Indian backflip after bitter Paine sledge

IT appears India have finally joined the rest of the world in the pink-ball revolution with news the nation will face Australia in the new format.

India have also relented, allowing a return to the Gabba after the visitors were heavily criticised for their last trip to Australia, where there was an appearance that cricket's most powerful board had dictated terms.

The side, who won their first pink-ball Test in November against Bangladesh within two days, finally seem to have eased their reluctance to try the new format.

 

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India were the last Test playing nation to play in a day-night Test.

But with former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly at the helm as president, the BCCI appear to have agreed with Australia's terms.

It's a great result for Australia, who haven't lost a Test match at the Gabba and have played in seven day-night Test matches, winning all seven, including four at Adelaide Oval, where the match is likely to be played.

It is set for a spicy series after India avoided both the Gabba and a day-night Test in their last series and copped a tongue lashing from Australian Test skipper Tim Paine last summer.

Asked post-match after Australia won the Gabba Test against Pakistan this season, Paine took aim at Indian skipper Virat Kohli, continuing the pair's bitter relationship.

Last time it got heated.
Last time it got heated.

Paine, who is known for his gentle sledges, slammed Kohli during Perth Test in the 2018-19 series in Australia when he said to Murali Vijay "I know he's your captain, but you can't seriously like him as a bloke - you couldn't possibly like him".

But when questioned over whether Australia would like to return to the Gabba, a venue at which they hold a 31 Test unbeaten run and a ground India have never won at, Paine was pointed in his response.

"Yeah, well, we'll be certainly trying. We'll have to run that by Virat," Paine said. "We'll get an answer from him at some stage I'm sure."

"(The Gabba is) where we like to start our summer, and it has been for a long, long time except for last summer. So as I said, we'll ask Virat. See if we can get his permission to play here.

"And maybe even get a pink-ball test if he's in a good mood."

And Australia got both.

"A formal announcement will come soon but we have decided to play a day-night test in Australia," BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told Monday's edition of the Times of India newspaper.

"We will also play one against England at home next February. Day-night Tests will be a regular feature from now on."

CricInfo reported that Australia wanted two day-night matches but were talked back to one.

"Two out of four would be a bit too much with the pink ball," Ganguly said.

Probably a good call with this weapon at Australia’s disposal.
Probably a good call with this weapon at Australia’s disposal.

Kohli made it clear last month his team were "ready and up for the challenge" of day-night Test cricket in Australia.

"We played the day-night Test here (in 2019 at Eden Gardens), we were very happy with how it went," Kohli said.

"It's become a very exciting feature of any series, so we are absolutely open to play a day-night Test."

Kohli dominated in India's day-night Test debut against Bangladesh, hitting 136 as India won by an innings and 46 runs.

Kohli added "it doesn't matter to us", when dismissing the notion India were reluctant to play at the Gabba.

If the Gabba is locked in to host India then Perth's Optus Stadium will miss out on hosting a Test next season.

Australia will likely play a one-off Test against lowly-ranked Afghanistan in Perth, but at the WACA rather than the new venue.

Probably a few more fans will come to see India play at the Gabba.
Probably a few more fans will come to see India play at the Gabba.

During the last series, India were widely slammed for their day-night refusal with former England captain Michael Vaughan the most vocal critic.

"I think it's ridiculous that the BCCI can change," Vaughan said.

"This has been a great spectacle for the three years - we were here for the Ashes day-night last year and it was a great game of cricket.

"I'm a firm believer that whatever the home board want to do, they do and the touring team come on and get on with playing. I think it's a great shame that it's not a day-night game."