Former Australia wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist is hopeful of India agreeing to play a Day/Night Test in his country next year after Virat Kohli and his men were convinced to compete in their maiden pink ball match by new BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly.
India were requested to play a Day/Night Test in Australia during the 2018-19 tour but the visitors had declined the offer. A year later, India will be playing their maiden Test with pink ball against Bangladesh from November 22 in Kolkata.
“They would be here next summer after the T20 World Cup. I expect there will be a Day/Night Test there. I haven’t heard from Cricket Australia but I expect there would be one,” Glichrist said on the sidelines of an event by Tourism Australia.
“I was a reluctant starter of Day/night Tests but now I can totally see the positive outcomes that is going to help Test cricket stay relevant,” he added, referring to his own apprehensions about the pink ball.
There have been 11 Day/Night Tests so far with Australia being involved in five of them. Australia and New Zealand were the first to play the format in 2015.
“There is going to teething issues, particularly in India with dew, working out what series, what venues and it takes a bit of time. I used to be worried about the statistic of the game, can you compare with Day/Night in twilight to batting in broad daylight,” he explained his take on the innovation.
“It is different. But there was a time we didn’t have covered wickets, helmets, so a lot of things have changed. It is a game that has evolved over time. So whatever it takes to keep it alive and now I am very supportive of Day/Night,” he said.
The 47-year-old former Australia vice-captain was also asked about the newly-introduced World Test Championships in which teams are collecting points for every bilateral result. The event will culminate with the top two teams competing in the final in 2021.
“I understand why the ICC is trying to make sure that each Test means something even if it is 2-0 in a three-Test series, make sure that the teams keep fighting and salvage something towards the Test championship,” he said.
“It will be interesting to see over the cycle if players find it more relevant. But I don’t think it is necessary a guarantee that more people attending Test cricket. I think the days of consistent crowds of Test cricket are probably gone.
“The big marquee series like India-Australia and the Ashes will still garner a decent crowd. There’s still a very strong passive following of Test cricket,” he reasoned.
Don’t try to be MS Dhoni: Gilchrist to Pant
Gilchrist also had just one advice for the embattled Rishabh Pant -- don’t try to be the next Mahendra Singh Dhoni just as he didn’t try to be Ian Healy 2.0.
Pant has been struggling to hold on to his place in the Indian team despite a resounding start to his career with Test hundreds on debut in England and Australia. In Sunday’s T20 match against Bangladesh, Pant also copped criticism for bad DRS calls, something that Dhoni had mastered at his peak.
Glichrist reiterated that the 22-year-old Pant should only focus on being his own best version instead of trying to ape the iconic former captain, who is currently on a sabbatical.
“My number one suggestion to Indian fans and journalists would be: Don’t attempt to compare him with MS Dhoni. The mould that they used to make Dhoni, they have mashed it up once he was made. So that they make sure that there is not another one,” he quipped.
Gilchrist, who held the record for most dismissal by an Australian wicketkeeper in ODIs, said he never tried to copy Healy when he came into the national team.
“I know from personal experience, I went after Ian Healy, who was picked in the best ever Test cricket team in Australia. I just didn’t want to try to be Ian Healy. I wanted to learn from him but I wanted to be Adam Gilchrist and that would be my advice to Rishabh,” he said.
Gilchrist, however, did urge the youngster to learn from Dhoni’s phenomenal career during which he led India to two world titles.
“My advice would be to learn everything you possibly can, work as hard as you can but don’t try to be MS Dhoni. just try to be the best Rishabh Pant,” he said.