When the unprecedented one-year bans on Steve Smith and David Warner were announced in the wake of the sandpaper ball-tampering saga, the first reaction among the Indian cricket fraternity was what would be their fate as far as the Indian Premier League was concerned.

Once the powers-that-be moved quickly to confirm that they would be banned from the 11th edition, the next obvious reaction was: ‘wow, India will not have a better chance to win a Test series in Australia without their two best batsmen!’

Indeed. Going by the batting performance in the final Test against South Africa, where the Tim Paine-led Australian side went down without much of a fight (under extraordinary circumstances, admittedly), it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli would have been secretly smiling at each other over the prospect of a series win Down Under.

And, in a move to maximise that opportunity, the day-night Test scheduled in Adelaide for India’s tour has now been cancelled. The acting secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, in an email communication – not via a hand-written letter or a pigeon, mind you, as they seemed to have evolved with times at least on that front – told Cricket Australia that “India would begin to play in the format only in about a year’s time. Under the circumstances, I regret to say that the proposed D/N test cannot be played and all Tests will have to have the conventional structure.”

Like most things with the BCCI, it’s unclear how exactly this decision has come to pass. Whether the push came from the players or the coaching staff or the board itself, we are not likely to know. The official communication that was sent to Cricket Australia said that India will likely play in this format in a year from now, as part of the 18 months of practice apparently needed for the team to get in shape to tackle the pink ball.

Which begs the question: was nobody aware of the impending tour of Australia 18 or even 24 months prior? The first day-night Test was played in 2015. By the time India kick-start their Test series in Australia on December 6 later this year, 36 months and 10 days would have passed since that Trans-Tasman Test match that made the cricketing world sit up and take notice of pink-ball cricket. It makes you wonder if they could really not find a 18-month window – which sounds like an entirely arbitrary number, made up for convenience for the record – since then.

Setting aside an initial period of scepticism, there has been ample time for the BCCI and the Indian team to be pink-ball ready. They could have, for instance, made the Afghanistan Test a day-night affair. They played an unprecedented number of home Tests in the 2016-17 season. They played Sri Lanka in six Tests just in 2017. Surely one of those could have been a day-night affair?

One can see why the team is reluctant to dive into the Adelaide Test this year as their first outing under the floodlights. Yes, it is a high-profile series. But whose fault is it that the team is just one of the two Test playing nations (new members Ireland and Afghanistan excluded) to not have played a single pink-ball Test? As unfortunate as it is that the team is yet to play a Test under lights, when is there going to be a first time? You wouldn’t play in Australia or England or South Africa, as it is too high profile. You are not going to play in the UAE, because politics. You are hesitant to play in India, because conditions might not suit the pink-ball. It seems the excuses are aplenty, the will to act – not so much.

Just like the board reacted with horror with the monstrosity that was T20 cricket before the World T20 in 2007, just like there was a reluctance to embrace DRS - this is just a case of BCCI and Indian cricket failing to move on with the times as the game keeps evolving.

The pink-ball has been trialled in the Duleep Trophy and players have expressed their reservations over the ball being right for conditions in India, as we already wrote on these pages. While there have been noises made about how the board is serious is about Test cricket and its future, the truth is that the biggest innovation to keep the game alive has been shunned.

Every cricket fan will tell you the day-night Test matches in Adelaide have been fascinating at most times, even breathtaking to watch. And it’s a shame that the world’s best Test team won’t be a part of that this year, having prioritised the need to win a series in the short-term, over the long-term future of the game.