Kolkata: As the sun finally came out after two days of overcast skies, the covers partially went off at the Eden Gardens here which is set to host the second One-Day International between India and Australia on Thursday. The pitch was in full view as India skipper Virat Kohli, coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and all-rounder Hardik Pandya inspected the 22-yard strip which was under covers for the last 48 hours due to inclement weather.
There was grass on the surface as Aussie skipper Steve Smith said at the pre-match press conference.
“(The grass on the wicket) is probably more than I’ve seen in India for a while,” Smith said.
While the Indian team left after inspecting the pitch and played some foot volleyball on the sidelines of the ground, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly spent some time near the wicket with local curator Sujan Mukherjee.
“I am satisfied with the wicket. Even if it rains, there won’t be any problem,” Ganguly told reporters on his way back from the centre of the ground.
The rest of the greens were mostly left under covers as players chose not to take the field for a full practice session. According to CAB sources, the wicket will behave in similar fashion like it did during Kolkata Knight Riders’ home games of the Indian Premier League and the January ODI against England.
“It will be a sporting wicket. There will be something in it for everyone,” a CAB official said.
The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Lokesh Rahul spent time at the indoor nets while Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal and support staff were seen showing off their football skills. There was a brief spell of rain in the morning on Wednesday but by afternoon the sun came out although not in full force.