Biggies skip pink ball training on Sunday

While Indore fans missed out on a Super Sunday, the Kolkata crowd may be lucky

It may not have been a ‘Super Sunday’ for the local sport lovers with India annihilating Bangladesh in less than three days to finish the game off on Saturday itself, but for the few dozen passengers on an early morning flight to Mumbai, it turned out to be a ‘Selfie Sunday’.

With captain Virat Kohli and senior batsman Ajinkya Rahane seated together, the flight attendants had a tough time with a constant spree of passengers towards the front of the aircraft.

Back in Indore though, the Holkar Stadium was all lit up as India and Bangladesh had an optional net session under lights in the evening. With the seniors either heading back or preferring to recover at the hotel, only six members of the India team turned up for the session along with the support staff.

Long vigil

While the spin duo of R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja along with No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara were the only members of India’s first-choice XI who turned up for the gig, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill and Hanuma Vihari also had a long vigil at the nets.

Despite the absence of the biggies, Sunday evening indicated that both the teams have taken the next stride while preparing for the maiden pink-ball Test in India. Both India and Bangladesh practised for a while before and during the first Test, but Sunday gave the first serious hint of training under floodlights in white flannels.

Entering the unknown

Incidentally, it’s not just India which will have its first taste of a floodlit Test. Even Bangladesh will feature in its first day-night Test. Perhaps entering into the unknown will bridge the quality gulf between the two sides, which was evident during the mauling in the first Test.

Adding While Cricket Association of Bengal — the custodians of the iconic Eden Gardens and the home turf of new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly — is leaving no stone unturned in terms of adding razzmatazz off the field during the Test, one is not sure whether the cricket will live up to the billing due to a variety of factors.

First and foremost, it will be the first time the pink ball manufactured by SG, the BCCI’s ball partner for home games, will be used in a First Class match. While the consensus among the India camp is the ball will swing more than usual, how it will behave once it softens, that too under lights, is a guessing game for both the camps.

Impact of dew

Besides, the impact of dew also remains to be seen. To minimise it, the match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.; still the dew factor will come into play once the floodlights are in full charge, at least for the last session.

Sighting the ball under lights is also going to be a huge factor. Catching and fielding in the deep could well turn to be the trickiest aspect in Kolkata.

Despite a plethora of unknowns, with the match set to start on a Friday, the Kolkatans are set to enjoy a ‘Super Sunday’, something that the Indore fans lost out on.

Over to Eden!

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