Day Night Adelaide Test: The Fuchsia has arrived

27/11/2015 3:34 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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The Kiwis have collapsed and are all out for 202, not because the pink ball is invisible or egg-shaped or scuffed beyond recognition as the doomsayers have warned all week, but because the Australian attack roughed up the New Zealand batsmen with some exceptionally good bowling.

The Kiwis lost five wickets before they had 100 runs on the board, then lost the next five for about the same amount. All of the Aussie bowlers were dangerous. Peter Siddle took two wickets, finally reaching the milestone of 200 Test wickets. He is just the 15th Aussie to reach 200 or more and joins Jeff "Thommo" Thompson on that number. Siddle's is a story of resilience, not brilliance, and he is increasingly becoming a crowd favourite.

Meanwhile Nathan Lyon also took two wickets, with Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc grabbing three each. He's looking super dangerous but has ankle issues which may yet sideline him for for part of this match.

Captaincy nod to Steve Smith for Starc's second wicket. Despite Nathan Lyon having just snared a scalp, Smith immediately removed him and brought on Mitchell Starc when Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum walked to the crease. It was enforcer versus enforcer but the fun lasted just three balls when McCullum slashed an edge to Australian wicket keeper Peter Nevill, who now has three catches.

And then, not too long before the dinner break, Nathan Lyon did this. Wow. The 28-year-old is unquestionably the leading off spinner in the English speaking cricket world nowadays and has 171 Test wickets.

Australia is now batting. David Warner departed earlier to some beautiful seam bowling for a lone run, but hey, the man's human. Joe Burns departed for 14 in the 14th over. Steve Smith and Adam Voges battled on under lights as the last fading rays of sun disappeared in Adelaide, with the match perfectly poised.

EARLIER

We've just seen the first session of the pink ball Test between Australia and New Zealand has started and the future of cricket is now upon us. Actually, make that the fuchsia of cricket.

The Huffington Post Australia would love to be able report all sort of pink fireworks and pink drama and pink intrigue of one sort or another, but the reality is that events thus far at the Adelaide Oval have strongly resembled a regular cricket match played with a regular ball of regular colour.

Mitchell Starc, now the leader of the Australian attack, bowled pretty well early without luck. The big left-armer's inswingers were unlucky not to bag an early wicket due to an LBW appeal which, on replay, should almost certainly have been reviewed.

Josh Hazelwood bowled like Josh Hazlewood, which is to say nigglingly straight with the occasional party trick. On the second ball of the fourth over, he removed Martin Guptill with a lovely full ball which darted back off the seam, trapping the batsman absolutely plumb in front. Guptill is now averaging a woeful 28.7 in his 36th Test and looks more like a One Day specialist with every innings.

But an early wicket with the new 'cherry' (we'll get to that) is hardly proof that cricket's universe just exploded. Quite the opposite. It shows that Test cricket is still Test cricket. Which is terrific.

Speaking of cherries, we need a new fruit when using alternative words for the pink ball. The lychee? The plum? The pomegranate? The guava?

When you start discussing random things to do with food instead of cricket like they do endlessly on ABC Grandstand, that's when you really know Test cricket is still Test cricket. Mind you, the evening session is still to come. Strange pink things may happen then.

In other news, Nathan Lyon came on for an early spell without anything particularly earth-shattering happening. Then Mitchell Starc got rid of Kane Williamson, whose name was beginning to be a byword for mountains of runs, with a beautiful yorker.

In an interesting twist, a day that was supposed to be all about a ball has suddenly become all about a bat. This comparison between David Warner's very new school bat and the old school bat used by South African great Barry Richards is a case of toothpick versus tree trunk. And you wonder why today's players spend half their life doing strength work in the gym.

Add flatter pitches and roped-off grounds into the mix, and you can see why batting averages are up across the cricket world.

josh hazlewood pink ball

Something's different about this ball... (Picture: Getty Images)

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