Bangladesh won the toss in their first ‘Pink-ball’ Test against India at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and opted to bat first.
The Tigers overlooked Taijul Islam and Mehidy Hasan Miraz to pave the way for Nayeem Hasan and Al Amin Hossain. Bangladesh went with a three-man pace attack in this game.
There's a lot that has changed since India's first Pink Ball game in 2016. It was a CAB Super League Final between Bhowanipore Club and Mohan Bagan when Kookaburra balls were used. The seam used to be dark green and then they turned to black and now, with feedback from the players, they have gone back to green one believes. But SG balls will be used for this game. The pink ball, in general, has an extra layer of colour coating to ensure it doesn't lose colour with wear and tear.
India (Playing XI): Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma
Bangladesh (Playing XI): Shadman Islam, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque(c), Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Liton Das(w), Nayeem Hasan, Abu Jayed, Al-Amin Hossain, Ebadat Hossain
Virat Kohli: We would have batted first as well. Decent grass cover on it, but it's a hard pitch. With the pink ball, there will be something for the first 15 overs. This is another opportunity for us to come and execute our skills. The challenge is to adapt quickly to the ball. It travels fast and it's difficult to control. We are fulfilling the responsibility of debuting with the pink ball. After the set of legends we have had, I think it's our responsibility that we are doing right. We are setting the right examples. Proud to have this opportunity to do so. We have the same team from the first Test.
Mominul Haque: We will bat first, the wicket is dry and hard, so that's why we want to bat first. It's a brave decision we feel. It's a great opportunity for everyone. Two changes for us. Al Amin comes in place of Taijul and Nayeem Hasanin for Mehidy Hasan.
Bangladesh has won the toss and has opted to bat
Special coin to be used for toss
The big guns are here. Sourav Ganguly, his opening partner Sachin Tendulkar. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee are also present and they will be introduced to the teams in a bit. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli walks out for the toss. Quite a bit of crowd already in.
Pitch report: The surface surprisingly doesn't sport the green colour. Eden Gardens, since the relaying of the pitch, usually holds grass and is now very good for pacers. The greenery is much lesser than the New Zealand Test in 2016. You normally expect the pitch to have a lot of grass so as it to ensure the pink ball doesn't soften, but this is interesting. "Maybe dew could be the reason," opines Deep Dasgupta.
"Al Amin Hossain is a most-likely inclusion. There could be more than one change to the XI that played in Indore," informs Atif Azam, our Bangladesh correspondent.
"Hello from Eden Gardens, where lots of people seem to have colour-coordinated with the big occasion. There's ground staff in pink, some of TV crew in pink and of course the stands have received a pink touch too," says Prakash, who has also turned pink for the occasion. "Ashwin's bowling on the side wicket. Lots of bounce for him with the pink ball. He'll enjoy this," he adds.
So when this thought of playing Test cricket under lights came, the main focus was the colour of the ball. The conventional red ball is tough to spot with black skies in the background, while the white ball doesn't last 50 overs, forget 90. So the colour had to be bright. They tried yellow and orange, but the visibility of the ball when it hit the pitch wasn't great, which eventually paved the way for pink, which is bright enough to be spotted everywhere.
The world has evolved. It's a day and age where patience is tough to find and there's more emphasis on materialistic things. Cricket's traditionalists too have been hit by this change, so they are trying to survive in this evolution. Apart from the loyalists in England and parts in India, Australia, South Africa, Boxing Days Etc. we are not seeing full houses. People are finding ways to stand out. And thus came the idea of playing Test cricket under lights to attract people after their support to white-ball cricket under black skies. It's a historic day for Indian cricket - their first ever taste of Pink Ball cricket in Test cricket and the spectacular Eden Gardens is playing host. There is so much excitement around Kolkata as it turns pink. cricbuzz