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Wankhede wicket to turn from 2nd day evening, or by the 3rd day says curator

Wankhede stadium Mumbai Test
Wankhede stadium. (Photo by Graham Crouch/Getty Images)

After three Tests and two outright wins for the Indian team all eyes will be at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where both the teams will take field for the fourth Test starting December 8. The wickets in the series thus far have favored the batsmen for the first few days and then the slower bowlers while also rewarding faster bowlers for their efforts. Ramesh Mamunkar, the curator of the iconic ground, is expecting the pitch to start turning from the last part of day two or early on the third day.

“It should turn from second day evening, or at least by the third day. There’s heavy dew these days, so we’re watering the pitch less. We’ve cut the grass a bit too, so that the wicket bears a fresh look for the Test,” Mamunkar was quoted by TOI on Sunday as saying. He also maintained that he wasn’t asked to prepare a specifically a spin-friendly wicket by the team management.

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This is the first Test for the Wankhede in three years. The last Test played at the iconic venue was the farewell match of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar in 2013. It has also been a happy hunting ground for the visitors England as it was here that they scripted a remarkable comeback in the last tour to take the series 2-1 having conceded the lead initially.

The wicket has been a dream for the batsmen of late and the first Ranji Trophy game played at the venue this season between Maharashtra and Delhi witnessed two batsmen Swapnil Gugale of Maharashtra (351*) and Delhi’s Rishabh Pant (308*) score triple centuries while Maharashtra’s Ankit Bawane also scored a double ton (258*).

Mamunkar who has taken over from Sudhir Naik after assisting him for four years also mentioned that they tend to roll out a flat deck for the limited-overs game but it will be a sporting surface for the Test match. “We make batsman-friendly pitches for ODI and T20 games, but it’ll obviously be different for a Test. It’ll be a sporting, fair pitch, with good `carry .’ The ball will move here on the first day , as it always does here. The second day will be good for batting, before the spinners come into the picture,” he recalled.

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