India captain Virat Kohli and his team are not sure of playing a day-night Test against the West Indies this October. According to BCCI sources, Kohli has discussed the issue with coach Ravi Shastri and could initiate more discussions with the Committee of Administrators led by Vinod Rai before the IPL opening ceremony in Mumbai on April 7.
Contrary to the stand taken by the BCCI old guard, including acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary to host a day-night Test to boost fan’s interest, it appears the team management has its reservations since the players haven’t tested the Kookaburra pink ball. This was also Rai’s primary concern when he had proposed that the cricketers should be consulted before the day-night Test is given a go-ahead.
Sources indicate that Shastri had given his consent to play a day-night Test in writing to Choudhary but it is given to understand that Kohli isn’t sure how many sessions should be under the lights. The general day-night Test has more than a session under the floodlights, and Shastri had suggested that at least one session be played under lights.
Furthermore, there is concern that if India agree to play day-night Test against the Windies, Australia could also be tempted to stage a day-night Test involving India and Australia at the end of the year and that Cricket Australia could ask for more than one session under the lights.
The idea of more than one session under lights is something the Indian team may not agree to as Kohli doesn’t want to risk a day-night Test match Down Under without proper practice.
“Initially, even Kohli wasn’t sure about the long term impact of playing day-night Test without having a proper trial of it. But now, both Kohli and Shastri are in agreement that India should not rush into day-night Test just as yet,” a source said while adding that India would eventually play a day-night game but only once the team feels convinced.
The board and team management are doing everything to ensure that the team is ready for the big tour of Australia at the end of the year. Rai, in his email, had said that the proposal to host the day-night Test should be put on hold till detailed discussions are held, including with the players. He also talked about the body clock of the players.
He also wrote that with Hyderabad and Rajkot being talked about as venues to host the two Tests against the West Indies, there is concern about how the spectators return home after a day’s play and who is going to foot the extra bills for extended security at the stadiums. The CoA is of the view that if day-night Test match is destined to happen, it should be staged in big cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi, where the stadiums are built in the heart of the city, from where the spectators can at least access public transport to get back home.