Sachin Tendulkar is all for the buzz and eyeballs that India’s first ever Day/Night Test has generated but at the same time would like the stakeholders to ensure that quality of cricket is not compromised at any level.
India are the last among top Test playing nations to join the ‘pink ball bandwagon’ as they take on Bangladesh in Kolkata from Friday but the cricket icon would like to wait and watch as how things pan out.
“The whole thing is to bring in more people in the stadium adds a new element to Test cricket. That is important but at the same time, I feel we should also evaluate after the game, how much dew was there and whether cricket — the standard of play — was compromised there,” the cricket legend told PTI in an exclusive interview.
Tendulkar, who had earlier voiced his concern about tackling the dew factor, said the Indian cricket think-tank should do a postmortem after the match gets over.
“I think there are two sides to it. One is to bring more spectators, but also at the same time, not compromising the standard of play. If the ball starts getting wet and if the game starts getting affected, then I think we need to sit back and decide what we want to do. If both these things come together then I think it’s a win-win story,” the maestro said.
“But if there’s going to be some dew and if those elements don’t allow you to produce good cricket, then there could be a meeting where they can discuss and do a post-mortem on how the event was.”
Tendulkar is headlining a list of dignitaries who will be present for India’s first ever pink ball experiment, four years after Australia set the ball rolling against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval.
“It’s a good thing. We’ve shown that we also as a nation want to move forward and try out new things. We try and then we see whether it’s successful or not. Success should not be just measured by the number of people inside the stadium. I think that is just one aspect,” he said.
Asked whether spinners will have to be effective with the pink ball on a grassy pitch, the cricket icon straightway pointed out the Perth Test last year where Nathan Lyon returned with a match-winning eight-wicket haul to seal Australia’s 146-run win.
“Generally, people feel spinners cannot do much on hard and grassy surfaces. But if you see, last year when India went to Australia, on the Perth pitch (new Stadium), which was helping pacers, Nathan Lyon did well.”
The SG pink ball is yet to be used in a D/N match in India as Duleep Trophy was played with kookaburra.
“I think if you’re trying out new things and there always be a first time,” he said.
As the discussion veered towards India’s pace attack, Tendulkar attributed it to their peak fitness.
“We’ve got got all three bowlers who are bowling 140kph. It’s not so often that we get to see all quicks bowling in 140kph and also bowling well. The seam position is really nice. And the areas that they are hitting consistently is very good.
“They have done a very good job. I think it’s lot to do with fitness. If you are fit, then you are able to bowl longer spells. I think what is happening is that most of the teams are not batting that long. I don’t think anyone has batted for a day and a half, right?