Renowned commentator Aakash Chopra has opined that batting during the twilight period and the lack of clarity about who will partner Mayank Agarwal will be the biggest challenges for the Indian team in the day-night Test against Australia.
He made this observation while responding to fan questions on various cricketing topics in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra responded that the Indian team will face multiple challenges during the pink-ball Test, when asked about the same. He pointed out that the Indian players’ lack of experience playing day-night Tests would go against them.
“There will be a lot of challenges. Firstly, this is only India’s second pink-ball Test match. They have played just the one against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens.”
The former Indian opener highlighted that the batsmen are slow while reacting to swing as they are not accustomed to playing against the pink ball.
“There is an issue with sighting the ball in the twilight period. The brain does not process the information as fast when it comes to the pink ball and you are done even if there is a small doubt as the ball is coming at the speed of 140 kph.”
Aakash Chopra observed that Australia would also have few difficulties but have greater familiarity playing in those conditions.
“So the twilight time is going to be tough for the Indian team. It is for Australia as well but they have played a lot of pink-ball matches already which we have not done.”
Aakash Chopra added that slip catching could be another problem area for the Indian team, especially considering their fielding standards in the recently concluded white-ball leg of the tour.
“Even the slip fielding might be a problem. The fielding anyway has not been great these days.”
Aakash Chopra picked the lack of clarity about Mayank Agarwal’s opening partner as another issue for the Indian team. He highlighted that neither Shubman Gill nor Prithvi Shaw was amongst the runs in the first warm-up match.
“Opening is going to be a concern. Because there is still a question mark on who will open with Mayank Agarwal. Neither Shubman made runs nor Prithvi.”
Aakash Chopra reckoned that the Indian team is unlikely to opt for KL Rahul instead of Prithvi Shaw as a Test opener. The latter scored a half-century in the last Test match India played against the Kiwis.
“I don’t think India is going to pick KL Rahul as an opener ahead of Prithvi Shaw because the latter had scored runs as well in the last Test match he played in New Zealand.”
Aakash Chopra signed off by iterating that batting at the top of the order and during the twilight period will be the biggest concerns for the Indian team during the pink-ball Test.
“So, opening the innings and the twilight period will be the biggest challenges for Team India in the first Test match.”
The final warm-up match starting on December 11 is likely to shed more light on who will walk out to open the batting for India in the pink-ball Test. But with Mayank Agarwal expected to be one of the openers in the practice match, only one of the other candidates would get a chance to present their case at the top of the order, at least in the first innings.