Pink ball Test cricket was an eventuality and India had to comply with it sooner than later. Embraced by the English batsmen and women in 2009 under the Kookuburra and Dukes regime, Pink ball had lukewarm welcome on Indian soils much like Kerry Packer induced coloured clothing in day and night cricket in Australia. In late 70s it brought money, TV sponsorship and most importantly crowd back into the stadiums.
India needed will and vision to call the elephant in the room. Strong willed, newly appointed BCCI Chief, Sourav Ganguly, the superman of this plot transformed this vision into a reality.
Incidentally, Pink ball in domestic cricket was introduced in India during the CAB Super League Final on 18th July 2016 under Ganguly’s leadership.
For Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli Pink ball suddenly looked like the unfathomable, indestructible specimen just like T-Rex from Jurassic Park. But it’s the convenience of playing in your own backyard and compromise of playing a half strength Bangladesh team at boisterous Eden Gardens, could be the working formula between the Indian board and the Indian cricket team.
The Indian version of ‘Pink’
There are five important issues surrounding the five day test match.
Made in India: Kookaburra and Dukes have dominated the manufacturing of pink balls globally in last ten years. Interestingly, Sourav Ganguly appointed “SG” with lesser experience in manufacturing of pink balls.Historically, Sourav Ganguly understands the manufacturer as he has played with their willows in the past.
New coloured leather, uncontrollable swings: With the new composition of the leather Pink ball, Indian seamers fear lack of control especially in the first innings and the advantage may role into Bangladesh’s side.
Kohli and Shastri Jittery: The Kohli-Shastri duo has been surging in the international test cricket in the past two years with Kohli becoming the most successful test cricket captain with 28 overall wins. Any speed breaker at this juncture will break the momentum and record spree. Though, SouravGanguly is okay with the fact that Virat is not comfortable exposing the team to a new ball without practice games in domestic circuit, Ganguly is aware that Kohli is well versed with pushing the team to their limits.
May lose points test series: Since the pink ball has got good potential to do something unexpected under the lights, the first match with pink ball against Bangladesh cannot be risked considering World Test Championships points at home which India should be picking up at a 100% conversion.
The dew factor: Dew is looming as a threat over the spinners and seamers, both. If the ball gets wet due to dew, the bouncing and skidding of the balls will be a calculative game.
Irrespective of the outcome of the match, it’s certain that pink ball test would be historic and a game changer.