Indian skipper Virat Kohli gives catching practice to his teammates with the pink ball at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Image Credit: PTI

Kolkata: Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is hoping that the historic Day-Night Test between India and Bangladesh scheduled to start from Friday will mark the beginning of a new era as it would help in the rejuvenation of the longest format of the game.

Speaking at a TV chat show, Ashwin said: “I just hope this marks the beginning of where we get huge crowds coming into the stadium and Test cricket gets its credit and obviously with the change in timings people can afford to finish their work and come into the game, watch it and enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, India pacer Mohammed Shami, who has been on a roll in the past two years, said about the areas that the batsmen should look out for in the pink ball Test.

“The middle session should be the main focus for batsman while using the pink ball unlike the morning session that is usually considered the most important in a Test match as it will have more of a swing in Eden Gardens,” Shami said.

Moments after inspecting the pitch, Sourav Ganguly, the erstwhile Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president and now the Indian cricket board chief, spoke to the media and his excitement was clearly visible as he spoke about how it was after a long while that the first four days of a Test match had been sold out.

“The pitch looks good. I am very excited. When have you last seen a Test match where first four days’ tickets have been sold out,” he smiled.

Speaking last week, Ganguly had said: “You can’t have greats of Indian cricket play in front of empty stands. And here you will have full house for the first three days. That’s the way forward. Test cricket needed a rejuvenation.”

Ganguly was solely responsible in convincing not just Virat Kohli and boys for the need to embrace Day-Night Tests, but also spoke to the Bangladesh Cricket Board to get them to agree to play the Eden Test match under lights.

While unveiling the mascots for the pink ball Test, Ganguly had said: “He (Kohli) is a great player and he should be playing in front of packed house. He will be happy to see a full house when he walks out to bat on day one. You will love the atmosphere at the Eden so come and watch.”