Pink is the trending word in Kolkata right now and Eden Gardens is the flag bearer of it. From the pillars of the stands to the hoardings in and around the stadium, everything is either pink or carrying a pink tinge to it, except the 22 yards. The pitch for historic India vs Bangladesh Day/Night Test is greener than usual. It doesn’t have a grass covering that might scare the daylight out of batsmen but the amount on it is sure to assist the seamers a great deal.
Also Read: Timings, dew factor, outfield & pitch: Things to know ahead of D/N Test
Two days ahead of the first ever Day/Night Test in India, the ground-staff were busy watering the pitch. The arrival of Cyclone Bulbul a couple of weeks before the Test had forced the ground-staff to halt preparations for about 4-5 days and keep the pitch under wraps, meaning there were chances of it being slightly dry underneath. Watering the pitch was the only option to counter that. This might further freshen up the grass but chief curator Sujan Mukherjee is confident that unusual will happen.
“Yes, there is extra grass. It is mainly done to keep the colour of the pink ball intact for a longer period of time. I have consulted the umpires, players who were involved in the CAB league Day/Night Test a few years ago and all of them had advised to leave some extra grass,” Mukherjee told Hindustan Times.
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The pink SG ball which will make its debut in this Day/Night Test and is expected to swing more than the red one because of its extra shine.
“I haven’t seen the SG pink ball in a match so don’t know exactly how it’ll behave but I’ve heard from experts that it will swing more,” added Mukherjee.
The grass on the outfield have been trimmed to give it a carpet-like feel, that will also help in keeping the colour and shine of the ball for at least 40-45 overs.
“Our outfield is one of the best in the world so I’m sure the pink ball will last long.”
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The match is set to begin from 1 pm, which means the last session and at least an hour of the second session will be played under lights, which brings the dew into play. “I’ve been monitoring the dew for the last few days. I left the ground around 7:30 last night and there was not much dew to be honest. Whatever there was, it was manageable,” added Mukherjee.
Special anti-dew sprays are also being used for the last 3-4 days to minimise the affect of dew.
In 11 Day/Night Tests so far, the team batting first have won 6 while the rest have gone to the ones fielding first. Only 2 times have the captain winning the toss in Day/Night Tests, decided to field – England against Australia in Adelaide in 2017, they lost by 120 runs and New Zealand against England in Auckland in 2018, they won by an innings and 49 runs.
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At Eden, out of 41 Tests, only 5 times captains winning the toss have opted to field. India have done it thrice and haven’t won a single match. They have drawn twice and lost once. Despite all these numbers, the Eden curator wanted Virar Kohli to field first to asses the conditions.
“I would want India to field first. That would allow the batsmen to get a fair idea about the pitch and the new pink ball. The kind of bowling line-up India have, they will also relish the opportunity to bowl on a fresh wicket,” added Mukherjee.
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