Come 22 November, India and Bangladesh will be the latest entrants to participate in a day-night Test when they lock horns at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
Newly appointed Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, a long-time supporter of day-night Tests, first proposed the idea to home side captain Virat Kohli before speaking with Bangladesh Cricket Board officials.
“Day-night Test cricket is a huge step forward and we believe it will bring back the crowd into stadiums and a whole lot of young children to the sport,” Ganguly said in a statement on Tuesday.
India and Bangladesh will eventually join the remaining eight Test-playing teams to have played at least one Test match with the pink ball under lights.
In a bid to attract huge crowds, the Cricket Association of Bengal secretary Avishek Dalmiya also confirmed cheap tickets as well as an early start time.
As the teams gear up for the historic occasion, we take a look at the teams to have played the longer format under lights:
Australia vs New Zealand (27-29 November, 2015)
Adelaide hosted the first-ever day-night Test match between Australia and New Zealand in late 2015. In the season before the Test took place, Cricket Australia (CA) had scheduled numerous first-class matches under lights during the Sheffield Shield tournament and this was primarily to revive the popularity of the game’s longest format given the increasing interest in Twenty20 cricket.
For the first time in international cricket, a Test match was played under lights with a pink ball instead of the traditional red ones and there was a supper break instead of lunch break. The Test, which attracted around 33,923 spectators, however, was done and dusted inside just three days, with David Warner (35) and Shaun Marsh’s (49) batting displays standing out in the Aussie run-chase of 187 as they edged the visitors by three wickets.
Pakistan vs West Indies (13-17 October, 2016)
Less than a year after the first international day-night Test was played, Pakistan hosted West Indies at their adopted ground in Dubai, and this match was a run-fest. After electing to bat, Pakistan registered a massive total of 579/3 thanks to Azhar Ali’s impressive unbeaten triple ton.
The Windies showed some fightback, but could only score 357 in the first innings courtesy half-centuries from Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels. However, this was followed by Devendra Bishoo’s brilliant spell of 8-49 as the hosts were bowled out for 123 in the second innings, setting up a target of 346 for the Windies.
Darren Bravo scored a century in the chase, but that was overshadowed by the hosts’ bowlers’ heroics as the the visitors were bowled out for 289, thereby suffering to a 56-run loss.
South Africa (First match vs Australia, 24-27 November 2016)
A year on from their debut day-night Test, the venue was once again the Adelaide Oval as South Africa entered the fray to take part in their first match under lights. The match, which the Aussies won comfortably by seven wickets, witnessed four centuries and three fifties. Captain Faf du Plessis scored 118 in the first innings as the Proteas declared their innings at 259-9. This was followed by a blistering knock of 145 from Usman Khawaja as the hosts took a 124-run lead after being dismissed for 383.
Proteas opener Stephen Cook then brought up just his second Test ton as the visitors were bowled out for 250 in the second innings, thereby setting up a target of 127.
South Africa;s first day-night Test outing ended on a losing note as Warner (47) and Steve Smith (40) ensured that the hosts remained unbeaten in Tests under lights with a comfortable win.
England (First match vs West Indies, 17-19 August 2017)
Edgbaston hosted England’s first-ever day-night Test and what more could they ask for than a resounding 209-run win over West Indies! Alastair Cook’s double ton and Joe Root’s century headlined England's effort as they declared at 514/8. Jermaine Blackwood’s knock of 79 was the only positive for the Windies as they were bowled out for 168 and were enforced a follow on.
The story was similar during the follow on, with Stuart Broad’s three-wicket spell helping the hosts see off the Caribbean side for 137 in the second innings.
Sri Lanka (First match vs Pakistan, 6-10 October 2017)
Dinesh Chandimal’s Sri Lanka could not have asked for a better start to their day-night Test cricket journey. Dimuth Karunaratne impressed for the visitors in Dubai as they registered a total of 482. This was followed by an all-round bowling performance as the hosts were bundled out for 262 in their first innings reply.
However, Wahab Riaz returned with an impressive four-wicket spell to see off the Lankans for just 96 in their second innings, but despite this, the hosts had to chase down 317 runs.
In the run chase, Asad Shafiq’s century was overshadowed by Dilruwan Perera’s five-wicket haul as the hosts were seen off for 248, thereby the Lankans winning by 68 runs and eventually completing a series sweep.
Zimbabwe (First match vs South Africa, 26-27 December, 2017)
This was a four-day Test match held in Port Elizabeth, but it was a nightmare outing for Zimbabwe in their first-ever day-night Test as the match was done and dusted inside just two days.
South Africa declared at 309-9 in their first innings thanks to a century from Aiden Markram.
What followed was embarrassment for Zimbabwe as they were dismissed for just 68, with just two batsmen managing to score double figures. Needless to say, they were enforced to follow on, but the story was not much different as Keshav Maharaj’s five-wicket spell saw the visitors off for just 121 runs, thereby completing an innings victory.
With inputs from Reuters
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