India captain Virat Kohli expects pacers to have a big role in the day-night Test against England, which begins at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Both teams have won a game each in the four-match series and ahead of third Test, Kohli was asked in a virtual press conference about the challenges of facing a pink ball.
“The pink ball does tend to swing a lot more than the red ball. We experienced that when we played for the first time in 2019 (against Bangladesh),” said Kohli.
The India captain said that his team is focussed on their skills and not worried about who will benefit more from the swing offered by the pink ball.
“...not really bothered about what the strengths and weaknesses of the English team are. We have beaten them in their home as well, where the ball does way more and we have bowled them out every time, so we’re not really bothered with that. It’s just about playing well as a team,” he said.
“And yes, there are many weaknesses in the opposition side as well, if you are keen to exploit them. If the conditions are going to be seamer-friendly then it’s going to be a challenge for them too. We have one of the best bowling attacks in the world so we’re not really bothered by what the ball might bring differently to the table. We’re ready for anything that comes our way.”
Both teams go into the game with a lot of unknowns. The pink ball is known to aid the pacers but it remains to be seen how much it will help the spinners, which is considered India’s strength at home.
India batsman Rohit Sharma and England pacer James Anderson had earlier said they expect the Ahmedabad pitch to offer spin. But Kohli said facing the pink ball is more challenging than the red ball irrespective of the nature of the surface.
“It is much more challenging to play with pink ball regardless of the pitch you play on. Especially in the evening, if as a batting team you are starting your innings under lights then that one and a half hour is very challenging,” he said.
“Yes, spin will come into play for sure but I don’t think the new ball and fast bowlers can be ignored. The pink ball does bring them into the game till the ball is nice and shiny, something we are very well aware of and preparing for accordingly,” added Kohli.
(With inputs from PTI)