India resisted playing day-night tests for the last few years but suddenly reversed their decision on the matter. Sourav Ganguly‘s election as the new BCCI President changed philosophies. The former Indian captain has always been a big advocate of day-night cricket; he felt it would boost test cricket ratings and popularity.
Ganguly gave the nod for India to play its first day-night test against Bangladesh in November 2019. He was happy with the way things worked out. India ended up winning their first pink ball test; captain Virat Kohli was happy to embrace the format.
BCCI Gives Approval For More Day-Night Tests
Soon after, a number of test playing nations were keen on getting India to agree to play more day-night tests especially when they tour overseas. The attraction of staging a day-night test game is expected to bring in more crowds as they can come to the ground after work. It is also expected to boost TV ratings as a day-night test match will draw in more viewers towards the evening when people get back from work and are more interesting in turning on the TV and watching a test match.
Cricket Australia and ECB were two of the organizations that were pushing for a day-night test match and it looks like they have got their wish. The BCCI Council met on Feb 16 and discussed a number of topics. One of those topics was the option to play more day-night test matches.
The Apex Council made the decision for India to play a day-night test match against Australia in Australia in 2021. India are expected to play a four match test series during this tour and one of the games will be a pink ball game. The BCCI also approved a day-night match to take place against England in a home series that takes place during Jan-Feb 2021. The home venue for this pink ball test will be the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad.
BCCI Does Not Give In Fully To CA Demands
Cricket Australia were initially very keen on getting India to play two day-night test matches in 2021. Theye even sent a delegation to meet with the BCCI to work things out. Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings met with BCCI bigwigs Saurav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah. However Ganguly did not agree to two day-night tests; he felt it was a little too much cricket with the pink ball.
Kohli Excited To Play Day-Night Tests
Virat Kohli has thrown his full support behind the day-night test concept; he is always up for a new challenge. In fact, Kohli said their first experience with the pink ball against Bangladesh went very well. He was also keen on playing a day-night test in Australia. Moreover, Kohli said he wasn’t concerned where CA scheduled the day-night test.
India are currently ranked as the number one test team on the ICC rankings. Kohli takes a lot of pride in the fact that India hold on to the number one ranking. He believes that if India are truly the number one team then they should be prepared to play the red ball, white ball and the pink ball at any time or place.
Australia have been extremely dominant with the pink ball in home conditions; India need to prepare well before playing their first day-night test there. The BCCI and Ravi Shastri will now have to work out a plan for India to get enough pink ball cricket under their belt before they take on Australia in a test match format under lights!