Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has welcomed the arrival of day-night Test cricket in the country, and said that it would be a good move so long as dew does not become an impeding factor.
The second Test between India and Bangladesh, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, is set to be played under lights, but with the match taking place in east India, where the night sets in early during winter season, dew could not only be a bigger factor, but it could also be a factor for a longer duration of the Test.
It isn’t clear yet if the BCCI would advance the game’s start time to offset that probability, but Tendulkar said that if dew does start playing a prominent role, both spinners and seamers could be taken out of the equation.
"As long as dew does not become a factor, it is a good move," Tendulkar was quoted as saying by PTI. "But if dew is going to be a factor, then seamers as well as spinners are going to find it challenging, because once the ball gets wet, neither seamers can do much, nor the spinners. So bowlers will be put under the test. But if there is no dew, then surely it is a good addition.
"We need to figure out how much dew is there. The dew will determine to what extent both teams are competing. The conditions shouldn't hinder anything.
"It is a nice concept, as people would be able to watch a day-night Test after their working hours. People can come in the evening and enjoy the game. From players' point of view, it won't be a bad idea to play with the pink ball and check how differently it behaves from the traditional red ball."
"The batsmen will need to practice with different balls at the nets A new pink ball, a 20-over pink ball and a 50-over pink ball and an 80-over ball. See how differently a new, semi-new and old ball behaves. Accordingly, prepare your strategy."
The pink ball, albeit of the Kookaburra variety, has come with its share of problems in the past, most notably with its ability to retain shine, and the seam, which isn’t as pronounced as the one in the traditional red ball.
The Kolkata Test will be played using the pink SG ball, which has never been used before, so not much is known about how it might behave. Nevertheless, Tendulkar’s advice for India’s batsmen was to bat against a new, semi-new, and an old ball to understand how it behaves at various stages.
"The batsmen will need to practice with different balls at the nets," he said. "A new pink ball, a 20-over pink ball and a 50-over pink ball and an 80-over ball. See how differently a new, semi-new and old ball behaves. Accordingly, prepare your strategy."
Another concern is how the grass, which there usually is more of in day-night Tests than is the case in a traditional Test match, to help maintain the condition of the pink ball, might affect the spinners. But Tendulkar said a quality spinner might not be too troubled by that.
"Obviously, it (the presence of more grass) will help the seamers more, but if you bring in [a] quality spinner, he will find his way to bowl on that surface as well," Tendulkar said. "For a spinner, it will be important to assess how much bounce is there on the surface and how much the ball is skidding; if there is too much grass [or] whether the ball is gripping on the surface."
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