As the T20I series is done and dusted, the focus now shifts to the Test series between India and Bangladesh especially the pink-ball Test at the Eden Gardens from November 22 to 26. While it will be the first-ever Day-Night Test for both the teams, India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara has shared his experience of playing in the pink ball. The 2016 edition of the Duleep Trophy was played with the Kookaburra pink ball where Pujara topped the run charts with 453 runs including two tons, and also a 256 not out for India Blue.
“I don’t think there will be a major difference when you start playing with the pink ball. Since I haven’t played (against the SG pink ball) I am not sure, but my assumption is that even the SG pink ball will be very similar to the red ball. I feel in India the quality of SG balls have improved,” he said to IANS.
“Looking at the recent series we played against South Africa, the guys were happy with the way the ball maintained shape and even the quality of the ball. So we are expecting the same thing even with the pink ball. When it comes to pink ball, it will be little different from the red ball but I don’t see a massive difference,” he added.
The BCCI will use the Kookaburra when it came to pink-ball cricket in the domestic circuit in the last few years despite the SG red ball being used in first-class cricket. And talking about his experience against the pink Kookaburra, Pujara shared his experience.
“When I played, it was 2016/17 which is a long time ago. So that can’t be considered as an advantage. But yes, that experience will be very helpful for sure, without any doubt. When you have played with pink ball, you know what to expect at what time and what might be on offer. So that experience does help,” Pujara said.
“Sometimes it is challenging in twilight playing with the pink ball. You need little more practice and once you keep playing with the pink ball at that time (twilight), you start getting used to it. So it’s just about doing few more practice sessions before we play the match. I will try and practice with the pink ball whenever there is an opportunity,” he said.
“If you look at Test cricket, most of the teams are in transition phase. They are trying to build new Test teams. So, it might take some time for teams like West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa because their great players have retired and now they are giving opportunity to young players which will need some time to improve their Test cricket,” he added.
“So when teams go through transition period, it looks like the overall standard has come down a bit. But I think in 1-2 years’ time all these teams will be much stronger when it comes to Test cricket,” Pujara expressed.
The prolific batsman also praised Rohit Sharma who has proved his worth success early on as a Test opener.
“It helps the team. The most important thing, especially in Test cricket, is you need to have a good start. And if you look at the way Rohit and Mayank (Agarwal) have batted recently, it has given us a solid start and when you get a solid start the team can be rest assured about putting up a decent total on the board. Even if we don’t bat that well, good start will always give us like 350-400. So that is the biggest positive if you ask me,” Cheteshwar Pujara concluded.