Mitchell Starc gestures during a match. File
Left-arm Australia pacer Mitchell Starc is pretty much excited at the prospect of playing a pink-ball Test against India when the two teams lock horns against each other towards the end of the year in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
India had refused to play a day-night Test on their last tour to Australia in 2018-19 when they, under Virat Kohli, registered their first-ever Test series win Down Under.
However, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly in February had agreed that there would be a pink-ball Test in the upcoming tour.
“I think absolutely a pink-ball Test in the series against India is a great thing,” Starc was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“The fans love it, I think it creates a different aspect to the contest, bat and ball are closer together in that contest.
“India played a pink-ball game in India so they’re not completely foreign to it,” he added.
Australia have played seven day-night Tests so far and have registered victories in all those matches. India, on the other hand, have played just one pink-ball Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata which they won comprehensively within three days.
“In terms of an advantage, if you like, we do have a good record at home with the pink ball,” said Starc, who boasts an enviable record of 42 wickets at 19.23 from his seven day-night Tests.
“That might come into a home-ground advantage and it’s no different to us going to India and they’ve got the advantage there.
“It’d be great to have a pink-ball contest in that series and from the little bits I’ve seen and heard, India are very much open to that as well so that’s fantastic,” he added.
‘Saliva ban pretty boring’
Starc warned Tuesday that cricket risks becoming “pretty boring” if ball-tampering rules are not relaxed in response to a coronavirus-linked ban on using saliva to shine the ball.
The International cricket Council (ICC) is set to implement the ban in June after receiving medical advice that spit poses a COVID-19 transmission risk.
Bowlers traditionally get the ball to move in the air, deceiving the batsman, by shining one side using sweat or saliva.
Starc said swinging the ball in such a manner was a crucial part of the contest between bowler and batsman.
“We don’t want to lose that or make it less even, so there needs to be something in place to keep that ball swinging,” he told reporters in an online press conference.
“Otherwise people aren’t going to be watching it and kids aren’t going to want to be bowlers.
“In Australia in the last couple of years we’ve had some pretty flat wickets, and if that ball’s going straight it’s a pretty boring contest.”
Anil Kumble, chairman of the ICC cricket committee, said this week that the saliva ban was only intended to be a temporary measure during the coronavirus crisis.
The former Indian Test spinner suggested cricket regulators did not want to open the door to using foreign substances to alter the condition of the ball.
Starc said he understood such reluctance, given the clear rules that exist against ball tampering.
But he said if bowlers were disadvantaged by a saliva ban, they should be given more leeway elsewhere.
The 30-year-old said ground staff could be ordered not to produce batsman-friendly flat wickets, or ball-tampering rules could be changed allowing a substance such as wax could be applied to the ball.
New dad Virat Kohli returns to captain a buoyant India against England as they aim to build on their crushing win over Australia by sealing a place in the World Test Championship final.
Rashid Khan claimed 6-49 and completed his maiden 10-wicket haul in Test cricket as Afghanistan overcame rain and fading light to crush Bangladesh by 224 runs in the one-off Test in Chittagong on Monday.
India, leading 2-1 in the series, struggled to make runs and lost crucial wickets early in the day, including skipper Virat Kohli who failed to score. But Pant put on 113 for the seventh wicket with Sundar to hit back after the England bowlers reduced India to 146 for six at one stage.
While there is still speculation over the kind of wicket that will be dished out for the fourth and final Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium here, the visitors are preparing for the worst, expecting the ball to turn from ball one.
The 4th Edition of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Blitz Chess Tournament, will take place at the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club on Saturday.
Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal hit centuries as Sri Lanka raised hope of winning the second Test after reducing Bangladesh to 34-4 on day four in Dhaka on Thursday.
Hosted by the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club, the championship is being held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.