Adelaide Oval Test

Pink Ball Nights

Some will call it historic. But futuristic is more appropriate.

Day-night Test cricket is almost here. How long it stays is anyone’s guess.

The outcome of events at the Adelaide Oval in the next few days will have an enormous impact on the concept. This has the potential to reshape the future of the world’s greatest game.

Everybody will have an opinion on the pink ball.

Adelaide will be radically different from the draw at the WACA last week. There will be a result.

Although in recent years Sheffield Shield matches have been played at night with the pink ball and New Zealand have just played a warm up match in similar conditions, both sides will step into the unknown.

This increases the mystery behind the occasion.

New conditions, altered playing times and different equipment will be tested.

The lunch and tea breaks have been swapped. The pitch has been doctored to suit the fragile pink ball and more grass than ever can be expected on a wicket likely to assist bowlers more than batsmen.

Huge crowds will flock through the gates and the scene will be spectacular. The striking images of the incredible India-Pakistan Cricket World Cup Match at the Adelaide Oval in 2015 will be remembered.

India Pak CWC2015

A result is assured on what is expected to be a seam bowlers paradise. Batting at dusk will be difficult.

Vision will be restricted as the setting sun competes with artificial lights. Facing a thunderous 150kmph spell from a pack of carnivorous fast bowlers will be tougher than usual.

Fielding in the deep won’t be fun either.

We all dread the skied shots that slowly make their way to us in the deep. They should be easy, but diving away in the gully for a one handed grab seems like a cinch after you try to chest mark a ‘sitter’ on the fence and it rockets off your collar bone for four.

If you’re not in Adelaide then get yourself down the local tomorrow afternoon and take a peak at cricket’s future.

India v South Africa

Can you believe it?

We’re into the Third Test between these two cricket juggernauts and the highest innings score so far is 215!

That’s right. India has prepared some feisty wickets for South Africa’s tour.

The first Test was a titanic battle and a revolving door for batsmen. India won by 108 runs and the Second Test was destroyed by rain after the Proteas were rolled for 214.

At Nagpur yesterday the Proteas knocked India over for 215 without the injured Dale Steyn or the dropped Vernon Philander. But they are 2/11 in reply.

Expect all out war on day two as South Africa battle to make a three figure score on a low spinners paradise in front of a massive Indian crowd.





Pink Ball Cricket: a bright, floodlit future

The first ever day-night Test match featuring the controversial pink ball is weeks away.

Will the pink grapefruit be as good as the red cherry?

Well, pinky doesn’t last eighty overs for a start. DRS can’t track it consistently and batsmen struggle to pick up the seam.

The pink Kookaburra ball performed terribly at a recent tour match between New Zealand and the PM’s XI in Canberra. An abrasive Manuka Oval wicket was blamed when the ball had to be changed twice.

These are serious and unresolved problems weeks out from a Test Match.

Speculation rages that CA might even change the Test back to a daytime event, but that is not possible when you consider what is at stake.

Millions of dollars have been poured into this event and the cricket world is watching. The enemies of Test cricket (yes they exist) would pounce should this fail.

The Sheffield Shield matches provide an opportunity for limited refinement. All three first round matches are day-night pink ball events. A grassy Adelaide Oval wicket has been prepared for the clash between NSW and South Australia to reduce scuffing of the pink ball. That is not sustainable.

A litany of keen observers will be at this match, considered a dress rehearsal for one of cricket’s biggest modern moments.

Why pink?

Red balls are difficult to see at night. That’s why we use white balls in one day cricket. White isn’t suitable for long form cricket because it gets dirty quickly and also becomes hard to see. More importantly, white balls don’t last eighty overs, the minimum life requisite for Test cricket balls. But apparently neither do pink ones so um… yeah.

The debates and trials of alternate coloured balls have been raging for at least ten years. Surely by now there is a compound or a combination of materials that can replicate the behaviour and ageing characteristics of a traditional cricket ball?

This ball was bowled to NSW by SA in a Shield Match in Adelaide... on a grassy wicket.

This ball was bowled to NSW by SA in a Shield Match in Adelaide… on a grassy wicket.

The day-night show must go on

Cricket Froth believes that day-night Test matches are a positive step and the Adelaide Test must proceed as planned. The ball should be ready by now but can be improved or the colour changed if it isn’t yet perfect.

As a marketing event it fosters new interest and for the purists; the tactical effect of the different playing times and conditions will be most interesting. There may be better times to bat or bowl as dusk, night time and dew environs and a switched lunch and tea break take effect.

Test cricket should have a bright, floodlit future.