A few of days after the historic pink-ball Test match came to an end at Eden Gardens, India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has reiterated that visibility of the ball is indeed an issue, especially batting under floodlights.
Pujara, who boasts of an unbeaten 256 facing the pink ball at the domestic level, became the first Indian to score a half century in a day-night Test. Having batted under lights for most of his innings, Pujara said that the experience was quite different from playing the traditional red ball.
“You have to concentrate a little extra and spend little bit more time at the crease to get used to it. When it comes to red ball, visibility isn’t an issue at all during the day,” Pujara told the Indian Express. “But with pink ball under lights, when you walk in to bat during the second or the third session, visibility can be a bit of a problem as you are sitting in the dressing room and suddenly you are walking in under lights. It swings a bit more. So you have to spend little more time at the crease, try to get used to that light and then may be you can start playing your shots.”
The third and final day of the second Test saw a discussion between commentators Sanjay Manjrekar and Harsha Bhogle about the visibility of the ball, with the later advocating the need to talk to the players and take their views on board.
Pujara said the ideal time to bat with the pink ball was the first session and late into the final session. While saying that picking the ball from bowler’s hand was not an issue, he added that the wobbly nature of the ball due to the extra lacquer made it challenging.
“May be since I have played just one innings in that situation, I felt it that way. May be if I play more, then I can comment on the exact thing, but it was different. I was there under lights for 30-45 minutes before dew started to come in and the ball stopped moving as much; it got a little easier,” he said.
Echoing the thoughts of his captain Virat Kohli, the Saurashtra batsman was also of the opinion that pink-ball Tests must remain a one-off during home seasons, and that Test cricket will continue to be mostly played with the red ball.
Speaking about his aggressive approach in Indore in the first Test (where he made 54 off 72 with nine fours) against Bangladesh, Pujara said it was not premeditated.
“It just happened. I don’t come out with a mindset like that. I found that I was moving fluently, the timing was great and I started to play like that. I was trying to convert the loose balls into fours. You don’t predetermine stuff like that in Test cricket; it was happening naturally. Unless you are looking to declare or something, you don’t pre determine. In first innings, you go out there, assess the conditions and react,” he said.
You can read the full interview with Pujara here.