The pink-ball Test between Bangladesh and India at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata that will start from today has already created massive hype among players and fans of both teams. There has been a lot of speculation ahead of the historic event.
While it has already been established that the pacers are going to be aided by the extra movement that the ball is said to offer, the batsmen need to be more cautious in order to survive the initial sessions if they are to score big later on. Meanwhile, spinners may have a new set of challenges once the sun sets.
And while all these are certain elements of excitement expected to unfold over the next few days, India skipper Virat Kohli mentioned that fans may be excited by the different sorts of challenges in fielding that only the pink ball is going to offer.
The Indian captain said that fielding more than any other aspect needed special concentration during practice sessions.
“As batsmen, we were in the mindset of solidifying our games and our techniques. We were pretty fine with that. But the one thing that surprised me were the fielding sessions. How in the slips the ball hit your hand so hard, it almost felt like a heavy hockey ball or those synthetic balls we’ve played with when we were younger. It really felt like that on the hand and it’s definitely because of the extra glaze of the ball. It’s definitely much harder, and it felt a little heavier.” Kohli told reporters yesterday.
According to the 31-year-old, fielders need to be extra cautious while taking high catches with the pink ball.
“Obviously it can’t be a difference of weight, but for some reason it felt heavier. Even the throws took a lot more effort than the red ball to reach the keeper. And again, the dip perception was very difficult when the ball went up in the air so I think during the day high catches will be very difficult. We had to watch the balls straight into our palms more often than not. With the red ball and white ball, you catch with the idea of how fast the ball is coming down, but this time if you don’t look down at the ball in your palms, it’s gone. I think fielding is going to be… people are going to be surprised by how challenging fielding with this ball can be.”
Kohli was also of the opinion that while the pink-ball Test can be an excellent way of adding excitement to Test cricket, it should not be a regular occurrence as that would take away the vintage taste of Test cricket.
“In my opinion, this should not become the only way Test cricket is played because then you’re losing that nervousness in the first session in the morning. Yes, you can bring excitement into Test cricket but you can’t purely make Test cricket based on just entertaining people.”