India is set to host a day-night Test during New Zealand's visit later this year. Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, said on Thursday that the BCCI would use the pink Kookaburra ball for the Test match.
"We have decided that we will play one day-night Test match with pink ball against New Zealand later this year," Thakur said. "Before that, Duleep Trophy will act as a dress rehearsal for the day-night Test match."
There have been widespread concerns over the pink Kookaburra - particularly its durability and its visibility - and the Adelaide Test last November, the first ever to be played under floodlights, was played on a grassier-than-normal surface to ensure the ball lasted 80 overs. South Africa's players, including their Test captain AB de Villiers, have expressed their reluctance to play a day-night Test during their 2016-17 tour of Australia.
The pink ball is yet to be trialled in India, where dew could be a concern under lights, and Thakur said the Duleep Trophy would serve as a trial run before the Test.
"While we have not zeroed in on the venue, there are lots of factors that need to be taken into account," Thakur said. "Things like dew factor, how the spinners bowl with the pink Kookaburra on Indian pitches. These things we will get an idea [of] during the Duleep Trophy."
Given the need for India's players to acclimatise to playing with the pink ball, it is expected that all the major names from the Test team will feature in the Duleep Trophy.
SG manufactures the red ball normally used in India's Test matches. Thakur said a pink SG could be a possibility in the future. "We may ask SG to manufacture pink balls later but that has to be of the quality of pink balls that Kookaburra produces."