3rd ODI: 'Different' Eden Gardens pitch comes in for praise

Former England captain Nasser Hussain was surprised with the Eden Gardens pitch which offered assistance to bowlers.

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Kolkata, Jan 23: Former England captain Nasser Hussain was surprised as well as overwhelmed also after having seen the bounce and seam movement of English bowlers at Eden Gardens in the 3rd ODI against on Sunday (January 22).

Series schedule; Photos

In a high-scoring last-over thriller, England edged India by 5 runs. The visitors scored 321/8 and restricted India to 316/9 in 50 overs. However, the hosts claimed the 3-match series 2-1. (3rd ODI match report)

Indian players pose after winning the ODI series 2-1, in Kolkata on Sunday (January 22)

Hussain, who was doing TV commentary for the match, when asked about the behaviour of the Eden pitch, explained, "I have never seen such a pitch at the Eden Gardens, behaving like this. It sounds like the pitches in Perth and Sydney."

He added, "The pitch should be like this. The bowlers got bounce and movement off the seam from this pitch. That was the reason, the match turned out to be exciting. If you kill the bowlers by preparing drab pitch then it will always be a one-sided affair. In recent times, Eden pitch also had behaved drab and dry. But today, it has been changed and I should thank CAB president Sourav Ganguly for the initiative to change the character of the pitch."

Arun Lal, the former Indian batsman was also surprised. "In recent times, wicket at the Eden Gardens has always behaved dull. As a matter of fact the spinners have got success. But today it was nice to watch the fast and bouncy track. The bowlers got help and the batsmen also according to their calibre could perform. Actually, pitch is the key ingredient that determines the flair of the game,” he said.

Lal and Hussain also agreed with another point that in recent times cricket was batting-centred. Hussain clarified saying, "Being a batsman I could have argued for the drab pitch where batsmen would score a lot of runs. But as a cricketer I feel the bowlers also should get help from the pitch. Otherwise, the match cannot be thrilling. And it will not be good for cricket ultimately."

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