Mohammed Shami welcomes pink-ball cricket with open arms
Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has given his thumbs up to pink-ball cricket following his seven-wicket haul in the Super League final against Bhowanipore that helped Mohun Bagan achieve a comprehensive victory in the historic first-ever pink-ball cricket match in India.
Shami, who picked 17 wickets during India’s run to the semi-finals in the 2015 World Cup, is still on his comeback path from a knee injury he underwent last year just after the conclusion of the tournament. The recovery has taken longer than expected but the 25-year-old showed that he has not lost any of his abilities by impressing at the Eden Gardens during the course of the four-day match.
Shami ripped through the Bhowanipore batting line-up in the first innings with a five-wicket haul before dismissing a couple of top-order batsmen second time around as Bagan won the match by a whopping 296 runs. While detractors remain in plenty about the suitability of the pink ball, Shami for one definitely wants to see more of it.
"I would prefer playing with the pink ball in comparison to the red ball. It's a great invention and I hope it prospers," Shami said after receiving the Man-of-the-Match award at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The Uttar Pradesh-born cricketer, who represents Bengal in the Ranji Trophy believes the future of Test cricket lies with the pink ball and has no doubt that bowlers and the cricket loving public would welcome the move with open arms.
"Here we have two sessions under lights and just one in daylight and as a bowler, I would enjoy that. I believe players and the audience would love it. If it remains dry, there is a chance of getting reverse (swing)," the right-arm fast bowler said.
The huge crowd that thronged the venue over the four days adds credibility to Shami’s words and with the BCCI planning to stage a day-night Test at the same venue when New Zealand come visiting in September, Shami might just get the opportunity he wants, this time at the international level. Before that, though, there is the four-Test series against West Indies and Shami has given his chances a huge boost with his performance in this match.
Pink ball cricket is definitely here to stay with the PCB becoming the latest cricket board to confirm that a day-night Test will be played between Pakistan and West Indies in the UAE later this year. The Asian giants will then travel to Australia for a day-night Test in Brisbane before the Aussies take on South Africa at Adelaide, where the first-ever day-night Test was played between the hosts and New Zealand in 2015.