For the first time in 138 years of the longest format of the international game, a day-night Test is about to come to fruition when Australia lock horns with New Zealand in the third and final game of the series at one of cricket's oldest venues â€” the Adelaide Oval â€” from Friday, 27 November.
The much-awaited historic Test match has more than a lot to offer. Firstly, it will be played with the pink ball under floodlights, and Lunch will be replaced by Tea, which will be the first break in the day's play. This Test will also pay a tribute to deceased Australian batsman Phil Hughes, as it is being played on his death anniversary and players from both sides will come forward to pay a tribute to the man who remained not-out even when he died.
This idea of a day-night Test match has generated masive interest, and according to a source, the ticket sales for the Test are "Ashes-like". One can expect a 40,000-plus crowd at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
It is indeed a precious moment in the history of the game, but fans are also aware that the third and final Test match between Australia and New Zealand is going to be the series-decider. The Aussies have got their noses ahead in this Test series after winning the first game in Brisbane. The Black Caps bounced back strongly in the second Test at Perth, but the match ended in a draw. The Kiwis would be looking to spoil Australia's party by winning the Trans-Tasmanian Trophy.
"We were a bit nervous at the start of this series, to be honest. We don't often get the opportunity to play in such a big series and test ourselves against the best over a long period of time. Credit to Australia. They put us under a lot of pressure early on. It was a combination of us not being quite at our best and Australia playing really well," New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has told reporters.
"If we can pull off a Test match victory here, we leave Australia reasonably content with our work. We came over here to win the series, but that now is off the table, but we can certainly leave with a lot of respect and a drawn series, which would be a very good achievement against a new and emerging Australian side," he said.
The world has witnessed a number of terrific innings and outstanding spells in this series already, and both the teams will surely have more to entertain fans in the next five days.
The pitch has been managed by watchful curators, and there is already a greenish topping on the wicket so the pink ball holds on for a little longer than expected. The ball will definitely do a little more than the Kookabura Red Cherry under lights, and that might cause some problems for batsmen from both sides.
"We're going to go in with three quicks and an all-rounder. There's probably a little bit more grass than I anticipated to be on it. That added bit of grass probably swayed our decision. I think it is going to be a good Test match for us. I think the facilities here are outstanding, I think the wicket is going to be a little bit more difficult perhaps than the Shield match, but I don't think the conditions will be too dissimilar, so hopefully we can see a good five days of Test cricket," Australia skipper Steven Smith told reporters on the eve of the day-night Test match against New Zealand.
Statistically, batsmen have had a gala time when playing the pink ball. They have piled up runs easily with no problems whatsoever in practice games. On the other hand, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have been brilliant with the pink ball, and will be looking to emulate their form in the third Test match against New Zealand.
In the team news, Mitchell Johnson's sudden retirement from the international game would mean Peter Siddle will share the pink ball with Starc and Hazlewood. Shaun Marsh has also made his way into the squad, as Usman Khawaja was sidelined after a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, the Black Caps are likely to come into the third Test match with an unchanged squad.
Australia: Steve Smith (C) ,David Warner, Joe Burns, Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (C), B J Watling (wk), Mark Craig, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
Where to watch live:
The historic day-night Test match between Australia and New Zealand is scheduled for a 2pm local time (9 am IST, 3:30 am GMT) start with live TV coverage in India on Star Sports 2 & Star Sports HD 2. The live streaming option will be available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.com.
The viewers in the UK can watch Australia vs New Zealand pink-ball Test match in Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD 1. The fans can live stream the same on SkyGO.
Audience in the US can tune into Willow TV to watch the Australia vs New Zealand 3rd Test match and stream the same on Wilow TV online.
The fans in Australia will have to switch to Channel 9 and stream the same on Cricket.com.au.
Cricket fans in New Zealand can watch Australia vs New Zealand day-night Test match on Sky Sport 1 and Sky Sport HD 1. The live streaming option will be on SkyGo.co.nz.