In order to prepare properly for the forthcoming South Africa challenge, Indian players and team management desperately wanted hard and bouncy wickets. However, the varied soil and climatic conditions of the vast country haven’t allowed the curators to make the strips of Indian team management’s choice.
India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar was pleased with the way Eden Gardens pitch behaved amidst the overcast conditions. On the contrary, the greenish tinge in Jamtha and Kotla deck for the second and third game has deceived one and all.
While India posted a mammoth 610/6 on a flat Nagpur pitch with four top-order batsmen amassing their respective tons, the same story unfolded on the opening day of the Kotla Test as Virat Kohli’s troops raced to 371 for 4 with Vijay and Kohli notching up their 11th and 20th Test centuries. India continued in the same vein on Day 2 with Kohli notching up his 6th double ton in the morning session.
On being asked if this is an ideal wicket for preparation, Bangar talked about the helplessness of the curators.
“The nature of surfaces cannot be consistent since we are a diverse country and as we hop from region to region, the nature of the pitch is changed. Even though we wanted to have a wicket with pace and bounce, with a bit of grass cover, the curators can only do as much because it all depends on nature of the soil, which is peculiar (he perhaps meant unique) to a particular region,” Bangar was quoted by PTI as saying after the end of first day’s play at Kotla.
The 45-year-old further said that each city produces a different type of track, unique to its character.
“You can’t expect a Mumbai wicket to play like a Delhi wicket and a Calcutta wicket to play like a Nagpur wicket. So that’s the beauty of cricket. You may want something but the curator is never able to give you what you want because of peculiar nature of the track and diverse conditions in such a vast country that we live in,” added Bangar.
Team India are rejoicing their honeymoon period in the subcontinental conditions lately. Following the Sri Lanka series at home, the Men in Blue will play 3 Tests, 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is against the Proteas in their den.
India tour of South Africa itinerary:
January 5 – January 9, 1st Test – Newlands, Cape Town
January 13 – January 17, 2nd Test – SuperSport Park, Centurion
January 24 – January 28, 3rd Test – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 1, 1st ODI – Kingsmead, Durban
February 4, 2nd ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 7, 3rd ODI – Newlands, Cape Town
February 10, 4th ODI – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 13, 5th ODI – St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
February 16, 6th ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 18, 1st T20I – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 21, 2nd T20I – SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 24, 3rd T20I – Newlands, Cape Town