Team India whitewashed the Kiwis in the three-match T20I series under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy. After that, India locked horns with the same opposition in the first of the two-match Test series. The first Test took place at Green Park in Kanpur.
Ajinkya Rahane led the team from the front in Virat Kohli’s absence. India nearly won the first Test as they took nine wickets but Rachin Ravindra ensured to not give away his wicket that easily. He played out 91 deliveries and scored 18 runs before the Test ended in a draw.
The fans are eagerly waiting for the return of Virat Kohli in the second Test match at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Virat Kohli was rested for the T20I series and didn’t play the first Test. It remains to be seen which team will win the series.
The Indians made their preference for turning tracks quite clear. As a result, there might be some interesting things in store when they engage in a practice session on Wednesday. They would get some time to study and check out the surface for the second Test that is scheduled to be held from December 3 to 7.
Greenish’ pitch for the second Test at Wankhede?
Earlier, Indian captain Virat Kohli stated that India playing on green wickets at home is good for Test cricket. For the unversed, the Indian team management has already asked for livelier pitches in India in a bid to prepare for seaming conditions for the upcoming overseas tours.
Moreover, it augurs well for the Indian team when they travel outside Asia. A pitch curator disclosed to TOI that the Wankhede pitch is a greenish surface. The greenish pitch means that the selection committee may force Team India to rethink their three-spinner strategy and more strength to their batting department against a proper pace attack. So, India might drop one spinner.
India relied on Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja to take 19 wickets in the first Test, which ended in a thrilling draw. For the second Test match, Kiwis might as well drop a spinner and recall Neil Wagner, The ace left-arm fast bowler has taken 229 wickets in 54 Tests. Kyle Jamieson might cause trouble to India since he is a tall bowler.
He has taken 52 wickets in his first 9 Tests at a mind-blowing average of 15.05. In Kanpur, the lanky pacer became the quickest Kiwi bowler to reach 50 Test wickets. He took 3 wickets in the first and another three wickets in the second innings. Jamieson is likely to cause more damage to India particularly on a track that has more bounce and pace.
“The pitch has a thick layering of grass. The ball won’t turn much. The grass seems to have grown tall as no cricket has been played on the main three pitches at the Wankhede Stadium since the ODI between India and Australia in Jan 2020.
Some of that grass will be cut away, but at this stage, when the Test match is just days away, you can’t cut too much grass. As a result, they have stopped watering the pitch since Sunday,” a source told TOI.
Moreover, the rain has also been predicted for Wednesday. It will make the pitch curators’ job even tougher. “It will introduce moisture on the grass and the wicket. The wicket will help the fast bowlers initially, with the early morning moisture in play, but it will then become a good batting track. It will have good bounce and carry,” said the source.