Like India, Bangladesh were gearing up for their first ever pink-ball Test for the second and final match of the series in Kolkata. According to off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz, the Tigers were excited about the prospect of playing with the pink ball, but deceptions might await them in Kolkata, where the Tigers will travel to today.
“Everyone is excited since we will play a day-night Test for the first time and with the pink ball. It is a new experience for everyone and they are excited about doing well,” Mehedi said while talking to reporters yesterday.
The team was supposed to be playing the fifth day of the first Test here in Indore but with the match ending inside three days, the Tigers have been practising under lights with the pink ball since Sunday. Having been rolled over by India’s pace trio, the challenge of facing the moving ball is set to climb up a notch. The pink ball does a lot early and Mehedi, who participated in practice yesterday after sitting out the session on Sunday, talked about his experience.
“I batted today and the ball is moving a bit. It’s also a bit heavy and it travels fast after hitting the bat,” Mehedi informed.
The conditions could be different from what they were facing in Indore. Mehedi was unsure about how the ball would behave during the match compared to what they experienced in the practice session.
“There is a lot more swing with the new ball and it cuts back. Actually, I don’t know what will happen in matches since everyone lacks experience in this regard,” he said while talking about what felt different about the pink ball.
10 players in the India side have experienced the pink ball in the Duleep Trophy -- played with the Kookaburra and not the SG to be used for the second Test -- but Test players like Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja went to the national cricket academy while Bangladesh were playing the T20I series against the hosts. In that regard, India may have a more definite idea. None of Bangladesh’s current Test squad members have participated in competitive pink-ball matches. The preparation for the series has been minimal from Bangladesh’s side and the congested scheduling leaves them having to adjust as best as they can.
“We didn’t have much time and we are trying to cover as much as we can. We have to struggle at the beginning but if we can adjust early, it will be easier,” Mehedi said.
Priyank Panchal, one of India’s most successful batsmen in the domestic circuit with the pink ball, told Times of India a day earlier that pink-ball cricket is ‘a different ball game, can’t compare it with the red ball or the white ball’.
To say the least, Tigers’ task in Kolkata is not going to be easy.