We are ready for pink ball Test, says Vihari

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Sydney, Dec 13  Batting with the pink ball can be both productive and challenging as the ball comes onto the bat better than the red ball but also moves a lot more at night, said India batsman Hanuma Vihari.

Vihari (27) scored a century in the day-night warm-up game with Australia A that concluded at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

He also said that the Indian bowlers have discussed plans on how to bowl with the pink ball in different phases of the match, something he cannot discuss at the moment.

“Getting used to pink ball is a challenge and after that pace and bounce is totally different from what you get with the red ball. It comes on to the bat pretty well. I thought there was a bit of seam movement on the first day as well. Getting used to it was a big challenge and now I feel as a team we are very well prepared. I think getting to play with the pink ball just before the Test is an ideal practice for us and we played against a decent opposition in both games,” Vihari, who had not played India’s first pink ball Test at the Eden Gardens in 2019 against Bangladesh, told reporters on Sunday.

Vihari said that the batsmen’s job will be to put a big total for the bowlers. He also echoed the views of Australians like Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Hazlewood and others in saying that batting in the twilight under the floodlights becomes more difficult.

“The challenge against the pink ball during the twilight and when the floodlights are on you know it does a little bit in the air and off the wicket, so that is a challenge we have realised as a team. I hope not only me but all the batsmen we will take it as a challenge going into Adelaide, we will make sure that as a batting group we put up a good total for the bowlers,” Vihari said.

“It comes onto the bat more than the red ball maybe because of the shine… I don’t know what the reason is. But under lights it does more,” he added.

Vihari also said that the bowlers have been discussing what lines and lengths they have to bowl although he said he cannot reveal the plan.

“Coming to the bowlers, they have been discussing what lines and lengths they have to bowl in different phases of the game, during the day-time and the twilight time, under lights. That is something which I feel is in the game-plan which I can’t reveal right now. But you will be seeing in the first Test,” said Vihari.

The India middle-order batsman, who was part of the team that won the 2018/19 series, said those who didn’t play the day-night warm-up like Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and R Ashwin have been practising a lot at the nets with the pink ball and also have the experience of playing the day-night Test at Eden Gardens.

“I think they have been practising everyday back in the nets and putting in the hard work. Obviously, they are the senior players and have been playing international cricket for a long time. We have played one pink ball Test before this as well so they are used to it, they are practising with it everyday. So I am sure being the professional they will be very well-equipped with it,” said Vihari.


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