Test by night

Innovation is inevitable in the longestand oldest of cricket’s many formats In these times of instant gratification, Test cricket with its five-day tenure might seem an anachronism. To make it seemingly worse, these long-winding contests can also throw up a draw, which flies against sport’s result-oriented culture. Yet, despite a dip in spectator attendance and with abridged variants like One Day Internationals and Twenty20s snapping at its heels, Tests have survived. Cricket’s longest format is considered as the ultimate yardstick to judge a squad’s resilience and a player’s greatness. But this is not 1877 when host Australia and England played the first ever Test at Melbourne. This is the age of commerce and Tests had to evolve and attract a fresh set of followers. The pressing need to innovate organically led to day and night Tests and the debut game featured Australia and New Zealand at Adelaide in 2015. However, India was reluctant and it was in sync with its earlier hesitation to accept the Decision Review System and Twenty20s. But much water has flowed down the Hooghly and the BCCI’s latest president Sourav Ganguly has swept aside the cobwebs of doubt. Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, the former India captain’s backyard, will host the nation’s inaugural day and night Test when Virat Kohli’s men take on Bangladesh from November 22 to 26, the last encounter of a two-match series. Sadly, the lustre of this imminent tussle under lights, dimmed a bit once Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was banned by the ICC for not reporting a bookie’s corrupt approach. The all-rounder may not have fixed games but his prolonged silence until Tuesday’s meltdown points to cricket’s underbelly of illegal betting and related ills. The sport’s custodians did the right thing by suspending Shakib for two years and it is a warning to other players. India is expected to continue its good run and get past its neighbour though Bangladesh, familiar with the conditions, may not be a pushover like South Africa. Ideally, during the day and night venture, Kolkata’s crowds can also extend their sibling rivalry with Bengali brethren from across the border. It won’t be easy for the players, though, as they need to get used to the pink ball. And with winter slowly setting in, dew would be a factor. The spinners will not relish this, but with potent fast bowlers in its armour, the host has all its bases covered while the fans get ready to witness a slice of history. Recommended for you Close X RECOMMENDED BY THE HINDU NPCIL admits malware attack at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant RECOMMENDED BY THE HINDU All forms of authority under challenge, says Justice Bobde RECOMMENDED BY THE HINDU Interactive: Compare your income with other taxpayers Top Picks in The Hindu today TRENDING TODAY

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/test-by-night/article29836947.ece

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