Eden Gardens surface draws criticism from Dhoni

Dhoni criticised the Eden Gardens pitch for not providing any assistance to the bowlers AFP

Kolkata: Nov 17, 2011

The Eden Gardens track again drew criticism from Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for being too flat devoid of any turn and bounce. The home side struggled to bowl out West Indies in their second innings before coasting to a series-clinching victory on Thursday.

Opting to bat first, India put up a mammoth 631 for seven declared and then bundled out the West Indies for just 153 in 48 overs. The follow on was then enforced upon the visitors.

However, the wicket eased out midway into the second day’s play and the Indian bowlers had to sweat it out for four sessions. They eventually bowled out the West Indies for 463 in 126.3 overs on the penultimate day to win the Test by an innings and 15 runs.

Dhoni said the spinners did not get any turn or bounce even as they persisted with a tight line and length, giving the occasional flights.

“I would like to see a wicket where it turns more and the spinners get the bounce on a consistent basis. Because that’s what India is known for. Hopefully we will be able to get those kinds of wickets,” Dhoni said after the match.

He said there was something for the bowlers in the early morning session on day two but it became a batting paradise after that.

“It was not a wicket where you can get in and get the batsmen out. It was a tough job for the bowlers. In the first session when West Indies were batting in the first innings there was a bit of moisture and the spinners got a bit of turn. But after that and half an hour before lunch it turned out to be a be a flat wicket and continued to be a flat from that point of time,” he said.

Dhoni had described Eden strip as “ugly-looking” when it hosted an ODI and a Twenty20 International against England on October 25 and 29 respectively. India had won the ODI but lost the Twenty20 International.

“This Test match was more about application by the batsmen. That’s why I said if we had not dismissed them cheaply, then the match would not have ended this way. There was nothing really for the pacers or spinners especially after the second day morning session,” Dhoni said.

But, he did not agree that popularity of Test cricket was in danger after the poor turnouts on all the days of this match.

“I don’t think it really pushes the popularity of the game. You should look into that and take proper steps. We cannot take additional pressure of playing on the field and ensure that there is a full house,” he said in a lighter vein. (PTI)