D/N Test worries Clarke
Michael Clarke has raised doubts over the types of balls that could be used for day-night Tests and outlined his concerns about batting under lights. Cricket Australia is trialling pink and white balls in domestic Second XI games this week as it attempts to find ones that can last for 80 overs.
The organisation is desperately trying to prove it can host Tests that finish in the dark in an effort to lift crowds and television ratings, but the move is worrying some current players. "I would like to see the ball first, and where are we going to play the day-night Test matches?" Clarke, Australia's vice-captain, said in the Australian. "Batting under lights in one-day cricket is much harder than batting during the day.
"Conditions will dictate that, and they will have to try the day-night games in first-class cricket before Test cricket. I am interested to see how it pans out. If it can work it would be great for the game. The public would certainly find it easier for the games played during the week to come out and watch after work."
Simon Katich, the opener, said he was a traditionalist who preferred Tests during the day. "I guess the biggest issue playing in the afternoon and twilight period is the conditions can change a fair bit, particularly with a red ball," he said in the Daily Telegraph. "Obviously that won't be used, but they have to get the ball right because the contest is all about seeing it."
Katich made his Sheffield Shield debut at the Gabba in a day-night game when orange balls were trialled in the mid-1990s. "It was really good to see and it stayed really hard, which was only a drawback in conditions like Perth and the Gabba where wickets have a bit of life," he said. "But the orange ball was fine and I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned to be used. There never seemed to be too many complaints with it."
Clarke and Katich were also against the idea of extending the domestic season by taking games to other parts of the country to accommodate a longer Twenty20 tournament. "The strength of Australian cricket since I've played the game for either New South Wales or Australia has been the first-class system," Clarke said.
"For me the priority is to make sure we don't touch that or we don't lose anything from that. If things are altered or improved that's fantastic, but the first-class system we have is fantastic and that's why we are so strong in all three forms of the game."