Test legend Harbhajan Singh opposed the BCCI ruling and calls for his countrymen to give day-night Tests a bash.
Speaking at an event in Delhi, the legendary off-spinner broke ranks from the BCCI’s party line to cast his vote in favour of day-night Tests. BCCI officials had recently declined Australia’s request for one of their upcoming Tests to be scheduled as a day-nighter, as the BCCI was determined to ensure that India has the best chance of winning the Test series.
“I don’t know why they don’t want to play day-night Test matches. It’s an interesting format and we should try it. I am all for it. Tell me what’s the apprehension of playing with a pink ball? If you play, you can adjust. It may not be as difficult as it seems,” said Harbhajan.
Indian officials are looking forward to the Test series as their best opportunity of beating the Aussies at home, which would bring the added benefit of ensuring they maintain their spot at the top of the men’s Test rankings. The BCCI is justifiably concerned that Australia would have the upper-hand in a day-night Test as they have already played four such Tests, while India has yet to play a day-night Test match.
“So what if you get out? We have fast bowlers to trouble them. And what makes us think our batsmen can’t take up the challenge of facing Aussie pacers? It’s a challenge, and what’s the harm in taking up the challenge?” said Harbhajan. “When we were new to Test cricket, we had only learned how to bowl with SG Test ball and then slowly learned to bowl with Kookaburra and Dukes. Don’t you accept the challenge of playing England in overcast conditions in their country? Isn’t that a challenge? If we could take up that challenge why not pink-ball cricket?”
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri remained defiant about his board’s stance: “Who we play, when we play, where we play and how we play is our prerogative. We will back everything for the Indian team to play to win.”
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