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All You Need to Know About India's First-Ever Day-Night Test

India is all set to play its first-ever Day-Night Test with Bangladesh from 22nd November at Kolkata's iconic Eden Gardens. BCCI has ordered 6 dozen pink balls from SG for the Test.

Surbhi Khera
Last updated: 02.11.2019
India's first-ever Day-Night Test | Sports Social Blog

There have been hustle among the cricket fans in the country since the idea of the Day-Night Test popped in. But now finally, India is all set to play their first-ever day-night Test at Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens from 22nd November 2019. Thus, the decision will add another important chapter in the history of Indian cricket as Eden Gardens will become the country’s first venue to host a day-night Test match. While India and Bangladesh are the only full ICC members apart from Afghanistan and Ireland to have not played a day-night Test yet.

The idea of the Day-Night Test was kept forward in order to rekindle the interest of the spectator as it would allow more people to turn up after their work. The idea is a departure from their previous skepticism of the concept. BCCI had been invited to play a pink-ball Test in Adelaide by Cricket Australia on 2018-19 tour but they had turned it down citing lack of practice.

This is basically Sourav Ganguly’s first major decision after being appointed as the BCCI president. After receiving approval from Team India skipper Virat Kohli, Ganguly sent a proposal to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). The BCB got confirmation from the players and team management. Sourav Ganguly said, “I’m pleased to announce that our long-term partner BCB has graciously agreed to play a Day-Night Test match. This is the beginning of something special in Indian cricket. It is a priority for the newly elected Office Bearers and members of Apex Council to take Indian cricket forward. For me, as former Captain of India and as the current President of BCCI, Test cricket is of utmost priority and we at BCCI will leave no stone unturned to bring this format back to its feet.”

Even Nazmul Hassan, President of BCB said, “The BCB and BCCI share a very long history of support, co-operation, and friendship. Ours is a bond of strength and it is very heartening and reassuring for the BCB to have someone like Mr. Ganguly as BCCI President who has been an integral part of this journey. On that note, I am pleased that we have had a frank and constructive discussion with the players and Team management. I have received a positive response about playing the Day-Night Test in view of the BCB-BCCI relationship.”

It will be a new experience for both Bangladesh and India. As it will be the first day-night test hosted by BCCI, there are several arrangements being mad such as BCCI has made a specific request for pink balls and has ordered 6 dozen pink balls for the day-night Test. Indian team management has asked for the balls to behave similarly to the red balls. SG’s director Paras Anand said, “We have taken feedback from the players. Our thought process is to make the pink ball as similar to the red ball as possible.”

But there are several obstacles as well, as the problem with the pink ball is retaining the color and shape of the ball and thus, in this case, retaining reverse swing- a phenomenon which is an intricate part of how Test cricket is played. “The red ball has a dark color. That allows the players to shine the ball to help it swing all day. The pink ball already starts with a bright color. Balancing that is something we are working on.” Anand said and added, “The coating process is different for both the balls and yes the pink one does attract more dust. If we can make significant improvements with the red ball in a short time, we can do the same with the pink.” The balls are expected to be delivered soon and thus it will give time to give Test specialists- like Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma enough time to get used to the balls.

Besides the pink balls, there are other challenges as well. As the players will be playing their first-ever day-night Test, there is very little time for them to prepare. Also, it will be a bit challenging for the players to set the body clock as there is a big difference between the one-day and five-day games as it will affect eating and sleeping habits as well. Even conditions under light may challenge players and as it will be wintertime, dew is expected to be a major obstacle and can become difficult for the spinners to grip the wet ball. However, as per Eden curator, “Don’t think dew will be a problem. We also have arrangements to tackle dew issues like treatment sprays and all that.”

Hopefully, everything will go smooth and the Day-Night Test will turn out to be a success.

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