December 17, 2020, will be remembered as an important date in the history India-Australia rivarly as it will mark the beginning of the first-ever day-night Test match between the two sides. The first of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Adelaide is slated to be a pink-ball affair – India’s first outside home.
Ahead of the historic Test match, there is a fair amount of anticipation and inquisitiveness about the Adelaide pitch. Generally, the pitch is always in focus a day or two ahead of a Test match but this being a pink-ball match, the attention is even more.
Cricket.com.au took to Twitter on the eve of the Test match to share the first look at the Adelaide pitch in the likes of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith will bat on.
The pitch does have a greenish tinge to it which is usual to keep the shine of a pink ball intact but it is not so much that it will send chills down the batsmen spine.
A Josh Hazlewood versus Mohammed Shami will be as enticing a sub-plot as Jasprit Bumrah bowling those yorkers in reply to Pat Cummins’ barrage of bouncers.
With a workhorse like Ishant Sharma missing from Indian ranks and the enforcer David Warner absent in the Australian line-up, the teams are evenly placed in terms of strength.
However, there will certainly be some distinct home advantage for Australia along with the experience of playing more Day/Night Tests.
A day/night Test match has its own little grammar where batsmen are expected to attack in the first session while bowlers are at their peak once the sun sets, allowing the pink kookaburra to pick its pace up.
Talking about his experience of playing under lights, Australia seamer Pat Cummins said the pink ball moves more under lights.
“… we are just a little bit, won’t say nervous but excited, knowing that the game moves at a slightly different pace to a normal Test match. You can have some sessions under the lights where the balls just zip around,” Cummins told kkr.in.
“After dinner, when the light takes effect, just for whatever reason it seems like the ball zips around a bit more. “You can have some periods in a Test match a bit like a one-dayer, where the ball doesn’t swing, doesn’t seam and all of a sudden out of nowhere, it starts zipping around under the lights.
“It’s just another dynamic of the game. It’s a tactic that the captains have to manage — when to bat and when to bowl,” Cummins said.