Virat Kohli's Indian cricket team played their first-ever Pink Ball Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Day-Night Test, which is played with the Pink Ball, was cricket's newest innovation in 2015 and Australia were the first team along with New Zealand to kickstart this new invention in Adelaide. Four years later, the Indian cricket team were the last members to subsequently accept Pink Ball Tests after years of resistance due to sighting issues and lack of practice. India took on Bangladesh, the other Test nation who had not played in a Day-Night Test in a historic match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The match was a rousing success with fans packing to the stadium as Virat Kohli's century gave India a commanding win.
With India finally breaking the resistance for Pink Ball Tests, the year 2020 will see a carnival for Indian Test cricket as it is set to host two Day-Night Tests. According to a report told by sources to Cricbuzz, the BCCI's apex council meeting in Delhi on Sunday approved two day-Night Tests to be played later in the year. The first Test will be between India and England and it will be played in the newly built Motera stadium that will hold an official capacity of over one lakh, which surpasses the Melbourne Cricket Ground for capacity. England are set to play five Tests in India which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship. The Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, which is also the world's largest cricket stadium with a capacity of 1,10,000 people, will be inaugurated by the US President Donald Trump on February 24.
India could play the Pink Ball Test in either Adelaide, Brisbane or Perth in the 2020/21 series. (Image credit: Getty Images)
In addition to the Day-Night Test against England, India have finally agreed to play the Pink Ball test against Australia in what will be their last series in the ICC World Test Championships. India were slated to play the Pink Ball Test against Australia in 2018/19 but they pulled out of the last moment. India will play four Tests against Australia and it is assumed that either of Adelaide, Perth or Brisbane will host the Day-Night Test. Perth hosted the match against New Zealand in 2019 while Adelaide has always been considered as the Day-Night Test centre traditionally. Brisbane has hosted two Day-Night Tests against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and this might be one of the venues for the 2020/21 series.
India played their maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh last November at the Eden Gardens, winning the match quite comfortably with plenty of time to spare. While the venue has not been finalised yet, the pink ball game is likely to be held in either Adelaide or Perth. Hosting the game in one of these venues makes sense given the better time slot for Indian broadcast audience.
On the eve of India's three-match ODI series opener at home against Australia last month, Kohli had said, "We're ready and up for the challenge - whether it's Gabba, Perth... it doesn't matter to us. It's become a very exciting feature of any Test series and we're open to playing day-night Tests." After India's mauling of Bangladesh in their maiden day-night Test outing in Kolkata, Ganguly had said that they "will deal as per the request" of the host Board when on tour. India declined Australia's offer to play a day-night Test in Adelaide in 2018-19, citing lack of experience.
However, with day-night match seen as a possible answer to Test cricket’s dwindling attendances, Australia had been hoping that India will agree to play one game at the Gabba this year. A Cricket Australia (CA) delegation met top BCCI officials on the sidelines of a limited-overs series in January with the day-night Test figuring on the agenda. Meanwhile, it is also learnt that India is set to play three ODIs and three T20 Internationals in Sri Lanka after the IPL.