After making Adam and the world, God decided to rest. He appointed Adam to assign names to all the animals. Adam enjoyed doing it but got bored after a while. He requested God for companionship and thus, Eve was born. Adam and Eve loved each other and resided in the Garden of Eden with other animals. Until one day, Eve plucked an apple from the Tree of Knowledge which led to the doom of humanity.
There is a possibility that Ganguly may have to bear the responsibility of plucking that forbidden apple from the Eden Gardens i.e. preparing a bowler friendly wicket. Though there was much talk of preparing fast and bouncy pitches for the India-Sri Lanka series as means of preparation for the upcoming South Africa tour, the poor performance of the Indian batsmen is now being attributed to the ‘sporting’ Eden Gardens pitch.
Ganguly’s bid for the bowlers
Ganguly has always been an advocate of making the game fairer for the bowlers. While he was the captain of India or when he was commentating, he always believed that the game was heavily skewed in favor of the batsmen. He felt that cricket needed to be altered in a manner such that fans could witness a fierce battle between bat and ball.He may not have been able to accomplish his desire during his playing days but as an administrator he has certainly played his part in spicing up the game.
The India-Sri Lanka test series was considered to be a one sided affair given the difference between both sides on paper.However, the little action we have got in the test match till now has been a riveting encounter between bat and ball. The very first ball which led to the downfall of KL Rahul was a sign of the things to come. Ganguly must be sniggering seeing the batsmen being made to dance by the swinging and seaming deliveries.
By 2015, the Eden Gardens pitch had become very slow and keeping low had become its second nature. After the demise of the veteran administrator, Jagmohan Dalmiya as Sourav became the CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) President, he was determined for an overhaul. Dada ensured that the Eden pitch was re-laid and made a lot quicker and bouncier.
Credit and blame go hand in hand
After the pitch was re-laid, India played its first match against New Zealand at Eden Gardens.In that match also the uneven bounce of the deck troubled many players. Shikhar Dhawan suffered a sustained thumb injury after being hit twice on his bottom hand. However, Bhuvneshwar took a five-for in the first innings and ultimately India walked away with a comfortable victory by 178 runs in that match.India’s victory brushed away all the criticism of the Eden pitch under the carpet.Virat went on to term the pitch as a ‘brilliant test wicket’ and it was all well and good at the end.
This time around, it was almost similar to the New Zealand match, except for the rain and the over caste conditions. When the two teams reached Kolkata this time, they found a pitch, not of the sub continent but that akin to the Lords. The coin favored the Lankans and so they had an added advantage over the Indians.
As a result India were bundled out for a meagre 172. This has put Sri Lanka in a commanding position. The Lankans are looking good for a healthy first inings lead. At present the match hangs in Sri Lanka’s favour but all three results are still possible. It would now be interesting to know the remarks of the team management about the Eden’s pitch if Sri Lanka manage to pull off this match.