Will Play a Day-Night Test Every Year in India: Sourav Ganguly
Newly elected BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly is convinced that the Day-Night Test will become an annual feature on India’s home calendar. Having convinced the Indian team to shed its reluctance to play a pink ball test starting on November 22 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, a task he said took “three seconds”, Ganguly says he is now “sure” that the fixture is here to stay. However, on whether India would play Day-Night Tests when they tour overseas Ganguly wasn’t as forthcoming, saying it will be decided in consultation with the board of the country. India had rejected a proposal to play a Day-Night Test in Australia on their last tour of the country in 2018-19.
“We will try and play one every year in India,” Ganguly told Hindustan Times. “That is for sure. When India go on tour, we will talk to the board of the country we are visiting and see if we can feature in one.”
While Day-Night Test cricket is seen as crucial in reviving the fortunes of the longest format, there is also concern about the lack of competitiveness among elite teams. India’s recent decimation of South Africa was a case in point, but Ganguly isn’t a votary of a two-tier competition, calling such events “cyclical.”
“These things move in a cycle,” he said. “Yes, I was disappointed with the performance of South Africa on their last tour but I guess they need some time to get things in order and be the team I remember playing against. It is the same with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Sometime ago, Australia were not doing all that well but they have now turned things around.”
India’s primary focus over the next year will be T20 cricket with the T20 World Cup in Australia to start in under a year from now. India haven’t won a major tournament since the Champions Trophy in 2013 and Ganguly has pointed to that anomaly in their performances in the past. With 13 T20 internationals scheduled between now and February, followed by the IPL, Ganguly believes India will arrive at the tournament well prepared despite not playing any matches in the format before their T20 World Cup opener against South Africa in Perth on October 18.
“There isn’t any time to slot in more games; the calendar does not permit that,” he said. “But I think we are playing enough T20 games anyway. Over and above these, you will also have the IPL in 2020.”
Ganguly also dismissed any suggestion that India could consider replacing Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma as T20 captain and promised to maintain a hands-off approach on selection matters. When asked if the current selection committee led by MSK Prasad is thin on experience, with none of its members having played too much international cricket, Ganguly assured that people with “experience and the competence” will be brought on board as replacements.