Kolkata – Skipper Virat Kohli said on Sunday India was open to playing a day-night Test in Australia after the world number one ranked team crushed Bangladesh in just over two days of their international “pink-ball” debut.
Kohli’s side won by an innings and 46 runs after bowling out Bangladesh for 195 in less than an hour into day three in Kolkata to sweep the series 2-0.
Day-night Tests with teams using a brighter pink ball instead of the classic red are a relatively new innovation, and India last year refused to consider playing one during their tour of Australia.
But Kohli, who made 136 in India’s first innings against Bangladesh, said he felt his team was now ready for the challenge away from home if the schedule was planned well in advance.
“I think a good practise game before that and enough time to prepare — we’re open to doing anything,” Kohli told reporters when asked if India would play one in Australia next year.
“You can’t just play it on a short notice, like I mentioned last time. If there’s time to prepare, we’re open to take up Test cricket in any manner.”
Australian skipper Tim Paine took a cheeky dig at Kohli when asked about scheduling the first India Test in Brisbane, where the hosts completed a dominant victory over Pakistan Sunday.
“We’ll certainly try but we’ll have to run that by Virat,” Paine quipped after the Test win. “I’m sure we’ll get an answer from him at some stage.”
He added: “Maybe even get a pink-ball Test if he’s in a good mood.”
India’s first day-night Test was a grand affair with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in attendance on the opening day at Eden Gardens on Friday.
India’s new cricket chief, Sourav Ganguly, had been instrumental in convincing the teams to play under floodlights.
Kohli said it was crucial to “market Test cricket” to draw-in more spectators in an age where crowds were flocking to the more shwashbuckling limited-overs games.
“If there’s enough buzz created around Test cricket then there will be a lot more keenness to come to the stadiums,” he said.
The latest series whitewash, the third in a row for India, consolidated their position at the top of the world Test championship, which took off this year to give the long form of the game greater.
Kohli’s rampant side has won seven Tests in a row and recorded their 12th-straight series triumph on home soil on Sunday.
But Kohli played down their dominance.
“I think a more balanced format would be – one series home, one away,” Kohli said on the scheduling of the championship.
“As I said, we’re playing very good cricket but we’ve played only two Tests away (in West Indies) in the Test championship.
India next play a limited-overs series against West Indies before heading to New Zealand for a tour that will include two Tests in January and February.
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