Sudhir Naik, the West Zone representative in Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Ground and Pitches Committee, was showered with praise for the wicket he prepared during the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka earlier this year. Naik has once again promised a true track for the third Test between India and West Indies here at Wankhede Stadium starting tomorrow. According to him, the wicket will stand the test of time and keep everyone interested over five days.
"I can promise you that everyone will enjoy the track -- batsmen, seamers and spinners. It is a sporting track; we have left some grass on it to hold the surface together. Expect the seamers to enjoy morning sessions in the first three days -- they will get wickets," Naik told MiD DAY yesterday.
Naik felt that India's openers would have to be weary of West Indies' young pace brigade. "Our openers and top-order will have to be little careful against their pacers. There will be nip in the morning and again the breeze will help bowlers in the final session. Varun (Aaron) got it to reverse against England in the one-dayer last month but that was a different wicket," he added.
Naik predicted an average score of 400 in the first innings. "Yes, batsmen will get value for shots because the bounce will be true. I think 400 is a very good first-innings total here," he said. "The spinners will get into the act in the last two-three days. I think R Ashwin will enjoy these conditions because he can extract some bounce with his height," Naik concluded.