Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara & Others To Practice With Pink Ball At NCA
India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, senior batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami are among five players who will start gearing up for the pink-ball Test against Bangladesh as they are scheduled to practice with it at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) today. As per a report in The Indian Express, they will train under Rahul Dravid, head of cricket at NCA, who consulted the team management.
This will be the first time when the players will practice with a pink ball after the announcement that both India and Bangladesh will take part in a day-night Test. All the five players have played with a pink ball before.
However, Indian skipper Virat Kohi has never played any competitive match with a pink ball and it will be a big challenge for him to get used to that ball. The two teams will have enough practice sessions before the Kolkata Test to prepare for the historic match.
The idea to play a pink-ball Test was first mooted by BCCI’s newly-elected President, Sourav Ganguly, who consulted Kohli regarding the matter. After getting a green signal from him, he sent an official request to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), who agreed to it.
The change in the format has already done wonders as Eden Gardens is set to see a huge fan turnout. During the India-South Africa Test series, the attendance in the stands was quite low. Kohli also took a note of it and asked for five Test centres in India. This saw Ganguly propose the idea to play a pink-ball Test.
The match at Eden Gardens will indeed be a historic affair as Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be in attendance on first day of the Test and will also ring the bell to start the proceedings.
Chess Master Viswanathan Anand has also confirmed his availability and will ring the bell on one of the days. Former India captains, including MS Dhoni, are also expected to grace the occasion.