At the moment, India sit on top of the World Test Championship with wins in all the five games they’ve played, and are strong favourites to win the first Test in Indore. By the time the day-night game comes along in Kolkata, they could have further consolidated their position on the table.
In many ways, including the fact that Bangladesh are without two star players, it seems like the ideal time for an experiment that Kohli expects to be challenging. Some batsmen trained with the pink ball at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru ahead of the series, but for most part, the players will have to try and sneak in pink-ball practice sessions whenever they can. They did this on Tuesday, alternating between red and pink.
“I hadn’t played with the pink ball before,” Kohli said. “I was given an opportunity to try and I wanted to, so that was my mindset behind playing with the pink ball. I think everyone else did it as well. You require extra concentration to pick the pink ball suddenly when you’re playing with the red ball. It [the alternating] was to work on the reflexes a little bit as well. Because when you play with the red ball in the net and you arrive at the pink ball, it gets very difficult to pick it up, which can be the case in the game as well. It sort of gives you the match scenario and how it might be difficult to pick it early on. To get into that zone was the reason behind it.”
Kohli did emphasize, however, that despite the limited opportunities available to prepare for the day-night Test, the focus is still very much on the first Test in Indore.
“In Test cricket I don’t think you can afford to take focus away at all, not even one session, not even one over,” he said. “With the red ball you need to be absolutely precise in your focus, every game that you play, every ball that you play, every situation that you are in. Our prime focus is tomorrow’s Test match. When the pink-ball Test match arrives, as I said we will be quite excited about it.”