India vs New Zealand: Focus on Wankhede wicket

The low and slow wicket at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur became the talking point as the first Test between India and New Zealand ended in a draw.

But contrary to reports, the Wankhede Stadium wicket for the second Test would not be a โ€˜green topโ€™.

Due to incessant rain, neither India nor New Zealand could look at the surface. But on Tuesday, a team of groundsmen, under the supervision of BCCI chief curator Ashish Bhowmick, specifically attended the good-length spots at both ends. The groundsmen shaved off a good amount of grass to ensure a โ€˜competitiveโ€™ wicket. They also roughed up the surface using a brush.

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While Wednesdayโ€™s rain did hamper the pitch preparation, the wicket is expected to initially help the fast bowlers, with spinners coming into play from the second day.

Mumbai is hosting a Test match after five years. The last time it hosted an international fixture was in December 2019, when the West Indies travelled to India for a limited-overs series. With the Maharashtra government imposing newer curbs in the wake of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, only 25 per cent crowd capacity has been allowed for the match.

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