India A to play pink-ball match against New Zealand A

Jeet Raval is a picture of concentration Getty Images

The BCCI is set to extend its pink-ball trial from the ongoing Duleep Trophy to the second unofficial Test between India A and New Zealand A in Vijayawada starting September 30. However, the match will be played during the day, as opposed to the customary pink-ball practice of playing under lights, because of a lack of floodlights at the venue.

The change was made in consultation with New Zealand Cricket.

Ten out of 14 members of the current India A squad featured in the day-night Duleep Trophy opener, which was played with the pink ball in Lucknow. The BCCI is said to have received positive feedback from several members, though there are no plans of staging a day-night Test in India in the near future.

New Zealand Cricket's approval of the decision came after Auckland's Eden Park got clearance to host the country's maiden day-night Test against England in March 2018. The NZC felt that early exposure to the pink ball against a "quality opponent" would help the players adjust ahead of their home summer.

Six centrally-contracted cricketers - Jeet Raval, Colin Munro, Matt Henry, Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi and George Worker - are among the 15-member New Zealand A squad that is currently in India for two four-day games and five one-day matches. Feedback from players at this stage, the board felt, could be crucial in the implementation of the pink ball in the Plunket Shield and in their build-up to the England Test.

New Zealand played the first-ever day-night Test, against Australia in Adelaide in November 2015. Since then, NZC has been open to experimenting with the format at home but faced hurdles.

A proposed round of Plunket Shield matches with the pink ball was scrapped in 2015-16 due to the quality of lights at Napier's McLean Park, leading NZC to abandon plans of hosting a day-night Test against South Africa earlier this year.

The trial at Eden Park earlier this year received positive feedback from the players, however, and the venue is set for day-night Test cricket next year.