Ashes second Test pink ball preview: Who has the day-night advantage between England and Australia in Adelaide?

 
Joe Hall
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The second Test will be the first Ashes Test ever played as a day-night fixture (Source: Getty)

The pink ball is such a new addition to international Test cricket that both England and Australia can both claim the advantage ahead of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.

Saturday marks the first day-night Test in Ashes history and, according to James Anderson, the relatively unfamiliar circumstances could be the perfect platform for England to bounce back from their defeat in Brisbane.

“Here is somewhere where we can use our skills,” said the England seamer this week. “Pink ball, under lights, something different. It could be somewhere that will really suit our bowling attack.”

Good news if you’re an England fan, until you read that Australia’s Peter Handscomb thinks exactly the same.

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“We have played with the pink Kookaburra now for long time and we have seen it change over time and understand what it does, especially here in Adelaide, so it’s a good advantage for us,” says Handscomb.

“England haven’t played many games or trained much against the pink Kooka, so it’s a different ball game for them.”

Handscomb is correct when he suggests that Australia will be more familiar with the conditions this weekend.

The Baggy Green have played three day-night Tests, two of which have been in Adelaide, and won all three.

Opening batsman David Warner appeared in each of the games but never managed more than 50. His best return was a 47 and 11 against South Africa in Adelaide this time last year, while his average of 24.67 is well below a career Test average of 48.48.

Unfortunately for England, the rest of Australia’s top order has a strong record. Handscomb’s average of 97.5 from two day-night Tests exceeds his overall Test average of 50.46. Usman Khawaja’s day-night average of 55.75 similarly exceeds a career 44.58.

Even the world’s best batsman Steve Smith, who has a career Test average of 61.23, has only seen his form narrowly dip in day-night Tests, where he averages 59.83.

Of course, Australia’s players are still being judged off a small sample size. But evidence suggests England’s bowlers — and in particular Stuart Broad and Anderson — will need to replicate the form that saw them blitz through West Indies earlier this year in their only international experience of the pink ball to date.

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