India will become the last major cricketing nation to enter the pink-ball Test era on Friday after long resisting innovations to the five-day format. Ahead of the historic pink-ball Test match between India and Bangladesh at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, former captain, Sunil Gavaskar has thrown his weight behind the move with the belief that will help support the health of the longest format of the game. However, he was quick to offer a rather radical suggestion to go along with his optimism.
“When day-night cricket started not much thought it would be successful but look at the huge following it has now, so there’s no reason to believe that day-night Test cricket won’t be successful too,” Gavaskar told AFP. “This is a magnificent Indian team which can find a way to win even if they are playing on the snow in Iceland or sand in the Sahara desert,” said Gavaskar. “So it does not matter whether any of the players have played earlier with the pink ball or not.”
“The only thing I feel is that the stats for pink-ball Test cricket should be separately maintained from red-ball cricket,” he further added. India’s new cricket chief Sourav Ganguly had to work hard to convince both teams to play under floodlights but he has arranged a grand spectacle at Kolkata’s Eden Garden. Virat Kohli’s India appear in little danger of losing the ground-breaking fixture, as they already lead the two-match series 1-0 after crushing win in Indore.
Former Australia umpire Simon Taufel said “adaptability” will be key for players and officials when the colour of the ball will appear to change during twilight. “We need to adapt just like everybody else. I stood in a pink-ball trial at Lord’s and it was different,” Taufel told AFP. “Because colour is light and when put that pink ball through broad daylight, through twilight period and under lights the colour changes.”