India will be up against New Zealand in the second Test starting from December 3 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It is a crucial match for both sides after a thrilling draw in Kanpur. India, who have banked on spinners to come good on home conditions, will again be aiming to use the same template in the series decider in Mumbai.
Over the past few years, the Wankhede has witnessed spinners winning the matches on their own. However, as per sources, the pitch during the second India-New Zealand Test might assist pacers. The pitch has a thick grass cover and that might tempt both teams to play extra pacer.
“The pitch has a thick layering of grass. The ball won’t turn much. The grass seems to have grown tall as no cricket has been played on the main three pitches at the Wankhede Stadium since the ODI between India and Australia in Jan 2020. Some of that grass will be cut away, but at this stage, when the Test match is just days away, you can’t cut too much grass. As a result, they have stopped watering the pitch since Sunday,” a source told TOI.
The source added the pitch will initially assist the pacers and will become easier to bat as the game progresses. “It will introduce moisture on the grass and the wicket. The wicket will help the fast bowlers initially, with the early morning moisture in play, but it will then become a good batting track. It will have good bounce and carry,” said the source.”
India have a few tough selections call to make. Skipper Virat Kohli is expected to be back on the team. It remains to be seen whom he replaces.