Cricket Men Cricket

IND v BAN: How did the pink ball behave on the 1st day?

Opting to bat first, Bangladesh suffered in the hands of Indian pacers who were deadly accurate on the day one of the first Day-Night Test at the Edens.

It was a joyful sight for the Indian fans as the veteran Ishant Sharma picked up his first five-wicket haul in almost a decade. He started off well and it was quite visible that early in the innings, India did not get the right swing as expected.

The bowlers then had a little chat and found the right line and length to bowl with the pink ball and boom. Things changed quickly in favour of the hosts.

Ishant Sharma mixed it up well. He had good lengths followed by a short ball and then those that swung away followed by those that swung in.

He has been practising a delivery that sticks to the surface, doesn’t move away so much but a little, confusing the batters. The same delivery turned fruitful to him as he picked up three wickets with the same style of delivery.

At times, the Indian bowlers were everywhere. The ball was acting wildly as expected when the polished portion touched the right spot of the pitch.

Things certainly were difficult for Wriddhiman Saha who did an outstanding job behind the wickets. He had to fly left, right, front and squat for literally every single delivery. His anticipation is the talking point today. Especially, the flying catch he took today where he realised that the ball would not carry to the first slip. This presence of mind coupled with loads of experience made Saha the player of the day despite some heavy performances from Ishant Sharma and the batters.

In the first Test, Rohit Sharma dropped a sitter after which he trained hard to be a better slip fielder. The training came good today as he also grabbed a blinder at the second slip.

If you notice, the ball was travelling quicker than the red ball and as Rahane quoted, playing it late would have saved Bangladesh’s wickets.

Also, at home conditions, it was a rare thing that India did not bowl Ashwin as much as they normally do. This not only revealed the conditions but also the confidence Kohli has on his pacers.

The major difference between the Indian bowlers and the Bangladesh bowlers is the homework they have done for the individual players. Bangladesh looked blunt tried the same deliveries for all the batters whereas, the Indian bowlers mixed it up very well. The basic technique was to play the ball late, something, the team has been doing in most of the foreign conditions.

It will be interesting to see how things turn on day 2.

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