India and Bangladesh are set to play a historic pink-ball or Day-Night Test at Eden Gardens from Fri. This will be the first time that the two nations will play such a Test. Hence, there’s genuine excitement among players and fans. But Day-Night Tests won’t be easy and there are obvious challenges to cope up at Eden Gardens.
Cricwizz takes a look at few challenges of Day-Night Tests and what India and Bangladesh players might encounter at Eden Gardens.
Change in body clock
Cricketers have since ages played Test cricket during the day and have stopped play if bad light makes visibility poor. They start in the morning and end before sunset. But with the Day-Night Test, the cricketers have to adjust to a new time table. They’ll be starting late in the afternoon and finishing by evening.
The Eden Gardens Test will start at 1 pm and end by 8 pm. Hence, the cricketers have to adjust to a new eating and sleeping habits. They will be forced to eat lunch and dinner late, and that may tamper with their body system and impact their performance.
As the Eden Gardens Test is being played in winter, dew will set in early and that may make life difficult for the fielding team during that time. A wet outfield will make it difficult to grip the ball. Spinners would find it really difficult in such a case.
Although Eden Gardens curators will spray anti-dew spray, it’s not sure whether it will be effective and keep the outfield dry. Hence, winning the toss and choosing the bat first will mean half of the match won.
The twilight period
The most difficult time to bat in Day-Night Test would be the twilight period when the sun is setting. In such a case, the pink-orange background may make the sighting of the pink ball difficult not only for the batsmen but also for the fielders and umpires.
Although light may be switched on early if the visibility becomes poor, the challenge to face the pink ball in the setting sun with an orange-pink background can be quite a hurdle for all stakeholders.
India won’t be using the Kookaburra or Dukes ball for Eden Gardens Test, but the SG balls that have been in controversy before. The SG balls have black seams, which are hand-stitched.
The SG balls used in 2017 were drawn into controversy after it lost its shine and shape quickly and made it difficult for spinners to get turn and pacers to exact reverse swing.
The players and ground staff will have to ensure the pink ball is not roughened up and dirtied easily as it would be difficult to sight the ball then.
The fear of the unknown
Day-Night Tests have not been played much before. The Eden Gardens Test marks just the 12th instance of pink-ball Tests. Hence, there are butterflies in the stomach of both India and Bangladesh players.
Besides, SG ball makes its debut in Eden Gardens Test, creating more pressure on the players. How will the conditions be, will there be dew, will the twilight period be a big hurdle – such questions create a fear of the unknown going into the Eden Gardens Test.