What we do know is that the ball (it’s pink in case you hadn’t heard) swings more than the red one, and it swings for longer. Then there is that period when the lights first start taking effect that it swings again.
And, as England found in Adelaide, when those two factors coincide there is all sorts of fun.
As they say, the game can advance quickly.
In this new era season it has been 100 days since New Zealand last played test cricket. From a selection point of view the team is surprisingly similar; the two changes being due to Santner’s injury and BJ Watling returning from his.
In case you’ve forgotten what happened in Hamilton on 9-12 December 2017, New Zealand beat the West Indies by 240 runs; Ross Taylor scored a century, Southee and Boult shared a last wicket stand of 61, and Reifer & Roach played for the visitors.
But that is a long time to not see Raval or Wagner play, and for Tom Latham to keep wickets and bat in the middle order.
Despite itself, Eden Park has hosted three decent test matches since the red ball day-night test 16 against England years ago. However, the Cricket World Cup and this year’s T20 tri-series showed that it’s a fine line between a runs for fun match, and 150 all out.
Will Ross Taylor play?
If yes, then the result of this test is hard to predict.
Which Stuart Broad will turn up?
A lot is made of how Southee’s form fluctuates based on what the conditions and the ball are like, but he has nothing on wild form swings compared to the guy with 399 test wickets.
Will it be 8/15 Stuart Broad (this scorecard is still a thing of delight) or will it be the Broad who went through Australia a couple of months ago averaging nearly 50.
He has spent the intervening time back in England, presumably indoors, remodelling his action.
Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more hard-to-predict variables in the mixer, the forecast for this test, particularly Thursday and Friday, is a bit varied. It is very rare for a full day’s play to be washed out in Auckland, but the theories around those times of the day when it is best to bowl will get tested.
Perhaps the game won’t advance that quickly after all.
Let’s hope they’ve lost the tape of that bloody Crowded House song.
In reality, nobody knows what is going to happen at Eden Park from Thursday onwards, but it will be hard to ignore.