The colour of the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium suggests the spinners would get purchase during the fourth Test between India and England. The question is, from when? Spinners of all variety have so far taken 414 wickets at the `D’ road venue with India’s coach Anil Kumble leading the list with 38 wickets from seven Test matches.
Harbhajan Singh has taken 24 from five matches, Shivlal Yadav 22 from six matches and Ravichandran Ashwin has collected 18 from three Test matches. From among the left-armers, Pragyan Ojha has taken 22 and Dilip Doshi, 20. England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar leads the overseas spinners’ tally with 12.
Clearly, the pitch has been prepared to suit the Indian spinners. "The idea was always to keep the surface dry with 1mm grass. While there has been heavy dewfall in the past week, it has been minimal in the last two days though. The day temperature today and yesterday has been around 36 degrees Celsius. The wicket and the centre square will be covered after today’s practice sessions,’’ said an official involved in the preparation of pitch.
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