Five Indian cricketers will practise with pink balls at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on Sunday as the home team prepare for the Day-Night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata. The plan was to have at least two days of practice, but since the official supplier of the pink ball, Sanspariel Greenlands (SG), could only deliver the first batch of 60 pink balls on Saturday, the training would be restricted to Sunday. The Bangladesh team will get the pink balls on Monday in Indore, which would host the first Test, a red-ball affair, on November 14.
The decision to practise with pink balls was taken by Rahul Dravid, head of cricket at the NCA, in consultation with the Indian team management. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja are the five players who opted for the pink-ball practice after the option was put forward to the team selected for the two Tests against Bangladesh.
Some players such as Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Agawal and Rahane have played with pink ball in a Duleep Trophy game three seasons ago. However, the Indian board then had opted to use the Kookuburra ball. Now, the BCCI has decided to go with SG. In the 11 day-and-night Tests held so far, Kookaburra and Dukes pink ball have been used; this would be the first time pink SG balls would be used in a Test.
There was talk regarding using the Kookaburra ball but Sourav Ganguly, the new BCCI president, said: “No, it can’t be (used) because the series has to be played with same ball. It can’t be two different balls in the same series.”