India is supposed to play the West Indies in a first-ever day-night Test on Indian soil in October. However, captain Virat Kohli and his team have reservations about the Test and have discussed the issue with coach Ravi Shastri and are scheduled to hold talks with CoA chief Vinod Rai.
The team management has its reservations since the players haven’t tested the Kookaburra pink ball. The BCCI officials including acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary are eager to host the day-night Test, whereas CoA Vinod Rai suggested the team should be consulted before announcing this.
Sources indicate that Shastri had given his consent to play a day-night Test in writing to Choudhary but it is given to understand that Kohli isn’t sure how many sessions should be under the lights. Shastri had suggested that atleast one session is played under lights.
Another concern is that if India plays Windies in the day-night Test, Australia might also be tempted to arrange one during India’s tour later in the year and Australia might keep more than a session under lights. Kohli doesn’t want to risk a day-night Test match Down Under without proper practice.
“Initially, even Kohli wasn’t sure about the long-term impact of playing day-night Test without having a proper trial of it. But now, both Kohli and Shastri are in agreement that India should not rush into day-night Test just as yet,” a source said.
Rai, in his email, had said that the proposal to host the day-night Test should be put on hold till detailed discussions are held, including with the players. He also talked about the body clock of the players.
He also wrote that with Hyderabad and Rajkot being talked about as venues to host the two Tests against the West Indies, there is a concern about how the spectators return home after a day’s play and who is going to foot the extra bills for extended security at the stadiums.
The CoA has suggested that if a day-night Test match is to be organized, it should be played in metro cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Delhi; as the stadiums are located in the center of the city and public transport is easily accessible to the fans to return home.
CoA wants to stop this practice of the board officials taking calls like these without consulting the players. There are also accusations against Kohli that he is venturing into issue relating to the policy decision on how to run BCCI like having a bigger say in the Future Tour Programme on behalf of BCCI.
(with Times of India inputs)