Surface may be two-paced, not easy to bat on
KOLKATA: Much will depend on how the Indian and South African cricketers will be able to negotiate the Eden Gardens pitch on Sunday. The match, to be played on the same wicket that hosted the Bangladesh vs Netherlands match, will not be an easy one to bat on, it is understood. The area around the wicket wears a bald look as grasses had to be cut off due to algae attack.
Netherlands’ Bas de Leede summed up the wicket best after their match here a week back.”It was a tricky pitch. It wasn’t easy to score runs,” he had said and that is likely to hold true this time too.It will likely be a two-paced wicket and definitely not a 300-plus track. “We might have to graft a lot more. You might have to hit a lot more balls on the ground,” South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma said.

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With unseasonal rain on Friday and overcast conditions prevailing on Saturday, the pitch was kept under wraps for most part of the day. The South African skipper along with coach Rob Walter got to see the track only once the covers were removed late during their practice session. The coach was seen taking some inputs from local curator Sujan Mukherjee as well.

India head coach Rahul Dravid took a first look of the pitch just after arriving with the team in the city on Friday. He walked straight on to the middle before the practice session on Saturday and expressed satisfaction. “The wicket looks good,” he said.

He tried to keep the focus on their process rather than weather or the 22 yards. “If there will be rain or dew, we can’t do much about it and can’t plan for it. But we won’t be changing our playing XI because of the weather,” he said.

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