New Zealand takes tips from Ganguly ahead of second Test

Troubled by the subcontinent conditions, the spin-wary New Zealanders on Thursday took tips from former India captain Sourav Ganguly who gladly offered his know-how, demonstrating a few drives near the centre wicket on the eve of the second Test.

Saurav Ganguly was seen having a friendly chat with New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan and another support staff member   -  KR Deepak

Troubled by the subcontinent conditions, the spin-wary New Zealanders on Thursday took tips from former India captain Sourav Ganguly who gladly offered his know-how, demonstrating a few drives near the centre wicket on the eve of the second Test.

The Cricket Association of Bengal chief was seen having a friendly chat with New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan and another support staff member who were paying a lot of attention to the former left-hander.

Ganguly quickly got into his left-handed stance and gave suggestions to play strokes through the V, and how the ball moves in these conditions.

The Eden strip has been in the news after it was reported that it would lack spin as the grass was further trimmed this morning.

“The ball is likely to move in the first two days and there should be turn from day three. We have got Bermuda grass that makes the wicket harder as the ball travels faster. The best part is it grows quicker and takes away the moisture,” Ganguly, who was seen checking the firmness of the pitch with a key, said.

Meanwhile, Ganguly said that the Eden bell looks better than the historic Lord's bell.

"It looks better than the bell at Lord's. The bell will be rung by none other than Kapil Dev on the opening day of the match. There is also a brand new scoreboard where replays will look like television," Ganguly, who had rung the historic Lord's five-minute bell in 2014, said.

Come Friday legendary allrounder Kapil Dev will become the first cricketer to ring the Eden bell to mark the start of second Test match between India and New Zealand, which will be India's 250th Test on home soil.

To make the event memorable, Ganguly has undertaken a set of path breaking activities. "It is important that people get to see the history of the game. Then they have the feeling of being part of a special occasion. The 250th match inside the ground and a picture gallery showcasing the journey of the game in this country since inception is going to make their visit memorable," he said.

The CAB has also created 250 special gold coins that would be given out to the players of both the teams and board members who come in as guests. Besides, there would also be a special carnival zone in the K and L blocks, where there will be game zones for children, food parlours, styling area, gaming arena and cricket zones.

"We have something every day. At lunch on the opening day we have a talk show featuring Virender Sehwag, V. V. S. Laxman and Boria Majumdar among others. On the second day, we will felicitate Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha with a memento of Tiger crystal, along with the board officials. We are also having an indoor cricket with the corporates. They have incidentally bought most of the tickets," he added.

On the newly laid wicket, former captain said: "We have done a wonderful work with the ground. It has been raining regularly. It's so early in the season, but still we are good to begin the Test match even today. The groundsmen have done a tremendous job. It is an iconic venue. And unless it has world class facilities, it will not live up to its billing. We have begun with the Test match, and by the time IPL comes a lot more will be done," Ganguly signed off.