Since March 2001 when VVS Laxman's 281 turned the Test on its head against Steve Waugh's Australia, India have registered four victories in six Tests at the Eden Gardens which will host the second Test against the West Indies from Monday.
VVS Laxman en route a hundred against South Africa at Eden
Gardens in February 2010. The stylish batsman has scored four
hundreds in his last six Tests at Kolkata. PIC/AFP
In those six Tests since 2001, India have scored in excess of 600 thrice. Laxman has scored four hundreds in the last six Tests here including a match-saving unbeaten 152 against West Indies in November 2002. He aggregates 859 runs.
In a nutshell, an astonishing 8,001 runs have been scored in the last six Tests here at the fall of only 185 wickets. Two senior batsmen from the current West Indies side -- Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul -- cracked hundreds here in November 2002.
Is the Test match-loving public of Kolkata in for yet another high-scoring tie? India skipper MS Dhoni had termed the wicket "ugly looking" after India's 95-run win over England in the fifth ODI last month. Even after India tasted defeat in the lone T20I, Dhoni called the wicket 'slow and difficult'.
Cricket Association Bengal (CAB) curator Prabir Mukherjee however is certain that the ball won't turn until the last two days. "There will be grass on the wicket to ensure even bounce and some lateral movement. "I am not going to produce a rank turner as it is against the spirit of the game," he was quoted as saying on Friday.
Asked whether he had received any verbal directive from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the pitch, Mukherjee told reporters, "if something is unofficial, do you think I will tell you or go by that? You can see the shine on the pitch when light falls on it. This denotes the strip will be firm," he said. So 'firm' it is. Will that be tantamount to a three-and-a-half day Test? Over to Eden.