How Virat Kohli felt facing the pink ball under floodlights

India captain Virat Kohli’s 136 was perhaps overshadowed by the performance of the fast bowlers in the pink ball Test at Eden Gardens.

Virat Kohli scored a century in India's first day-night Test match.   -  PTI Photo

It is normal for Virat Kohli to score a Test hundred. He carries that reputation. But the pink ball knock had several dimensions, and it was a new challenge for the star batsman.

When Kohli came into bat on day one, it was 6:07 pm in front of 50,000 people. By the time he got out the next day around late afternoon, he had witnessed both sides of the day-night conditions.

The soft touch, front foot play and the cover drives didn't change at all. He had done his homework. The last minute adjustments - play it or leave it - were visible but the knock, for the larger part of the match, was chanceless.

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After beating Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs to clinch the two-match Test series, Kohli shared his experience of batting against the pink ball under lights. And well, it was a magic word from the legendary Sachin Tendulkar that simplified his approach. “I think the afternoon session was relatively easier. I spoke to Sachin paji on the evening of day one. He made an interesting point, that with the pink ball you need to treat the second session as the morning session when it gets darker and the ball starts to swing and seam. He said that I should treat the first session like the normal lunch to tea time [like in a red ball game].”

Kohli agreed that the pink ball can force a batsman to change his plans if he sticks around the transition period – from noon to evening. “Luckily, I went in when the lights were on. I didn’t have to go through that transition [on day one]. Your planning changes, declaration and strategy changes, as a batsman your setup changes. You can be set and batting well but when the lights are on, you know you can be in trouble quickly,” he said.

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The Indian captain had a split second thought to smash the first ball. “When I walked out, it felt like an IPL-game atmosphere and you feel like smashing the first ball. You need to remind yourself that you need to play compact. Also, because the ball was coming on faster from the pitch.

“It seamed a lot more under lights, swung in the first hour of the session but seamed throughout the evening till the end of day’s play. You enjoy such situations. You have to get into a Test match and grind out a challenging session of bowling,” said Kohli, who became the fastest (439 innings) to 70 international hundreds.

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