India vs Bangladesh | India's Day-Night Proposal to Bangladesh: Logical & Welcome Step
By calling Bangladesh for a day-night Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India have taken an important step towards a path they have avoided for the last few years. The first day-night Test took place in 2015 between Australia and New Zealand, with Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and even Zimbabwe trying out the concept over the next four years.
India, though, had resisted participating in the change. They had taken small steps in 2016, trialing the concept in the Duleep Trophy, but there was little progress outside of that.
Through the years, plenty of cricketers from the current Test crop have been involved briefly with Duleep trophy sides that have played with the pink ball. They include Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Kuldeep Yadav and even Jasprit Bumrah. Pujara even top-scored in the Duleep trophy the first time the concept was tried in 2016.
Interestingly, the feedback from the players have been mixed. After the first trial match in the CAB Super League final of 2016, Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha had given their thumbs up to the pink ball.
"It's very bright and glows like a radium. With red or white balls, there was some visibility problem as it took the colour of grass. Definitely I will prefer this ball, this is much better. The biggest plus point is (the swing) under lights, what else a bowler wants," Shami had said.
"There was a bit of moisture in the afternoon so it helped initially. But under lights, there was more movement undoubtedly. It's challenging for both batsmen and bowlers. The ball retains it colour and shine. If we can maintain the dryness, I'm sure it will reverse. It did, I noticed."
Saha, who is the India Test wicketkeeper, was all praise too, giving a batsman's perspective.
"Every ball is swinging a bit either way which was never the case with the red kookaburra. The visibility is perfect," he had said. "Red or white, the ball invariably lost its colour after it became old. But here there's no such difficulty at all. The pink ball has better visibility. But batsmen will have problem if a pacer consistently bowls 140k."
However, there have been opposing views too. Faiz Fazal, the captain who led Vidarbha to twin Ranji Trophy titles, said he didn't like the idea as it didn't suit Indian pitches. The reason, he argued, was that batsmen had it easy if they saw out the first few overs as there was no spin or swing on offer.
India's first opportunity to go the day-night way in Test cricket came when Australia invited them for a pink ball game in Adelaide during the tour of 2018-19. However, India declined the offer as the team management wanted proper practise before taking that route.
Since then, India have gone on to scrap the pink-ball trial even in Duleep Trophy; they went back to red ball for the tournament this year. None of the India A matches - home or away - were day-night games too. There were no indication that India would consider the concept for Test cricket.
That has changed with Sourav Ganguly taking over as BCCI president. India, No. 1 in Test cricket, now believe they have a side that can win in all conditions, and this is a logical, yet welcome step.