BCCI president Sourav Ganguly revealed that it took Virat Kohli exactly three seconds to agree to the idea of India playing their first-ever Day-Night Test. Over the years, India have been sceptical about playing Test under floodlights ever since the concept was introduced back in 2015.
There were talks about India playing a Day-Night Test during last year’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy but the management turned it down. Ganguly, who had introduced D/N Tests three years ago at the domestic level, within a week of his appointment, announced India’s first-ever such Test to be played against Bangladesh at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens from November 22 to 26.
“Honestly I don’t know why and what was the reason they did not want to play and accept the D/N Test (in Adelaide). I met him for an hour and the first question was we need to have day/night Tests and the answer in three seconds was let’s go ahead and do that,” Ganguly said at former ICC umpire Simon Taufel’s book launch.
“I really don’t know what happened in the past and what was the reason but I found him absolutely acceptable to play D/N Tests. He realises and thinks that empty stands in Tests is not the right way forward.”
Ganguly further stated that Day-Night Tests could indeed be the way forward for the format in India keeping in mind the poor turn out of the crowd. Kohli had raised his concerns after the recently-concluded three-Test series against South Africa drew bad numbers and the former India captain feels D/N Tests has all the potential to revive the falling popularity of Test cricket.
“I know T20 every stand is full in every game. But proper management of Test cricket will bring back crowd. It’s a start for India. I think with this concept Test cricket will be back on its feet,” he said.
“Now people’s lives have changed, you cannot leave offices so that’s when you have to make adaptability. That’s important. Most number of times change is good. A lot of time, we hold on to things thinking what you believe is right. It’s when you’re forced to come out of your comfort zone, you actually find out it’s better than what you think. I think pink ball will bring back crowd and the Test cricket needs to be marketed a lot more.”
The state of Test cricket is a lot better in Australia and England, especially during the Ashes. Ganguly recalled how the overwhelming turnout from the crowd during his 100th Test was something he would never forget. “My 100th Test was a Boxing Day Test at MCG. You really got fortunate to get in that position in your Test career. There were close to 70,000 people in the stands in Test match on day one. You should see the Ashes also,” he said.