In his column for the Times of India, Gambhir wrote, “I like the way Australia skipper Tim Paine has “flighted” one for India captain Virat Kohli, challenging him to play a day-night fixture on the next tour Down Under. Knowing Virat he is not the one to back out. And why should he? A day-night Test match between India and Australia at Brisbane or the MCG will be quite a spectacle. And you can trust Aussies to make it a truly memorable game by some smart marketing. I haven’t seen Virat’s response for Paine but if I was him I would have straight away told him to make some late night babysitting arrangements as we were ready!!!
Few expected Mominul Haque and his men to upset India on their home soil, but the tourists’ back-to-back defeats, both inside three days, underlined just how much Bangladesh have stagnated in the long format. Since debuting as a Test nation in 2000, Bangladesh have played 117 matches and won 13, six of them against Zimbabwe who are currently 11th in the official Test rankings.
“It is a no brainer to say that Bangladesh side are a work in progress in Test cricket. In white ball cricket they can spring a surprise on their day. Overall, I think the lack of competitive cricket at first-class levels is hurting their lack of ability in Test arena. I just feel they are concentrating too much on shorter formats. The world standards of cricket are not very healthy. Therefore the Big Daddys of the game need to support teams like Bangladesh. We can look at helping them out by allowing a Bangladesh team play in Duleep Trophy. Or may be a system where their top players can at least train with top first-class teams of India. International cricket won’t go anywhere if top 4-5 teams getting better while others are languishing,” Gambhir added.
Commending Sourav Ganguly for making India’s first ever day-night Test a success, Gambhir called upon the BCCI president to have a Ranji Trophy final with a pink ball. India’s maiden pink-ball match lasted a little over two days but more than 42,000 fans turned up on each of the first two days.
“I was at Eden Gardens and the Pink Ball Test was done really well by Sourav Ganguly and his team. There was just enough hype and drama around the game. I was happy to see that fans’ interest was not compromised. I’d now request Dada to have a Ranji Trophy final with a pink ball. My contribution to the pink ball Test was a pocket square that I teamed with my grey and blue suits that I wore while commentating. My wife says the pink pocket square was hardly visible. A few players said the same thing about the visibility of pink cricket ball. I think these are early days for colour pink to find a place in my wardrobe and in Test cricket arena. We need to lean on time rather than jumping to conclusions and discarding it,” Gambhir opined.
The 0-2 drubbing Bangladesh received in India follows similar losses in South Africa, West Indies and New Zealand.
“We need to understand that in day-night Test matches opening sessions will be relatively easier for the batsmen as they will be played under afternoon sun. It is the sessions that are played under lights that will have the ball darting around. It is nonsense to correlate Bangladeshi batsmen getting hit and visibility of the ball. Bangladesh has been unfortunate to have run into a world class Indian fast bowling attack,” Gambhir remarked.
PS: You may know that “Gautam Gambhir Stand” is a new addition at Arun Jaitley Stadium. My 5-year old feels that I have committed some mistake and have been punished. Hence, “Gautam Gambhir Stand”, the former opener concluded.