Been there, done that, Wriddhiman Saha ready with tips
Wriddhiman Saha, along with pacer Mohammed Shami, is one of the few players of the current India squad to have played a multi-day pink-ball game.
Both players featured in the four-day CAB Super League final in June 2016, representing Mohun Bagan against Bhowanipore Club.
Saha will certainly share his pink ball experience with captain Virat Kohli and his teammates before the historic Day-Night Test versus Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens next month. But he prefers being realistic at the same time.
“If you play on a continuous basis with the pink ball, that definitely helps and counts. But Shami and I had played just one match with the pink ball under lights and that too, three years back,” the India wicketkeeper-batsman told The Telegraph.
“It was a tad difficult to pick the pink ball. Nonetheless, we have to practise with it and no matter what situation we come across, we have to adapt to it.
“Yes, I may have had a bit of experience (with the pink ball), but you also have to take into account that we played just one game and that too three years ago.”
That Super League final was played with the Kookaburra ball, while the first pink-ball Test in India will be played with the SG ball. Saha feels the dew factor also has to be kept in mind when the Test match begins, which may determine how the ball would behave, especially under lights.
“That (Super League) game was played with the Kookaburra ball… Dew too could be a factor, but the Eden wicket tends to provide fair assistance to bowlers.
“Under lights, it’s never easy to pick the pink ball especially as far as batsmen are concerned… Won’t be easy, but as I said, we have to adapt. There will be challenges initially, but we have to deal with them,” he said.
Other players who have played with the pink ball in Indian domestic cricket have had complaints regarding the ball losing its shine quickly with the seam also affected.
“Look, the white ball is brighter… But as long as we are not playing or practising with the pink ball, we have no idea as to how long its brightness will remain,” Saha added.
Like Bangladesh, India too haven’t played any Test so far with the pink ball, but the absence of both Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-al Hasan makes matters doubly difficult for the visitors.
Saha, however, has a different take on the matter. “Matches are not played on paper. They are played on the ground. No matter who’s there and who’s not, our job will be to take 20 wickets in each of the Tests and score enough runs on the board.
“Tamim and Shakib’s unavailability doesn’t mean we’ll be going into the matches having picked up two wickets already and have to strike from the third wicket,” he emphasised.
India’s pace attack, though, will again be their USP, Saha agreed. “No doubt, the pacers are all doing a fantastic job.
“At present, our quicks can challenge the batsmen in all conditions. That’s a massive plus point for our team.”
Saha will be going to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore on Thursday. “Some of us will practise there for a few days and we’ll then head to Indore (for the first Test),” Saha said.