Reports: Mumbai’s Wankhede pitch unlikely to favour spinners
India are set to cross swords against New Zealand in the second Test match from Friday (December 3) at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The home team came agonizingly close to winning the first Test in Kanpur but had to be satisfied with a draw. The trio of – Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel had a good outing on the tricky surface in Kanpur.
However, the Wankhede pitch might not assist the spinners, which have been India’s strength in home conditions. As per reports, there is a considerable amount of grass covering Mumbai. The pitch might assist pacers and India and New Zealand might have to play an extra seamer.
“The pitch has a thick layering of grass. The ball won’t turn much. The grass seems to have grown tall as no cricket has been played on the main three pitches at the Wankhede Stadium since the ODI between India and Australia in Jan 2020. Some of that grass will be cut away, but at this stage, when the Test match is just days away, you can’t cut too much grass. As a result, they have stopped watering the pitch since Sunday,” a source told TOI.
The source further opined that the pitch will initially help the fast bowlers but will become good for batting as the game progress. “It will introduce moisture on the grass and the wicket. The wicket will help the fast bowlers initially, with the early morning moisture in play, but it will then become a good batting track. It will have good bounce and carry,” said the source.”
India might be tempted to play Mohammed Siraj in place of one of the spinners considering that the pitch will assist pacers. However, the team has backed the three spin theory at home so there is a lot to think about.