India vs New Zealand 2nd test: the forecasts from the Mumbai counter are accompanied by a pilot “conditions apply”


IT has been a strange preparation for Mumbai’s first test match in five years. The unusual rains did not allow any training for New Zealand, while India was limited to one indoor session at the suburban Bandra-Kurla complex. Generally hot and humid, Mumbai made as good an imitation of Wellington or Auckland on a gray and chilly day as it could get.

The pitch remained mostly under sheets followed by two layers of blankets. They were lifted off last afternoon to reveal a surface that appeared to be devoid of grass. It was naturally sprinkled with dark spots suggesting some moisture had seeped in, and field staff were seen trying to dry the area to the right length. The full length area appears to have received a firm dusting earlier and had a more bare appearance compared to the rest of the pitch.

These signs indicate assistance with the rotation, but the air conditions made matters more difficult.

The first few days of the match are expected to be cloudy before Mumbai returns to humidity under the sun. Also, you normally get a good rebound at Wankhede so teams, especially New Zealand, could play a quick third pitcher. “It looks like a typical Wankhede counter,” said Virat Kohli. “We expect him to have a good rebound. There is value for all kinds of bowlers at Wankhede and when you beat well you can get leads too. So I think it’s a great wicket for good cricket, and all the skills are on the line all the time.

We could, however, have a somewhat delayed start. Only the square was covered and the outfield took a good hit over the past two days. Even with two Supersoppers in sight and assuming there is no rain overnight, the ground staff have a lot of work to do in Mumbai.


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