What factors make day-night Test matches unique?

05 Dec 2017 | By Rodney Dsouza
India set to play their first day-night Test

Team India is the only major cricketing nation yet to play cricket in whites under the lights, reluctant to embrace the pink ball test.

But, that is set to change as Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland is confident of getting the BCCI on board for a day and night Test in Adelaide next year.

So what's the big fuss about day and night tests?

In context: India set to play their first day-night Test

05 Dec 2017What factors make day-night Test matches unique?

Reversal of breaksWhat's the big difference?

The timing and the pink ball. Day and night Test is played between 2-9 PM.

Lunch will be at 4 PM and Tea is at 6.40 PM. First, we have a 20 minute tea-break and later a 40 minute supper break, a reversal of breaks.

Like regular tests, 6 hours of play happens in day-night tests and 90 overs are bowled per day.

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Why use a pink ball?

Visibility issuesWhy use a pink ball?

While traditionally red-ball has been used in the 140 year history of Test cricket, the ball has visibility issues under the lights.

Why not white ball that is used in limited overs cricket? Because it would clash with the Test clothing.

Hence, the pink ball, which is more visible in the night sky, is used for day-night Test matches.

Swing factorAny difference between the pink and red ball?

Yes. Both the balls are very different. While the red ball has a white seam, the pink has a black seam.

The red ball never loses its colour, whereas, the colour of the pink ball begins to fade away after use.

Some reports even claim that the pink ball swings less than the red one, but has a better reverse swing.

A menace? Third session is the most important session

The third session of the day-night test is the session when the floodlights come on.

This is where the uniqueness of the pink ball can be exploited. It swings more under the lights.

While in the early stages of the game bowlers struggle with the swing, under the lights they dominate.

The bounce on the pink ball can also be exploited.

Reviving Test cricketWhy day and night Test matches?

The ICC is concerned with the dying popularity of the longest format of the game, evident by the lack of crowds in stadium for Tests.

Cricket administrators believe day and night tests will bring the fans back to the stands.

The ICC gave its nod to day and night tests way back in 2012 but the first international game was only played in 2015.