‘Pink ball Tests have rosy future’

2015-11-26 08:50
Pink ball (Gallo)

Adelaide - Rival captains Steve Smith and Brendon McCullum said on Thursday they were excited about what the first-ever day-night Test could mean for the future of cricket.

Big crowds will be thronging Adelaide Oval for Friday's pink-ball third Test between Australia and New Zealand, with the cricket world watching the first day-night match in 138 years of Tests with keen interest.

Just like the advent of one-day internationals in the 1970s and the glitzy Twenty20 format in the last decade, Test cricket stands on the threshold of a game-changer and both skippers are keen to buy into the concept.

"People are voting with their feet and they are encouraged by what the pink ball Test has to offer and for us to play in front of 40 000 people in a Test match is pretty amazing," New Zealand skipper McCullum told reporters.

"So we're really excited about it and hopefully it goes off brilliantly, with no challenges and no problems.

"If we have the final session on the fifth day under lights and the test match result is in the balance then it could be anything for test cricket. It could be something that is outstanding for the game moving forward."

Smith, whose Australia team lead the three-Test series 1-0, was also upbeat about creating something new and exciting for the traditional form of the international game.

"We are creating history playing in the first day-night Test, so I'm sure a lot of people are going to be watching around the world and that's really exciting for world cricket," he said.

"I think it's a really exciting concept. I can't wait to get out and give it a crack. I think the crowds have rolled in. Obviously, the first two tests were a bit disappointing in terms of crowds.

"There's some big numbers expected for at least the first three days here. So I think it’s really exciting for us moving forward."

Ticket sales have been brisk, with a first-day crowd of up to 40 000 expected – compared with 16 000 the last time the two sides met in Adelaide in 2008.

McCullum played down the mystery of batting against the specially-designed pink ball under lights, with expectations of it swinging more in the evening conditions.

Sunset is not until 20:00 local time so both teams will only be under the glare of the floodlights for up to one-and-a-half hours each day of the match.

"There are a few unknowns, but the guys who batted against the new ball the other night said it was challenging but it was not unplayable," McCullum said.

"I think there is a lot being made that it is almost unplayable under lights, but I think it is just a bit more challenging during those times.

"It doesn't mean you can't get runs, doesn't mean you can't survive and ensure that you're there to bat the next day when the conditions will be easier.

"It is a quirk of this test match and of the game but there are some good players on show and I'm sure they will be able to negotiate those challenges."

McCullum said he was intrigued by the unforeseen challenges he could face during the historic contest.

"No one knows at the moment, that's one of the things that'll come out of this day-night Test," he said.

"There is going to be some different demands tactically on captains and how they try to exploit some of those opportunities."

Read more on:    steve smith  |  brendon mccullum  |  cricket


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