22 November is a day to reckon with in the history of Indian cricket. The first Day/Night Test match featuring India being played with Pink Ball kicks off in Eden Gardens, Kolkata. India was reluctant to changing ways in the longer format of cricket. The Pink Ball experiment was carried out in domestic Duleep Trophy matches. But it took a new BCCI regime under maverick former captain Sourav Ganguly to take the Pink Ball plunge, a good seven years after the International Cricket Council approved the format to revive interest in Tests. Ganguly convinced the Bangladesh Cricket Board to agree to a Day/Night Test just a few days before their team was to land in India.
Indian skipper Kohli said, “One thing that surprised me was the fielding sessions. In the slips balls hit so hard it almost felt like a heavy hockey ball, all those synthetic ball that we’re used to play with in the younger days. It’s purely because of the extra glaze on the ball, it is definitely much more harder. For some reason it felt heavy and even the throws took a lot more effort than the red colour to reach the wicketkeeper. The biggest challenge would be for the fielders.”
With sold-out tickets already a positive sign that the pink-ball cricket will get back the interest among the spectators to watch Test matches, the success of it will set the stage for the future of Pink Ball cricket in India. The challenge for the players would be when the dew comes in to play after the sun sets early and it remains to be seen how both the teams and the groundsmen cope with the coloured ball.