SA faces challenges to host day/night Tests


Captain Faf du Plessis, though, understands it may not be possible immediately due to the quality of the floodlights currently in use at some grounds back home.

“The questions we had about day-night cricket were more skeptical and now we are not so much like that anymore,” Du Plessis said. “But there are positive signs. I would like to see it in South Africa. Obviously, the lights would have to be upgraded dramatically but it adds something different to Test cricket.”

Financially it might be a strain on the domestic unions to stage day-night first-class cricket due to the high cost of electricity involved. Cricket South Africa president Chriz Nenzani, who was present at the Adelaide Oval for the Proteas’ inaugural day-night Test, admitted South Africa still has “a long way to go” in terms of matching the stadium facilities Australia boast and that it was only possibly with government assistance.

Australia’s Sheffield Shield – the equivalent of South Africa’s Sunfoil Series – will comprise of two day-night fixtures this year to expose its domestic players to more pink-ball cricket.

The advent of Test cricket under lights and the usage of the pink ball have though added a different dimension to the game. Du Plessis tried to maximise the effect of bowling under lights by offering up a tactical declaration in South Africa’s first innings, and although it was not effective in producing the desired results, it certainly had people excited about the possibilities.

Vernon Philander opened the bowling with the pink ball after Du Plessis’s declaration and had his own views on its behaviour.

“It is different in the hand. Different to red ball in the way it behaves. It think it does too much. It is certainly work in progress in terms of the pink ball. Just need to get used to it. I would also like to see our domestic teams play with it a bit for future reference,” the Man of the Series explained.

South Africa may have tried to be too smart in their pink ball gameplans in terms of dropping promising left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj for left-arm Chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi. Throughout the build-up to this Test the Proteas had spoken about how the Australians may struggle to “read” Shamsi out of the hand due to the different colour of the ball.

Shamsi’s match figures of 2/150 certainly did not indicate that the Aussie batsmen had any undue troubles, and in fact, Du Plessis may have missed the control Maharaj had brought to proceedings in the previous two Tests.

The skipper admitted the debutant may have lacked the X-factor he was selected for, but was impressed with the improvement he showed in Australia’s second innings.

“In the first innings Shammo may not have bowled as well as he wanted,” du Plessis said. “But then in the second innings, in a different situation, he bowled really well. He stepped up to the challenge of being better.”

Independent Media

Cricket South Africa president Chriz Nenzani admitted South Africa still has “a long way to go” in terms of matching the stadium facilities Australia boast.

Original source: SA faces challenges to host day/night Tests