New Zealand Tour of Australia
Pink ball could lead to tactical tweak
Historic day-night Test could see traditional Test tactics dropped in order to capitalise on the pink ball's unique characteristics
23 November 2015, 09:21 AM AEST
One of the most seismic changes to Test cricket is set to hit Adelaide Oval on Friday, when the night sessions will bring no shortage of tricks and terror.
For so long Test captains have based their declarations and toss decisions on a couple of key factors: winning, weather and the pitch.
But the pink ball's capacity to swing freely and create collapses at night means the final session has become more dangerous than the first two.
It leaves Steve Smith and Brendon McCullum with big decisions to make this week.
Smith has already shown his hand somewhat.
Captaining NSW in this season's day-night Sheffield Shield round, Smith declared at 9-262 on day one.
South Australia were 3-3 at stumps, Mitchell Starc having sent down a couple of scintillating swingers.
WATCH: SA v NSW, day one wickets
It's one thing to do this in a Shield clash and quite another to do it in a Test.
However, NZ coach Mike Hesson tipped the race to bowl at night could be a battle within the battle.
"There's definitely something to that (declaring to bowl at night)," Hesson said.
"If you think that's the best chance to take a few early wickets.
"There'll definitely be some tactical plays throughout the Test."
Hesson suggested the trans-Tasman rivals were entering the unknown in many regards but not when it came to how dangerous the night would be.
NZ suffered a collapse of 4-30 on Sunday after dinner in their pink-ball tour match against Western Australia.
The Blackcaps' bowlers created havoc by swinging the second new ball on Saturday, WA losing 5-21.
Scorecard: Western Australia v New Zealand
Swing-induced collapses have also been a somewhat regular occurrence in day-night Sheffield Shield fixtures.
"At night with the new ball it swings - and probably more so than it does during the day," Hesson said.
"That's been very consistent over the past couple of years with the pink ball.
"Obviously things can change pretty quickly at night. That was good for us to experience.
"We head to Adelaide knowing not everything but knowing enough."
WATCH: How the pink ball is made
Hesson added the pitch would shape the game, especially when it came to the colour of the ball.
"All the talk is there'll be grass on the wicket," he said.
"Over the five days it's certainly going to dry out so it (the ball) might hold its colour a lot more at the start of the Test than it will at the end.
"We'll have to see the wicket ... it's not a perfect science, is it?"
Darren Lehmann was adamant earlier this week that Australia were seriously contemplating the use of twin tweakers in the day-night Test.
Hesson noted NZ were of the same mindset, despite spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner struggling for control in Perth on Saturday.
"Both (Santner and left-armer Neil Wagner) will be definitely considered come Test time," he said.