Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said day-night Tests are likely to be the future of cricket, just the way Twenty20s have gained popularity over ODIs in the last few years. Misbah also expressed reservations about the visibility of the pink ball, but said it would probably lead to “a fair competition between bat and ball”.
“At the moment, it looks like [the future] keeping in mind the interest of the audience, who want to watch Test cricket,” Misbah said a day before Pakistan’s first day-night Test, against West Indies in Dubai. “After they [spectators] come from work, it’s a good opportunity and you will see it mostly in future. Let’s see how it goes with the pink ball, it’s an experiment. First the one-day came, then Twenty20 came, so [day-night Test] is a good step to keep the Tests alive.”
When asked about the pink ball in particular, Misbah’s main concern related to the timing of the Test; he said the players would have to readjust to the pink ball once the lights come on later in the day. Misbah also did not hesitate to crack a joke, when asked if the pink ball needed more grass to survive on.
“The only difference is the different timing [of the matches], just the visibility because it’s different for red ball and white ball,” he said. “Maybe when the pink ball gets older, you have to look at it carefully as a batsman because it could be difficult at times [under lights]. You need to make a few adjustments here and there. Overall, it’s good playing under lights also. It’s not like it’s terribly difficult for the batsmen. It’s a fair competition between bat and ball.
“Maybe the pink ball survives on grassy pitches but we also have to make sure that we survive as a team,” Misbah said with a laugh. “You look at your strengths and I believe that it’s up to the team; the better team performs well in all conditions and that is the bottom line. I think if you are a good team, then you do well irrespective of the circumstances. Forget about the pink ball and lights, just go out and perform.”
Pakistan had recently moved to No. 2 in the ICC Test rankings after drawing 2-2 in England, androse to the top for the first time since the current ranking system was introduced when India’s last Test in the West Indies was washed out. Now No. 2 again after India’s home series win against New Zealand, Misbah said they would rather focus on the upcoming series against West Indies than the rankings.
“That’s not important for us,” Misbah said. “The most important thing is to do well; we are more attentive to our performance in this series. You can’t take West Indies lightly because they are a young side and they have everything to prove and such a side is more motivated. We have done well in the last six years, did well on the England tour so the expectations are high.”