Steve Waugh lauds India for agreeing to play day-night Test in Australia

Australia, bolstered by the return of star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner were sorely missed, is undefeated in seven pink-ball Tests.

The BCCI has give the green light for a day-night Test during the tour, which will be played at Adelaide Oval.   -  AP

Australian legend Steve Waugh has exhorted the modern-day greats to embrace day-night Tests and lauded India for accepting the “challenge” of playing pink-ball cricket during its tour Down Under later this year.

India played its maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh at Kolkata's Eden Gardens in November last year, and BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly has finalised a series of measures to attract spectators to watch Test cricket.

Waugh said the experience of playing a day-night Test in Australia is unforgettable. “It is great. It is a great opportunity, a great spectacle. One will never forget playing a day-night Test in Australia. It’s got a fantastic atmosphere. It is a new challenge and a chance for the greats of this generation to tick that box for them,” Waugh said while speaking on the sidelines of the Laureus Awards ceremony.

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Waugh felt day-night Tests will hold the game in good stead. “If you score a hundred or pick five wickets in a day-night Test, it goes down in the annals of history. It’s how you look at it — either it is a challenge or too hard. I’m sure India will see it as a challenge. It’s good for world cricket and I am glad that India have agreed to play,” he said.

“It’s a good thing (that fast bowlers have an advantage). People in Australia love watching a day-night Test because you can’t take your eyes off the action. Every ball something might happen.

“I think it is a great thing that the bowlers are more in the game -- particularly in the night time when the conditions change a lot and you really got to preserve your wickets. If you’re bowling, then you have to attack the wickets.”

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Incredible asset

Asked to compare the current Indian attack with Australia, Waugh said both are strong when they play in home conditions.

“India has the best fast bowling line-up in the world when cricket is played in India, but Australian fast bowlers are deadly in Australia. When India come to Australia, the Aussies will have a slight edge. But, both teams know that the personnel they have at their disposal, they can take 20 wickets,” he said.

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Jasprit Bumrah found special praise from Waugh, who termed the pacer as an “incredible asset”.

“He is exceptional. He is a unique talent. It’s great that he wasn’t coached styles because a lot of coaches would have told him ‘you need to run in quicker, or you cannot bowl that way’. They’ve let him be natural, which is fantastic,” he said.

“He is an incredible asset for India, great stamina, accuracy, pace -- he has got everything. He also seems to have pretty good temperament. He loves challenges and loves leading the attack. Virat Kohli is very lucky to have him.”

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