The strip at the centre has some amount of grass which should allow the pacers to get some even bounce. At the same time, it will allow the ball to come on to the bat nicely. Given the strength of the Windies batting line-up, the hosts could be in for a steep target if they’re asked to chase. There’s been some unseasonal rain in Kolkata a few days back.
A sudden shower late on Friday evening left some faces amongst the organizers worried. But according to the Times of India, groundsmen believe that is unlikely to slow down the pitch since the entire ground was kept under covers. There’s been ample sunshine over the last couple of days in the City of Joy and the pitch has dried up quickly as well. Meanwhile, the MET office hasn’t predicted any heavy showers over the next two days either.
A rest day for both teams before the series opener
The Windies T20 specialists, who arrived from the Caribbean on Thursday, took to the field for a practice session. However, they weren’t joined by the members who were also part of the ODI team, who decided to take an off and train on Saturday instead. The Indian team, who will have Rohit Sharma at the helm in the absence of Virat Kohli, did not choose to train on Friday either.
Kolkata being on the eastern edge of India will see an early sunset, which means dew will play its part for a prolonged period of time. A member of the ground staff pointed out that the dew factor will affect both sides equally.
India are going in with several changes to their T20I squad, the most notable ones being the absence of skipper Virat Kohli and former India captain MS Dhoni. Young Rishabh Pant will don the gloves instead. The Men in Blue have also brought in the likes of Krunal Pandya and Shahbaz Nadeem, who could go on to make their international debuts in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, the Windies will have the services of T20 specialists Carlos Brathwaite – who will also lead the side – Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell.