Tinge of green in pink hype
The Eden might be draped in pink but the 22-yard strip in the middle of it is set to sport a greenish tinge.
While that is good news for India, who possess one of the most lethal pace attacks in contemporary cricket, the same cannot be said of Bangladesh.
The second and final Test of the India-Bangladesh series begins at the Eden from Friday.
That it’s a Day-Night affair to be played with the pink ball makes it a landmark game. But one isn’t sure if the contest between the two sides would match the hype that has been built around it. More so because of the pitch, which is set to be a lively one.
Bangladesh lost the first Test in Indore inside three days on a wicket that assisted India opener Mayank Agarwal to hit a double hundred. If the Eden wicket has grass on it, how many days will Bangladesh last against the troika of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav?
On Sunday, the city’s own Sourav Ganguly inspected the pitch.
The former India captain also happens to be the current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president. Also present alongside Sourav were Ashish Bhowmick, the Board’s chief curator, and Cricket Association of Bengal curator Sujan Mukherjee.
Sourav promised a good game. “I have seen the pitch, talked to the curators and I think everybody, the batsmen and the bowlers, will get help from it. The pitch will offer a good game of cricket,” Sourav said.
Retaining the grass on the wicket also has much to do with the pink ball.
“There will be some grass on the wicket. We need it for the pink ball as otherwise the ball would lose its shine quickly,” Bhowmick pointed out.
Bhowmick, however, also added the Eden has offered lively pitches in the last few years and it is difficult to change the nature of the wicket.
“We have been seeing lively wickets at the Eden in last couple of years. It is difficult to change the character of the pitch for this match. So it will remain the same.”
CAB curator Mukherjee said that there would be bounce on offer from the pitch. “The pitch is in good condition.
“It will have a tinge of green and bowlers will get bounce,” he said.
Though the pink balls were delivered to the CAB a couple of days back, curator Mukherjee is yet to test on the Eden turf. He is likely to do so on Monday.
As an administrator, the pink-ball Test is a challenge, revealed Sourav.
“As an administrator, it was challenging to organise a pink-ball Test. All the tickets of first three days are sold out. People will come and experience something new at the Eden,” he said.
“As an administrator, I have organised India versus Pakistan match and World T20 final in 2016 at the Eden, but this is a completely different experience,” he added.
“The challenge was to get people back to the ground. An India-Pakistan match would anyways get filled anywhere in the world.
“You just announce it and the crowd will be filled. This was much more difficult. I think we will have packed stands on each of the first three days. That’s more satisfying.”
Sourav insisted that Day-Night matches are important for Test cricket’s survival.
“That’s the way forward. Test cricket needed a rejuvenation. It happens all around the world. Somewhere it had to start. And India is the biggest country in terms of cricket.”
Meanwhile, the match will have its official mascots named ‘Pinku-Tinku’.
Sourav also launched distribution of Test match tickets on Sunday. He handed over tickets to twelve kids.
“Launching the mascots is a part of our promotional activities.
“A giant pink balloon was also released at the Eden Gardens and it will be seen floating in the sky till the end of the Test,” CAB secretary Avishek Dalmiya said.
Furthermore, CAB has joined hands with an agency to give life to vignettes of cricket on the inside walls of the coliseum.
Over 20 artists are working day and night to paint the walls. The colours are not just pink though.