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November 22, 2019

Virat Kohli hopes day-night Test is ‘one-off’


November 22, 2019

KOLKATA: Skipper Virat Kohli said Thursday he welcomed the “buzz” around India’s grand day-night Test debut but said pink-ball matches should not become a regular occurrence.

India begin their pink-ball journey against Bangladesh on Friday in Kolkata, with the first four days sold out, contrasting with daytime Tests in India when crowds are often sparse. “This can be a one-off thing. It should not in my opinion become a regular scenario, because then you are losing out on that nervousness of the first session in the morning,” Kohli told reporters at Eden Gardens.

“The entertainment of Test cricket lies in the fact that the batsman is trying to survive a session and the bowler trying to get a batsman out.” But he added: “It’s great to create more buzz around Test cricket.”

Day-night Tests, aimed at increasing crowds and TV audiences for the longer format, were successfully introduced in 2015 when Australia played New Zealand in Adelaide. England, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies have all played at least one day-night Test.

But until now, India have kept away, with its cricket board last year refusing to play a day-night Test in Adelaide. “Obviously, we wanted to get a feel of pink-ball cricket. Eventually it had to happen,” said Kohli.

India lead the two-match series 1-0 after thrashing Bangladesh at Indore inside three days. India’s star batsman said that he found a few challenges facing the pink ball compared with the red ball used in regular daytime Tests.

“The one thing that surprised me was the fielding sessions. How in the slips the ball hit your hand so hard, it almost felt like a heavy hockey ball,” Kohli said. “It really felt like that on the hand and it’s definitely because of the extra glaze of the ball. It’s definitely much harder, and it felt a little heavier.”

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