Pink ball challenge excites Test rivals
Pakistan and West Indies set for a history night in Dubai
As players from both teams went through their final rounds of preparation ahead of tonight’s landmark day-night Test in Dubai there was an air of scepticism surrounding the pink ball.
Both former players and cricket boards have had their reservations about the day-night Test, but more recently it is the ball that has faced the brunt of the criticism.
“The seam is different,” said Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali.
“It’s hard to see the seam, especially with the spinners. You can’t really spot it. It’s a different challenge and we will get to know it better as we play more.
“We played one or two games, players have had experience with the pink ball in the domestic circuit but internationally it’s the first game.”
Nevertheless, Azhar put on a confident face when asked if the preparations were enough and said: “We had five to six sessions with the pink ball. We have been practicing really hard and have had quite long sessions, so I think we have enough idea of this ball.”
The West Indies too seemed non-plussed about the prospect and admitted that domestic daynight games were not particularly a hit with the crowds and players.
“I think most of the guys have complained about the fact that they’re not really able to pick up the seam that well,” said Windies middle-order batsman Darren Bravo. “We played a couple firstclass [day-night] games back home, it had a few crowds.
“I don’t know for whatever reason but we can’t do anything about it. It is what it is and we need to accept the challenge as quickly as possible and just go out there and give it our best shot.
“Most of the guys had their take on it. It had some positive feedback, it had some negative feedback to be honest, but whatever is put in place to encourage a crowd is definitely beneficial to Test cricket.”
The match will be special as it’s Pakistan’s 400th and the Dubai International Stadium’s and both teams’ first Test under lights.
CONFIDENT: Pakistan are favourites to complete a clean sweep in the Tests