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Will play pink ball Test in Australia only if there is practice game: Virat Kohli


India had earlier shown reluctance to play the Day-Night Test, however, skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday admitted that they are open to the idea of playing with the pink ball during their Australia tour next year provided the team is given a practice match.

India are making their debut with the pink ball against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens on November 22. However, last year, India had refused to play the Adelaide Test under lights when Cricket Australia insisted on having a pink ball Test, which has been a convention for all touring teams for the past few years. However, the BCCI were reluctant to play only the traditional red-ball matches.

“Whenever it is held, there should be a practice game before,” Virat Kohli said while addressing a press conference on the eve of the historic Test.

Talking about their 2018-19 tour of Australia, Kohli said it was all very sudden and any team need to practice before playing the pink-ball Test.

“Obviously, we wanted to get a feel of pink-ball cricket. Eventually, it had to happen. But you can’t just bring those things up before a big tour and suddenly in the schedule, there is a pink ball Test, when we have not even practiced with pink ball. We have not played any first-class game with the pink ball,” the skipper said.

“It can’t be that sudden,” Kohli said referring to that particular tour.

India will become the ninth Test-playing nation to play a five-day game while Bangladesh will also be making their debut with the pink ball.

“You can’t just go in two days before and say you’re playing a pink-ball Test in a week’s time. We didn’t really think it was logical from that point of view. It needed a bit of preparation. Once you get used to playing it there’s no problem playing at all. You can plan in advance. We just thought it was spontaneous,” Kohli said.

The skipper also labeled the iconic day-night Test against Bangladesh as a landmark occasion for Indian cricket.

“The pink-ball Test is a challenge for us. It is very exciting for us as the energy will be very high. It is a landmark occasion.”

“The fielding session with the pink ball was the biggest challenge. People will be surprised how difficult fielding can be with the pink ball. The ball definitely felt heavier. I’m sure there won’t be any difference in weight but somehow it felt heavier. While taking slip catches the ball really hit the hands hard. Even while throwing from the boundary, the fielders felt they needed to put extra effort,” Kohli further added.

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