Skipper MS Dhoni's outrageous demand for a wicket that turns 'right from the start' could dictate the nature of the wicket for the second Test at the Wankhede stadium from November 23.
Hindustan Times has learnt that after Dhoni criticised the Ahmedabad pitch and demanded a rank turner, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been asked to intervene.
“After Dhoni's comments, the Board has been asked to direct the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) about the nature of wicket that must be prepared,” an insider told HT.
As of Tuesday, the grass on the pitch has been shaved off. It indicated that the kind of pitch the skipper wanted is being prepared, despite the initial directive by the cricket board to the MCA for a sporting wicket.
A nine-wicket victory would satisfy any team, but not the Indian camp. “Not just Dhoni, but the entire team wants turners and not the Motera kind of wicket,” a source told HT.
“They have been saying if other teams can prepare tracks according to their strengths, why not us?”
Dhoni's call to exploit home conditions received support from Kapil Dev. “There is nothing wrong in asking for it, he can ask for whatever he wants,” Kapil said. But with only a couple of days left for the Test to start, it may be tough for the Wankhede curators to convert the wicket into one that turns from the outset.
The only major change that can ensue is the amount of water the wicket receives.
Also, a risk with producing a pitch that turns square is that the game could end within three days. That is an outcome the BCCI and the MCA may not prefer, considering that may bring the pitch under the ICC's scanner.
“After what happened against Australia in 2004, another early finish will attract a lot of outburst. Also, with respect to advertisers it would not be too favourable,” added the source.