Kolkata: Amid the controversy surrounding the Eden Gardens strip, the Cricket Association of Bengal on Wednesday promised to offer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co. a wicket keeping in mind the "home advantage" for the third Test against England beginning December 5. "Of course we will keep the home advantage factor in mind. But at the same time it would be a sporting wicket that would last for five days," said CAB joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee.
The association's assurance comes on a day when the BCCI reportedly sent Ashish Bhowmick, the East Zone member of the grounds and pitches committee, to prepare the pitch in place of veteran curator Prabir Mukherjee in an unprecedented move. This season, the wicket has so far hosted two Ranji Trophy matches - Rajasthan and Gujarat - but both resulted in dull draws.
Bengal had opted for a greenish track on both occasions, but their pace attack boasting Ashok Dinda could not do much with Gujarat tailenders putting on a century-plus partnership to force a draw in the last match. Historically, the flat Eden strip has been slow and low turners that helps the spinners from day two onwards, something that India had used beautifully to notch up two back-back-to-back innings victories against West Indies and South African in their previous Test outings here.
The statistics should definitely boost India's morale who are down after their 10-wicket loss on a custom-made Wankhede turner as they would look to bounce back in the four-match series, now locked 1-1. Since India's loss to Pakistan in the Asian Test Championship 1999, India have not lost at Eden in more than a decade, having registered five wins and two draws from their last seven outings.