Kolkata: After the controversy surrounding the preparation of the Eden Gardens pitch, the uneasiness between Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and veteran curator Prabir Mukherjee was evident as both decided to look through each other. The Indian players looked relaxed during their training session but the captain and the curator maintained safe distance from each other.
While Dhoni along with coach Duncan Fletcher in tow walked to the centre to inspect the track, the man in the eye of storm Mukherjee sat quietly in dug-out outside the boundary ropes atleast 70 metres away from the action centre. After having a good look at the pitch, even Dhoni decided to give Mukherjee a cold shoulder as the 83-year-old was seen chatting with Gautam Gambhir on the sidelines. Gambhir has had cordial relationship with Mukherjee as he has been the Kolkata Knight Riders captain for past two years.
The pitch sported a tinge of green and the strip that will be used is the one in which Bengal played out a drawn game against Gujarat. The pitch controversy began when Dhoni's request for a turning wicket was described by an outspoken Eden curator Mukherjee as "immoral". The BCCI soon sent East Zone ground and pitch committee representative Ashish Bhowmick to "assist" Mukherjee -- a move which led to him announcing he was going on a month's sick leave.
But Mukherjee, who has been the groundsman at Eden Gardens for 20 years, was back at the ground Sunday stating that any differences had been "sorted out". Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar was concentration personified at the nets facing the bowlers for over half an hour. Then he was seen facing throw-downs from junior Bengal cricketers and gave them some invaluable tips on bowling. He showed them the correct release of arm.