India vs Bangladesh: ‘Feels like a heavy hockey ball’ - Virat Kohli on fielding challenges with pink ball
Skipper Virat Kohli has pointed towards the challenges of playing with pink ball ahead of India’s historic Day-Night Test against Bangladesh starting Friday. This will be the first time the two teams will play under floodlights in the longest format. While the hosts will be gunning to register a victory in their first-ever Day-Night Test, an added incentive will be a series win over Bangladesh as they had earlier registered a comprehensive innings and 130-run victory in Indore.
Speaking on the eve of Kolkata Test, Kohli explained the challenges of playing with pink balls. Indian players tried to familiarise themselves with the pink ball during two practice sessions at the iconic Eden Gardens. They had also practiced with the pink ball during special sessions in Indore.
“One thing that surprised me was the fielding sessions. In the slips balls hit so hard it almost felt like a heavy hockey ball, all those synthetic ball that we’re used to play with in the younger days,” Kohli told reporters ahead of the clash. “It’s purely because of the extra glaze on the ball, it is definitely much more harder. For some reason it felt heavy and even the throws took a lot more effort than the red colour to reach the wicketkeeper.”
Growing concern over limited turnouts at Test venues prompted Ganguly to announce a day-night Test within weeks of taking over as the 39th president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Ticket sales surged after that as the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) confirmed a full house for the first three days of the Test. Kohli, however, said tinkering with the basic idea of Test cricket just to make it entertaining should not define its future.
“You can bring excitement into Test cricket but you can’t purely make Test cricket based on just entertainment. The entertainment of Test cricket lies in a batsman trying to survive a session, a bowler trying to set up a batsman. If people don’t want to respond to that, too bad. If I don’t like Test cricket, you can’t push me to like it. Those who enjoy the battle between bat and ball and great session of Test cricket, in my opinion, those are the people that should come and watch Test cricket because they understand what’s going on,” said Kohli.
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