Pink-ball Test: Sunil Joshi looks forward to unique reunion

Sunil Joshi will reunite with former team-mates, who played against Bangladesh in its maiden Test in 2000, during the pink-ball Test in Kolkata.

Sunil Joshi expects the pink ball to be conducive to spinners as much as the seam bowlers.   -  K. Ramesh Babu

Former India spin-bowling all-rounder Sunil Joshi is looking forward to a unique reunion when cricketers who played in the first-ever Test between India and Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2000 come together on the opening day of the pink-ball Test involving the two countries here on Friday.

Joshi, who returned his career-best figures of five wickets for 142 (match figures of eight for 169) and scored a crucial 92 (his highest score in Tests) to be the man of the match in India’s nine-wicket win over the new Test nation, walked down memory lane.

“It's a great initiative from the (former India) captain and the (Board of Control for Cricket in India) president Sourav Ganguly. It's a great feeling. We are reuniting with a team which we had played in 2000. It was a historic match considering it was Bangladesh’s first Test. Now it is (first ever) pink-ball Test match between both countries,” Joshi told Sportstar.

Read: Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Dravid to attend as Kolkata gears up for pink-ball Test

“I was so happy. I got a chance as Anil (Kumble) was injured. I am glad that I could do well for the team… We had a great team, great camaraderie. It was Sourav's first Test as captain. Incidentally, we had a camp in Kolkata before we left for Dhaka.”

Joshi, who also served Bangladesh as a spin bowling coach, remembered his links with the neighbouring country. “It is really special for me as I was involved in two historic days in Bangladesh cricket. One in which we played the historic Test match (in 2000) and I saved it. The second time was when Bangladesh beat Australia in a Test (in 2017). I was part of that team.”

Looking ahead to the day-night Test, Joshi said even on a seamer-friendly Eden pitch the Indian spinners could pose a challenge to Bangladeshi batsmen.

“It (pink ball) will give spinners good bounce. Also drift, because it has good glaze. Ashwin will have success because he allows the ball to float and drift. Jadeja hits the wicket hard and will make the batsman hurry.

“I would love to see the spinners using the crease -- they can even bowl from behind the popping crease. That will keep the batsman guessing, whether the ball will travel quicker. Bowling on grass will be challenging. The wind factor will also come into picture,” said Joshi.