Virat Kohli has thrown the gauntlet to Australians by declaring that India are ready to play night-pink-ball Test matches anywhere in the world and on any pitch. The comment was in response to Tim Paine’s suggestion of starting Test series against India on Gabba at Brisbane. “We’re ready and up for the challenge – whether it’s Gabba, Perth…it doesn’t matter to us, we have the skill sets as a team now to compete against anyone in the world, anywhere, in any format of the game, Whether it’s white ball, red ball or pink ball, we’re ready to play anything,” Kohli said.
Paine has been teasing Kohli for a while now on the pink ball issue. Last November, during a Test series against Pakistan, Paine was asked whether he would like to play a pink-ball Test with India. “We’ll certainly try and we’ll have to run that by Virat (Kohli). We’ll get an answer from him at some stage I’m sure. That’s where we like to start our summer. We’ll ask Virat and see if we can get his permission to play here and maybe even get a pink-ball Test if he’s in a good mood. We’ll wait and see,” Paine said then.
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Not long after that, after the pink Test against Bangladesh, Kohli had talked about the issue. “”I think [after] a good practice game before and enough time to prepare—we’re open to doing anything. You can’t just play it on short notice like I mentioned last time. If there’s time to prepare we’re open to taking up Test cricket in any manner. We will be quite open to it.”
And now, in January, comes the clearest declaration from the Indian captain. “We played the day-night Test here, we were pretty happy with how it went. It’s become a very exciting feature of any Test series and we’re open to playing day-night Tests.