. Hand-stitched. 

Since the seam of the red Dukes ball is harder, the durability of the seam lasts long. Moreover, the seam and the overcoated leather make it inscrutable for the batters when conditions favor bowling.

With the narrow seam, the pace bowlers get generous swings from the ball. Especially after 10 -12 overs, it is said that the bowlers can control the swing with their seam work (if conditions favor). Moreover, the natural nip obtained from this sharp seam can ignite the slump for the batting side.

James Anderson with Dukes Ball

But for spinners, the Dukes seam is tougher to grip for long spells. Again, this is because of the hardness of the seam.

At present, the precious red Dukes ball is being used in the home tests of England, the West Indies and Ireland. The manufacturers alter the ball according to the conditions.

The English dukes are fully greased to make them darker and water-resistant. It is believed that the darker Dukes are more effective for seamers since they would have got more grease over.

While the Dukes that are used in the West Indies are coated with urethane polish to withstand the Caribbean soil.

Even Australia used the red Dukes ball in their first-class games (2016- 2020) to get their players used to the Dukes ball. But CA found their spinners having less role to play with the Dukes ball; therefore, they went back to using the Kookaburra ball.

The white dukes ball was used in the 1999 world cup, but it was swinging a bit much for the limited-overs tournament, and from then, the white Dukes hasn’t been in use on the international stage.

Kookaburra ball

Lesser seam. Machine stitched. 

The Australian bird’s wider seam helps the spinners to have a comfortable grip over the ball.

A new Kookaburra ball can fetch excessive swing. But the ball gets old quickly. Once the shine is worn off, the red Kookaburra ball can offer the valuable reverse swing. Addedly, the compactness found in its settled-in grip aids the pacers to hit the deck harder.

Kookaburra Ball

Except for England, West Indies and India, all the other test-playing countries use this scarlet ball in their home Tests. Interestingly, the Kookaburra ball’s quality goes with all different conditions and remains unchanged in whichever geography it is used.


Kookaburra is a pure dominator in the white ball market as it is used in all the ICC limited-overs tournaments. It has paved the way for the White Kookaburra Turf to be involved in all ODIs and T20Is. As an added bonus, the introduction of the two-ball rule in ODIs has doubled the market of the white Kookaburra ball.

Since the manufacturing of this ball is mechanized, it is easy for the manufacturers to adapt to modern changes. Furthermore, It is said that the Kookaburra manufacturers are making a special ball for T20s.

Here’s a link to buy yourself a Kookaburra cricket ball.

SG ball

Prominent Seam. Hand-stitched.

The dark SG ball comes into play whenever India wears white flannels in their home.

SG balls possess the hardest thread among the three international cricket balls as a seam to withstand hot and dry Indian conditions. Like the Dukes ball, the Indian ball is also known for its pronounced seam.

Ravichandran Ashwin with SG ball

The ball gets softer once it loses its shine. This factor turns out to be a great deal of assets for spinners. Since the Indian pitches are mostly “the turners” for Test matches, the combo of ‘SG ball and spinners’ never misses showcasing wonders.

The Sanspareils Garland ball happened to face criticism by the Indian players. It was said that the ball has struggled to maintain the tempo required for the game – becoming soft sooner, and the seam gets completely destroyed before the 60th over of an innings.

However, the criticism resulted in the introduction of a new edition of SG ball with better quality. The upped SG ball was designed to last longer. The ball yields extra bounce and nips with the modifications, which is felt worthy for both spinners and pacers on Indian soil.

You can buy yourself a SG ball online here.

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