Wicket will be firm: Eden`s curator

Kolkata: Amid speculation that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has asked for a turning track for the India-West Indies second Test at the Eden Gardens Nov 14-18, the ground`s veteran curator Friday said he would produce a firm wicket which could assist the spinners on the last two days.

The septuagenarian Prabir Mukherjee, who drew flak from Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the pitches he prepared for the India-England ODI and Twenty20 matches last month, said: "I have not seen any written instruction from the board. If any such instruction has come, why is it not being shown to me? Moreover, I don`t think the board can and has given any such written instruction."

India won the series opener against the Caribbeans at the Kotla within four days and need to win the coming game to pocket the series.

Asked whether he has received any verbal directive from the board on the pitch, Mukherjee said: "If something is unofficial, do you think I will tell you or go by that? You can see the shine on the pitch when light falls on it. This denotes the strip will be firm," he said.

"Normally, the spinners get turn on the last two days of a Test match at the Eden. So this may happen again," he said.

Mukherjee, an upright man, had in the past stood up to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Dilip Vengsarkar (the latter as chairman of selectors) when they asked for a made-to-order track.

"I think it will be a good wicket. However, I can have a better idea on Sunday," he said, pointing to the whitish track.

Dhoni had severely criticised the wicket after tasting a defeat October 29 in the lone Twenty20 international against England, calling it `slow` and `difficult`.

Earlier during the India-England ODI October 25, Dhoni had expressed his disappointment calling it a "ugly looking" wicket.

However, Mukherjee had hit back at Dhoni for his comment asking how could the Indian captain then bat for so long and top score in the match.

England`s twenty20 skipper Graeme Swann had also been critical of the 22 yards on match eve, terming it strange and dry.

Apart from the result, interest in the match centres around batting genius Sachin Tendulkar - a ton away from completing a century of international hundreds.


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