Both Bangladesh and India will embrace a new challenge come November 22 as the two sides embark on their maiden pink-ball Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and the historic occasion might just hold some surprises for the players.
The players who practiced with the pink ball have opined that the extra lacquer on the ball affords a bit of extra swing to fast bowlers. Add to that the fact that the ball naturally gets more movement under lights, it is expected that the Day-Night fixture will see quicks enjoy their time on the field.
Aside from this, there are a number of factors that remains fairly unknown to players and team management, which they can only figure out over the course of the five-day long game. The issue of visibility, batsmen’s technique, adjustments required to negotiate the extra movement on offer and the captains’ tactical changes at times -- all these are to be observed in the Kolkata Test.
This also brings to the fore the question of how spinners are going to fare and what impact they will have in the big game. Bangladesh spin consultant Daniel Vettori said that while an idea of how spinners would do during the daytime could be made, it was still uncertain what new scenes and challenges would unfold once the sun sets.
The Tigers practiced yesterday morning in Kolkata and, according to Vettori, everything was normal at that time of the day.
“The pink ball plays relatively normal at this time of the day. The challenge will be how much of the Test match is under lights. The sun sets quite early here. That will be the time we will see the pink ball come into play. My experiences are only from watching TV. So, the twilight hours and dusk seem to do a little bit more. I think that’s going to be the exciting period of the Test match. That will be the period where tactically teams might try out a few different things,” Vettori said after yesterday’s practice session.
Although there might be a different challenge awaiting the spinners with the pink ball under lights, Vettori said that Bangladesh spinners did not do anything out of the ordinary during their practice session.
“Spinners can still play a big part in a pink-ball Test. It’s slightly different here because of the early sunset. So, a significant part of the match will be played under normal conditions. A spinner won’t become redundant in pink-ball Test matches. We haven’t done anything differently [in practice sessions].”