Exclusive: A Complete guidebook to Day-Night/ Pink Ball Test Match

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India vs Bangladesh 2019: An historic moment awaits both the teams as they gear up to play their first-ever Day-Night/ Pink ball Test match. 

The ongoing Test series between India and Bangladesh is creating buzz for two important occasions. Firstly, it is a part of the historic innovation, the World Test Championship, and secondly, both the teams would be creating history by playing their first-ever Day-Night Test match.

While the first Test match didn’t go well from Bangladesh’s perspective, India continued their invincible run at Home as they defeated Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs. With this win, India have taken their World Test Championship points tally to a 300 points; a whopping 240 points ahead of the second-placed, New Zealand. 

Nevertheless, both the teams are now gearing up to create history by playing their first-ever Day-Night Test match on November 22 at the iconic, Eden Gardens Stadium of Kolkata. 

Before we get into the actual match details, and the surrounding important facts, let us run you through the complete guide book for the Day-Night/ Pink ball Test match. 

Pink Ball History

The idea of the pink ball theory came from the intent to save the prestigious format of the game. To be precise, it is yet another attempt to make Test Cricket even more engaging to the audience. Similar to the World Test Championship, this is a positive step towards the development of the game. 

Historically, pink ball first matured in the 2000s to facilitate Test matches played at night. It supported Domestic games initially for few years before making its International debut in 2015. The first Pink ball Test match was played between Australia and New Zealand. Post that, 13 more International Test matches have been played between countries except for India, Ireland, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

Kookaburra has been developing the pink ball since 2009, and is still considered as the best suited for the Day-Night Tests. However, for India and Bangladesh Test match, SG would be manufacturing the pink ball. 

Why Pink ball?

The traditional balls, red and white didn’t seem viable options for Day-Night Test matches. While the red ball offers poor visibility in the night, the white ball crumbles very quickly, and cannot last for 80 overs.

Additionally, several trials and experiments were conducted with yellow, pink, and fluorescent orange balls. Based on the results, the pink ball stood out, thus making it a potent option for Day-Night Test matches.

It is also worth noting that, the pink ball does not provide the same visibility level as the white ball. However, given the pros of the pink ball, It seems the best option for Day-Night Tests at the moment. 

Let’s now look at the fundamental difference between pink and red ball used in Test matches. 

  • The significant difference is that the pink ball is not dipped in grease like the red ball, which stops water from seeping in. 
  • The extra layer of lacquer ensures the pink ball does not collapse easily. While the pink ball does oppose reverse swing, it swings more in the initial 10-15 overs as compared to the traditional red ball.
  • Pink ball is not spin-friendly as compared to the red ball, hence it should make things interesting on sub-continent pitches.

Potential challenges of the Pink ball:

The most important challenge for all the players would be the mindset. Players aren’t used to playing Day-Night Tests with the pink ball. However, as the pink ball game matures, this challenge would ultimately ease off.

Secondly, the pink ball tends to swing more than the conventional red ball. As a result, it can be problematic for the batsmen to negotiate the swing.

Bowlers too would find it difficult to control the swing early on. Moreover, the extra layer of lacquer has made the reverse out of the equation, thus making fast bowler’s life even more difficult. 

India vs Bangladesh Day-Night Test

The current BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly had initiated the proposal to play the Day-Night Test in Kolkata after his discussion with Team India’s captain, Virat Kohli. Understanding the importance, Bangladesh Cricket Board had given the go-ahead for the historic Test match.

The historic Test match would see the teams playing with the SG made pink balls. BCCI has already asked for 72 pieces of the balls from the manufacturer to conduct the game.

In the event of the historic occasion, 50,000 tickets have been sold out for the first and second days of the day. Also, this is expected to be a full house throughout the test match.

Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee would grace the occasion by their presence. They would mutually ring the Eden Garden bell to inaugurate the historic pink ball Test match between India and Bangladesh.

BCCI has also confirmed the presence of some greats of other games. This includes Leander Paes, Pullela Gopichand, Sania Mirza, PV Sindhu, Abhinav Bindra, and Mary Kom.

Conclusion

To conclude, India and Bangladesh are ready to enter a new era through this auspicious occasion. Hopefully, this test match would contribute very well to add some more dimensions to Test cricket. 

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Also Read: IPL 2020: Final list of retained players of all the Teams before the Auction


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