‘In a 5-Test series 2 can be played with pink ball,’ Dilip Vengsarkar
Is Day/Night Test with pink balls the way forward for the longest format of the game? The question has been doing the rounds ever since India decided to embrace pink ball Test by hosting Bangladesh for a Day/Night affair for the first time at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The debate was fuelled on the eve of the historic event by India captain Virat Kohli when he clearly stated Test cricket should not lose its charm just for the sake of entertainment. “This (pink ball Test) can be a one-off thing. It should not become a regular scenario. You can bring excitement into Test cricket but you can’t purely make Test cricket based on just entertainment,” said Kohli. But former India batsman and chairman of selectors Dilip Vensarkar had a different answer to the question.
“If there is 5 Tests in a series then we can play 2 with the pink ball,” Vengsarkar told Hindustan Times ahead of the historic event at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata starting on November 22. “I am really happy that we’re playing India’s first ever Day/Night Test at Eden Gardens. It’s a fascinating innovation,” said Vengsarkar.
The low spectator turn out in Test matches in India has been a growing concern for the last few years with captain Virat Kohli even proposing to limit Test cricket to 5 venues only. During this grim period of low viewership – in terms of crowd attendance in the stadium - in Test cricket, the Day/Night Test has come in like a breath of fresh with the first 3 days of it expected to be a full house. The online tickets vanished within hours, prompting hundreds to queue in front of Eden Gardens Gate No. 3 and 4 with the hope of an online sale even till Thursday evening only to return empty handed.
“Great to see such excitement before a Test match. Pink ball Tests are certainly one of the things to look forward to it. The kind of response the people have shown towards this Test gives a good indication,” Vengsarkar added.