Before a ball is bowled in India-England third Test in Kolkata, the Eden Gardens pitch has grabbed all the attention and it has already claimed a wicket!
Long-serving curator at Eden Gardens, Prabir Mukherjee left the pitch-preparing duties on Saturday, citing health grounds. But it is clear that Mukherjee was taking "medical leave" for one month on protest after India captain MS Dhoni asked for turning track from first day.
Before he decided to move out of the Eden Gardens and further stay away from the Test match (starts December 5), Mukherjee blasted Dhoni branding his demand for turners as "immoral and illogical."
Dhoni's actions might be termed as dictatorial. How can a skipper pressurise a curator to give his choice of wicket. It is fair that home teams try to get maximum advantage from the 22-yard strip. But to categorically say that the pitch should turn from first day is not right.
Mukherjee had a point when he said: "You (Dhoni) are on contract, you are getting crores from the board to play good cricket. The contract never said they will be allowed this (square turner).
"Every state has its own climatic conditions. What you get in Mumbai, you will not get in Kolkata because of the difference in climate."
After playing to their strength in Mumbai, India were humiliated by England spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.
Will playing on another turner, backfire?
Dhoni's bullying tactics are not right. In India's Test history, there are very few instances where the captain has meddled too much in to pitch preparations.
Let the curator do his job and cricketers theirs. That would be better to avoid all controversies.
As most players would agree, a batsman or bowler should be ready to play on any given surface.