22 Apr 2016

Pink ball test catches NZ Cricket out

9:31 pm on 22 April 2016

New Zealand Cricket says plans for a pink ball Test against India have come as a complete surprise.

Indian cricket officials have announced they will play a day-night Test against New Zealand when the Black Caps tour there in October.

This file photo taken on November 21, 2015 shows New Zealand's Matt Henry preparing to bowl with the pink ball on day one of the tour cricket match between New Zealand and Western Australia in Perth.

New Zealand seam bowler Matt Henry with the controversial pink ball Photo: AFP

New Zealand Cricket operations manager Lindsay Crocker said they weren't aware a pink ball Test was even on the cards.

"We're still waiting for the tour programme and that was the first announcement we'd had... it was quite a definitive one but from our side there's a few things we would need to understand," Crocker said.

"It's an exciting prospect but there's certainly a few things we need to understand before we're comfortable with the notion."

The match venue and the quality of the floodlights would be major factors, he said.

The Indian Cricket Board told ESPN's Cricinfo that they'll use the controversial pink Kookaburra ball for the match, the same ball used in the first ever international day-night Test between the Black Caps and Australia last year.

"We have decided that we will play one day-night Test match with pink ball against New Zealand later this year," Indian cricket secretary Anurg Thakur said.

"Before that, Duleep Trophy will act as a dress rehearsal for the day-night Test match," Thakur said.

"While we have not zeroed in on the venue, there are lots of factors that need to be taken into account. Things like dew factor, how the spinners bowl with the pink Kookaburra on Indian pitches. These things we will get an idea during the Duleep Trophy," Thakur said.

It will be interesting for players and fans to see how the pink ball goes in sub-continent conditions.

South African players have said they won't play a day-night test on their tour of Australia in November.

South Africa's reluctance is based on Australian feedback from their first match with the pink ball against New Zealand, Proteas captain AB De Villiers said.

Cricket Australia (CA) are determined for the game to go ahead, however, and said they were still working to confirm it with South Africa's board.

Australia defeated New Zealand in the inaugural day-night Test in November at Adelaide Oval, a match which drew huge crowds and big television audiences.

Although players from both sides hailed it a success, they also had reservations about the pink ball's visibility and movement from twilight into the evening.