The iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata is set to make history on November 22 by hosting the first-ever day-night pink ball Test match to be played on Indian soil. Indian cricket team goes into this match with a 1-0 lead over Bangladesh, which can at best draw the series by winning the day-night Test in Kolkata.
India has traditionally been reluctant to embrace innovation in cricket. However, on Friday, after much heel-dragging, they will finally experience a day-night test when they face neighbours Bangladesh in Kolkata. The game’s most influential nation was the last major team to jump on the Twenty20 bandwagon and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doggedly resisted the Decision Review System before accepting it almost reluctantly.
When a weak West Indies side played their first pink ball D/N match in 2016, Team India dared to play day and night match at the fag end of 2019 against babes Bangladesh. We were the first to say no to WADA, DRS and Day and Night Test but we find solace in plying IPL for 12 seasons and that too under lights. Pink ball cricket is a different ball game but why we hesitate to accept change and make up our mind as per our own whims and fancy and keep ICC to our advantage all the time. Bangladesh side is not good for 100 runs in day games and not fit for playing five day test match and now made to play test match under lights. It is a good beginning for Team India in the pipe opener as the team across the border is sure to succumb and the fans need not waste their sleep for this mismatch.
They have been immune to the charms of day-night tests and turned down an offer to play one last year in Adelaide, where Australia had hosted New Zealand in the first-ever pink-ball test in 2015. Why nearly five year cushioning is needed to World number one side. Only India’s cricket fans can answer this in a positive way.
With most of the India and Bangladesh players having practically no experience with the pink ball, which has been used only sporadically in domestic cricket in both countries, there is at least a level playing field in that regard. After red and white balls, finally it is pink ball cricket in India.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)