Sachin Tendulkar's 199th Test: Eden Gardens track expected to be a slow turner

Prabir Mukherjee said that three days of sunshine was enough to prepare a track suited to Sachin Tendulkar’s batting © Getty Images

Nov 4, 2013

The wicket for the first Test between India and the West Indies at Eden Gardens is expected to be a slow turner. India’s think-tank was believed to have asked for a wicket with some bounce for their spinners to come into play.

Last year, before the Test series against England, India’s team management weren’t happy with the chief  curator, Prabir Mukherjee for not preparing a rank-turner.

Before the first Test match against West Indies, Mukherjee had said that three days of sunshine was enough to prepare a track suited to Sachin Tendulkar’s batting. But by shaving off grass five days before the match, it hasn’t helped matters. CAB uses the traditional ‘doab’ Indian grass compared to Bermuda variety used by other venues.

Former national selector, Raja Venkat on pitch preparations told Times of India, “The grass could have been kept for few more days. That would have hastened the drying up process and the pitch would have yielded more bounce.

“The bald look of the pitch suggests that it has dried nicely, but there is a lot of dampness in the lower layers of the soil which will not be conducive for good bounce.”

He continued, “So don’t expect the ball to come on to the bat, but the slowness of the surface will give batsmen more time to negotiate the turn spinners extract. The other drawback is that edges may not carry to close-in fielders.”

Yet, Spinners from both sides should be happy with the cracks at Eden Gardens that can open up during the later part of the match.

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