First day-night cricket Test in England to be held this week

Match is first of three England games against young West Indies side missing some stars

 England’s Stuart Broad: “Every ball in this series is going to be competitive, and we have to be switched on to that.” Photograph: Getty Images

England’s Stuart Broad: “Every ball in this series is going to be competitive, and we have to be switched on to that.” Photograph: Getty Images

 

Stuart Broad and England step into the unknown this week in the first day-night Test match to be held in England. The historic encounter begins on Thursday when Joe Root’s side take on the West Indies at Edgbaston.

It is the fifth match of its type in the global game after three day-night Tests in Australia and one in Dubai, where the Windies were beaten by Pakistan.

A 2pm start, with “lunch” at 4pm and “tea” at 6.40pm, raises the prospect of some attacking evening declarations and even juggling of the batting order, while the pink ball could behave very differently as the days progress.

Broad, one promotional delivery aside, has never bowled with the pink ball – easier to pick up under the lights and without clashing with the players’ white clothing – which will be used in Birmingham.

The 31-year-old fast bowler admitted: “It’s stepping into the unknown completely. I’ve bowled one ball with the pink ball – I got it relatively straight!

“I just don’t know what to expect. We are just going to have to be so adaptable on the day, and figure out what’s going on.

Clear mind

“It’s an exciting concept. I watched the day-night match in Adelaide and enjoyed it. The exciting thing as a player is we are going in with a clear mind and learning on the job almost. The team which will come out successful this week will be the team which reacts quicker.”

Thursday’s Test is the first of three against a young West Indies side missing some star names such as Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels.

The tourists have lost their last six Test series, and have not won one since beating Bangladesh in 2014.

However, Broad added: “We’ve got a huge amount of respect for the way the West Indies play and the competitive spirit they bring. With a slightly inexperienced team you know they are going to be hungry for success, they are going to be determined to prove themselves, and that is something we need to be aware of.

“Every ball in this series is going to be competitive, and we have to be switched on to that.”

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