Day & Night Test cricket is a relatively new concept in the international game. The format was first trailled in the English County Championship from 2011 and the Sheffield Shield from 2013. The first international match with the pink ball was hosted at the Adelaide Oval in late 2015, when the Australian team clashed with New Zealand.
The Australian team is the most experienced international side when it comes to the pink ball game. They have been part of 7 matches out of the total 14 played so far, and have remained unbeaten when playing with the pink ball.
The pink ball has given relatively better assistance to the bowlers, especially in the twilight period and in the last session under lights. The success of Australia's bowlers has played a big part in their victories.
As the visiting Indian side gears up to take on Australia in the first Day & Night Test at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, let us have a look at the performances of the Australian team's bowlers with the pink ball so far.
Mitchell Starc has been part of all seven Day & Night Tests played by the Australian team. He has been one of the deadliest bowlers with the pink ball.
Starc has picked up 50 wickets from the seven matches with 3 five-wicket hauls. His average drops down to 19.23 when he bowls with the pink ball, compared to his career bowling average of 26.97.
The left-arm pacer’s strike rate is an unmatched 35.6 in pink-ball cricket. Just to put it in perspective, this strike rate is second only to George Lohmann (1886-1896) among bowlers who have picked up a minimum of 50 wickets.
Josh Hazlewood's consistency along with the extra movement that occurs under the lights has created problems for the batsmen.
Hazlewood has picked up 49 wickets from the 6 Test matches played with the pink ball. His average is marginally better at 22.38 compared to his career average of 26.2.
The right-arm seamer has one five-wicket haul which he picked up when the Australian team met New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval in 2015.
Pat Cummins has played in four out of the seven Day & Night Test matches that Australia has played. He has picked up 35 wickets including a five-wicket haul. His career-best figures of 6 for 23 have come in the pink ball Test against Sri Lanka in 2019.
At 21.82, Pat Cummins is the bowler with the best average in the current bowling attack of the Australian team. His average drops further to 18.57 in Day & Night matches, and is better than that of Mitchell Starc. However, his strike rate of 48.6 is higher than Starc's.
Nathan Lyon has been part of the Australian team for all the seven Day & Night Test matches that they have played. His tally reads 44 wickets at an average of 25.96.
This average is much better than Lyon’s career average of 31.58. It is a clear indication that the cricket under lights isn’t just for the quicker bowlers.
Lyon picks up a wicket in every 55.4 balls and has one five-wicket haul in the pink ball game.Published 16 Dec 2020, 16:52 IST