Former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson has criticized the use of the pink ball in Test cricket, saying that he doesn't like day-night Test as it changes the complexion of the game. On Monday, Cricket Australia had revealed that the 2017 Ashes will see a Test played under lights.
To revive interest in the oldest format of the game, Pink ball day-night concept has been pushed through by cricket bodies across the world. However, it has received some mixed responses so far.
Former Australian spearhead, Mitchell Johnson has entered the latter group by panning the day-night Test format. The former Australian spearhead, who picked 313 Test wickets from 73 matches, said that he doesn't like day-night Tests as they change the complexion of the game.
He pointed out that the excessive amount of grass cover left on the ground in order to maintain the shape of the ball will not help pacers grow.
He said, "I'm not really happy about it. I just don't think it's Test cricket. "It's a totally different game altogether. They change the wickets. Adelaide Oval in Test match cricket never has grass on it. But the two day-night Test matches that have been played there, there's been lots of grass on it,” reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
"As a bowler, I should be happy about it. Because it definitely brings bowlers into it. But to me, it's a change of a game. And I think it changes stats as well. So I just don't like it," he added.
Johnson had retired from Test cricket just before the first-ever pink-ball Test match was played between Australia and New Zealand in November 2015. Australia since then have played three day-night matches at home and the last match against South Africa saw the presence of a record-breaking 1,25,993 people at the Stadium for the match. Earlier, on Monday, Cricket Australia revealed the dates of the 2017 Ashes, in which a Test will be played under lights.
Johnson, meanwhile, has also signed a one-year contract with the Perth Scorchers to participate in the Big-Bash League 2016-17. He said that he is open to playing in the Big Bash for more than just one season if he feels match-fit and performs well during this summer.
"I wanted to finish playing Test match cricket," Johnson said. "It depends on how I go. If I get smacked around and I pull up really sore and I'm not enjoying it, then I won't play. But if I enjoy it, you never know, it could be an option in the next couple of years."