The pitch and conditions at the Eden Gardens are expected to suit the pacers and the spinners might find it difficult to have a say on the proceedings. If the initial reports are anything to go by, there will be considerable about of grass coverage of the surface so that the ball is able to retain its shape and features.
In the case of the pink ball, the seam is more pronounced than the red ball. Also, it is stitched with a black thread as opposed to the white on a red ball. Owing to the dew factor, the seam is kept bold and more visible. As far as the pitch is concerned, it is expected that the surface will have a covering of grass, so it will assist the seam bowlers a lot, especially under the lights.
Also, if the batsmen complain of not being able to see the ball properly during the twilight period, the umpires will have to switch on the lights earlier than expected.
In 11 day-night Tests, spinners have taken only 96 off the 366 wickets to have fallen. The pacers have ruled the roost, but when it comes to day-night Tests in Asian conditions, numbers tell a different story.
Two of the 11 Tests have been played in Asia and in these matches, which have been held in Dubai, spinners have taken 46 off the 73 wickets to have fallen. Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has two five-wicket hauls, while West Indies' Devendra Bishoo even has an eight-wicket haul. The wrist-spinners have had a more profound influence on the match as compared to the finger spinners.
Indian spin legend Harbhajan Singh thinks the conditions under lights in the sub-continent will be helpful for the wrist spinners "Wrist spinners will have one advantage if you see because it's going to be very difficult to pick the seam (with black stitches) of the pink ball," Harbhajan said.
However, as former Indian captain Rahul Dravid pointed out, dew will play a major role in the game and how this factor is controlled could well determine the future of the day/night Test in India. "It is not the only solution to rejuvenate Test cricket, but it is one of the things we need to do. If only we are able to control dew, the pink ball Test can become an annual feature in India," Dravid told the Economic Times.
Sujan Mukherjee, the head grounds-man at Eden Gardens, however, says, dew has been manageable and that he will start using the anti-dew spray a few days before the Test match. It should be mentioned here that since the sun will set at around 5:00 pm Bangladesh Standard Time (BST), dew will play a significant role in the scheme of things and this is where it will get very tricky for the bowlers.
India and Bangladesh will lock horns for the first-ever pink-ball Test in India at the Eden Gardens on Friday. The toss is scheduled at 1.00 pm BST, and play will start at 1:30 pm BST. The lunch break lasting 40 minutes will be between 3.30 pm and 4.10 pm, and the tea break, spanning 20 minutes is from 6.10 pm to 6.30 pm.