Picthure this!

Curator says Wankhede pitch will be a slow turner with bounce

Mumbai: The track for the November 14-18 second and final Test between India and the West Indies here is expected to behave in a fashion similar to the one on which the two teams fought out a thrilling draw two years ago, according to the Wankhede Stadium ground curator Sudhir Naik.

Picthure this!

“It will not be a square turner like the one against England last year but will resemble the one against the West Indies of 2011, a slow turner with some bounce,” said former Test opener Naik today.

In November, 2011, India were 242 for 9 while chasing the victory target of 243 to complete a clean sweep of the three-match series against the West Indies and had to be satisfied with a 2-0 winning margin.

“We had started our preparations four days ago,” said Naik ahead of what is to be senior cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell and landmark 200th Test in front of his home crowd that is set to include his mother. Tendulkar had missed completing his 100th hundred by a mere 6 runs in the 2011 Test between the same opponents before achieving the feat in the Asia Cup in Dhaka in March, 2012.

The Wankhede track sported a tinge of green but it was learned that the 4mm tall grass will be trimmed further before the start of the game. The pitch prepared for the previous India-Windies Test here had evoked a strong reaction from Indian off spinner and Man of the Match R Ashwin who criticised it for its slowness and lack of bounce.

Ashwin took nine wickets and hit a century in the match. Meanwhile, the two teams were set to arrive here this evening. West Indies, who lost the opening match of the series inside three days in Kolkata, are to start their preparations with a net session scheduled on Sunday morning.

“West Indies are to practice on the Sunday morning. There won’t be any practice on November 11 as both teams would be in MCA’s Kandivli facility (for the felicitation of Tendulkar by his parent association). Both teams would practise on November 12 and 13,” MCA sources said.

MCA plans VVIP enclosure inside media box

Mumbai: In a clear mockery of the sanctity of the press box, Mumbai Cricket Association has decided to accommodate VVIPs inside enclosure reserved for the scribes at the Wankhede Stadium during next week’s farewell 200th Test of senior player Sachin Tendulkar.

“The extreme left side of the press box will be reserved for VVIPs to seat 28 persons. They will have a separate entrance from the side of the enclosure as was the case during last season’s IPL,” MCA sources said today ahead of the November 14-18 second and final Test between India and the West Indies.

During the Indian Premier League, some seats inside the air-conditioned enclosure were utilised by some top officials of Mumbai Indians, the home franchise. The media box is scheduled to be officially christened after late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray by MCA, headed by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on November 13. Though there is a huge demand for tickets to witness the swansong of Tendulkar, only 5,000 tickets are available to the public to be purchased online from November 11.

“There would be around 5,000 tickets (available to the public other than the committed quota for MCA’s clubs and gymkhanas) which can be purchased online only from Monday,” said MCA’s treasurer Vinod Deshpande. The stadium houses 60 corporate boxes.

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