Virat Kohli wary of dew factor, fielding with pink ball ahead of day-night Test

Virat Kohli practicing with the pink ball. (Source: AP Photo)
Virat Kohli practicing with the pink ball. (Source: AP Photo)

Virat Kohli recognised the challenges of playing with a pink ball ahead of the day-night Test match against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday, claiming dew will be a defining factor in the second Test of the series.

Addressing a press conference in Kolkata, the Indian skipper talked about the logistical and playing challenges playing with a pink ball, and how different it is to playing in England and Australia.

"I think in India, we have one big factor which is dew, which is going to be discussed with match referee as we go along with playing the game. You can't really predict these things... you never know at what stage the dew is going to arrive. We just have to play it as it comes," said the 32-year-old.

"Apart from that... obviously, the pitches and how the kookaburra does is a different ball game together, and also [there is] the quality of the ball."

"The decision making has to be very precise. Even with catching gets very quickly. The extra edge it travels faster. It's going to be a challenge that should excite everyone. We are excited for the new challenge."


Kohli, looking for his seventh consecutive Test win as captain, did concede that the introduction of pink ball will change India's experience in the foreign tours.

"Invariably, I think the pink-ball, even more so, in foreign tours and foreign conditions will tend to do a lot more than it would in India in probably the second and third sessions," added Kohli.

As per the record-breaking Indian captain, with the pink ball, fielding will also pose a challenge to the players as they will take time to adjust to the colour as well as the different characteristics of the ball.

"The fielding session with the pink ball was the biggest challenge. People will be surprised how difficult fielding can be with the pink ball. The ball definitely felt heavier. I’m sure there won’t be any difference in weight but somehow it felt heavier," he said.

"While taking slip catches the ball really hit the hands hard. Even while throwing from the boundary, the fielders felt they needed to put extra effort."

A more compact technique would be necessary to negotiate the pink ball compared to facing the red ball.

"If you have not played with the pink ball it's going to be challenging through out the game. Solid technique and more compact game required compared to the red ball. And it makes it even more difficult with not having a great visibility or able to pick that colour."

Asked if he would be ready to play a Day/Night Test in Australia during next year's big tour, Kohli gave a positive reply with a rider.

"Whenever it is held, there should be a practice game before," Kohli said on the eve of the game.

Kohli then said that the Indian team refused to play Day/Night Test in Adelaide during the 2017-18 tour simply because it was slotted without keeping a tor-match so that the team can get acclimatised.

"Obviously, we wanted to get a feel of pink ball cricket. Eventually, it had to happen. But you can't just bring those things up before a big tour and suddenly in the schedule, there is a pink ball Test, when we have not even practised with pink ball. We have not played any first class game with the pink ball," the skipper said.

"It can't be that sudden," Kohli said referring to that particular tour.

When asked about his change of mind, Kohli said that they agreed because discussions were happening for a while it wasn't as if they were told just days prior to a series.

"You can't just go in two days before and say you're playing a pink ball Test in a week's time. We didn't really think it was logical from that point of view. It needed a bit of preparation. Once you get used to playing it there's no problem playing at all. You can plan in advance. We just thought it was spontaneous," he said about the last time.

Talking about the buzz around the day/night match in Kolkata, Kohli equated the atmosphere to the World T20 clash between India and Bangladesh at the same venue back in 2016.

"It's really exciting for all of us. The last time we experienced this kind of atmosphere was before in an India Pakistan T20 World Cup game. Then also a lot of formers cricketers came, they were felicitated. It will be same," the skipper said.


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