December 17, 2020 will be remembered as an important date in rival India-Australia history as it will mark the start of the first daytime Test match between the two sides. The first of four games of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Adelaide should be a pink dance affair, India’s first away from home.
In view of the historic Test Match, there is a fair amount of anticipation and curiosity on the Adelaide pitch. In general, the pitch is always the center of attention a day or two before a test match, but being a pink ball game, the focus is even more.
Cricket.com.au took to Twitter on the eve of the Test Match to share their first look at the Adelaide pitch where Virat Kohli and Steve Smith will be battling.
The pitch has a greenish tinge that is normal for keeping the luster of a pink ball intact, but not so much that it sends shivers down the hitters’ spine.
A Josh Hazlewood vs. Mohammed Shami will be a tempting subplot like Jasprit Bumrah bowling those Yorkers in response to Pat Cummins’ flurry of bouncers.
With a workhorse like Ishant Sharma absent from the Indian ranks and hitman David Warner absent from the Australian lineup, the teams are on par in terms of strength.
However, there will certainly be a distinct home advantage for Australia along with the experience of playing multiple day / night trials.
A day / night test match has its own little grammar where hitters are expected to attack in the first session while bowlers are at their peak once the sun sets, allowing the pink kookaburra to pick up its pace.
Speaking about his experience of playing under lights, Australian seamer Pat Cummins said the pink ball moves more under lights.
“… We’re just a little bit, let’s not say nervous but excited, knowing that the game moves at a slightly different pace than a normal test match. You can do a few sessions under lights where the balls whiz around, “Cummins told kkr.in.
“After dinner, when the light takes effect, for whatever reason the ball seems to spin a little more. “You can have periods in a test match a bit like a day, where the ball doesn’t swing, it doesn’t come and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it starts darting under the lights.
“It’s just another dynamic of the game. It’s a tactic that captains have to manage: when to bat and when to pitch, ”Cummins said.