The humiliation that India suffered at the hands of the South African team at Nagpur has sent jitters across the entire team. Having struggled to stand up to Dale Steyn's fiery pace at the Vidharba Cricket Association Ground, the Indian team has requested for a turner for the second test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The second and the final Test not only decides the outcome of the series but also will decide if Team India can regain the No. 1 tag from the South Africans.
The Kolkata pitch curator has acknowledged the fact that he has been asked to prepare a turner but doesn't seem too impressed with it. The Eden Gardens wicket has traditionally offered even bounce and decent carry and sees a lot of turn on the last three days. Team India seems to be wanting a pitch which would turn right from the word go. Desperate to with the second test they would not want to see a blade of grass on the strip.
India vs South Africa - Fixture
After the Kotla fiasco involving the Sri Lankan team last year BCCI would not risk Eden Gardens which is a also scheduled to host a few matches for the 2011 World Cup. Last time around when South Africa toured India, they went into the final Test in Kanpur with a 1-0 lead and were beaten on a pitch that had variable bounce and turned sharply from the first day. The Test ended inside three days drawing much criticisms from the ICC and the other affiliate bodies.
The selectors have been criticized for selecting self-destructive team for the Nagpur Test, Srikkanth and Co. went overboard with the young blood and overlooked many of the ODI specialists who could have filled the ranks. They have left out green horns Sudeep Tyagi, Abhimanyu Mithun and Wriddhiman Saha. The Bengal keeper earned the India cap in the Nagpur test but looked far from being ready for test cricket.
The middle order looked fragile with the absence of Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and VVS Laxman. With the in-form Gautam Gambhir having failed in both the innings the Indian team looked anything but the No. 1 team in the world. With Laxman making a comeback in the second test Indian batting will surely be strengthened. The real worry for the team will however be taking 20 South African wickets. In the first test they managed a mere 6!