It was only last year that India had turned down a proposal from Cricket Australia to play a day-night Test during their tour Down Under. But recently, the Asian powerhouse was quick to take an initiative to play Bangladesh in a day-night Test at home and it came out with flying colours, finishing off the game in almost two days. Now, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided in its recently held annual general meeting to take up the pink-ball cricket seriously and spread it to all parts of the country.
While there was little doubt that Bangladesh could throw any sizeable challenge to an in-form India, the focus was more on the new variety of Test cricket that the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata hosted. The pink ball, players in white under floodlights, jam-packed stadium — boosted the hope about Test cricket’s future. And the new BCCI administration led by former India captain Sourav Ganguly felt it is something there to be cultivated.
While India captain Virat Kohli felt that the day-night spectacle in Tests should be a one-off thing, the apex body has plans to see it happening more in the near future. “Yes, we got that passed in the governing body. Different associations will host the matches,” Ganguly said.
He also gave statistics acquired from Star Sports to show the betterment pink-ball cricket has brought to the viewership. There was a serious concern recently after India and South Africa locked horns in a Test match before empty stands in Ranchi. The day-night game in Kolkata has found at least some solution to the problem, the administrators believe.
The Aussies have already thrown a challenge at India
Seeing India’s maiden day-night Test, proposals have come from Down Under again to make them play under the lights next year when India tour Australia. From former spinner, Shane Warne to current Aussie captain Tim Paine — invitation has come to Kohli’s men to play the Baggy Greens in a day-night Test.
India are yet to take a final call though the BCCI president thinks the viewership will improve even more if Kohli’s boys play top Test sides with the pink ball. Australia have already played in six day-night Tests — all at home — and won all of them, including the just-concluded second Test against Pakistan in Adelaide by an innings and 48 runs. India’s next Test series at home, according to the current schedule, is in January 2021 when they play England in five games.
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