India will be playing its first day-night test on Friday against Bangladesh in Kolkata. India and Bangladesh are the last two test teams to play a day-night Test. India has been the most reluctant team to try for new things when it comes to cricket. They were the last test team to play an ODI in 1974 (3 years after the ODIs were introduced). They were also the last Test team to play a T20I in 2006. Even India wasn’t ready to participate in the inaugural World T20 in South Africa, which they played and won eventually. Today they host the cricket’s biggest T20 tournament every year famously known as IPL.
The first day-night first-class match was played in India in 1997, the Ranji Trophy final between Delhi and Mumbai with the white ball. The first pink ball first class in India was played in 2016 at Eden Gardens. The first-ever day-night first-class match with the pink ball was played in West Indies in the late 2000s between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. While the first day-night test was played between Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
Why Pink Ball?
A white ball loses its shine and colour after a few overs while a red ball is not easy to sight under the lights, whereas the pink ball not only lasts long but is also sightable under the lights.
The match will start at 1.00 PM IST and end at 8.00 PM. The first interval will be at 3:00 PM IST, and the second session will resume at 3:40 PM IST. Tea will be taken at 5.40 PM with a 20-minute break, and the final session is scheduled to start at 6:00 PM IST.
India’s chances in its first day-night test look very promising. The biggest reason is team India’s form. They are winning everything in Tests this year. Also the home advantage, they hardly lost a game at home in the last few years. The match will get over by 8:00 PM so the dew factor would be minimum for both the teams. Very few Indian players have the experience of playing with the pink ball and the same goes for the Bangladeshi players. So as far as the experience is a concern, both the teams are at an equal level, but when it comes to batting line up and pace attack, India is far more superior to Bangladesh.
Eden Gardens is a happy hunting ground for Rohit Sharma. He has scored highest ODI score here in 2014, scored a maiden hundred in his debut test in 2013, his lone IPL hundred was scored in Eden Gardens, and as a captain, he won 2 IPL titles here. Can he score a triple hundred here?
Rohit’s opening partner Mayank Agarwal has played five innings in pink-ball cricket, and he never scored under 50 in any of the innings – his scores were 92, 161, 58, 57, 52. Pujara has a double hundred in pink-ball cricket – 256, which is also the highest score in pink-ball cricket in India. Vihari, too has a hundred on his name in pink-ball cricket.
Shami and Jadeja have the experience of taking a five-wicket haul in pink-ball cricket while Umesh and Ashwin never played a pink ball first-class game, just like Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.
Interestingly, all day-night tests produced results. Australia played the maximum day-night tests (5), and they have won all 5 of them, whereas West Indies lost all the three day-night tests they have played so far.
Pakistan’s Azhar Ali has the highest number of runs (456) in day-night tests, and he also holds the record of the highest score (302*) in a day-night Test.
In bowling, Starc has maximum wickets (26), while Cummins has the best bowling figure in a Test (10-62). Trent Boult of New Zealand has an astonishing strike rate of 26.5.
Starc and Lyon have played the maximum number of day-night tests (5) so far.