Special Correspondent

Mumbai: The pitch at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata has finally passed muster for a one-day match.

Previously it had been vilified for the slow and low nature that inhibited the batsmen.

There was a refreshing change on Thursday with consistent bounce enabling the two teams to score in excess of 600 runs.

The seamers too benefited from some purchase.

Overall the ICC’s Venue Inspection Group (VIG) for the 2011 World Cup must be pleased with the quality of surface rolled out for India and Sri Lanka match.

Instructions had gone out from the BCCI’s Pitch and Ground committee to prepare moisture-less pitch that would favour the batsman with good carry and bounce and without much lateral seam movement or excessive spin. The local authorities seem to have adhered to the directive.

Though not scathing, the ICC’s Venue Inspection Group had said after visiting the venue in November that the “playing surface in Kolkata” need to be improved and the number of pitches available for TV coverage increased.

In its report the VIG has remarked that the pitch at the Eden (1) had tended to be slow with low and inconsistent bounce and likely to deteriorate before hundred overs leaving any team batting second with a disadvantage and (2) during the IPL matches there were complaints about the condition of the pitches prepared (3) it would appear that the pitch is in need of significant reconstruction (4) it has been a practice at this venue to use only one pitch for televised matches in the past (5) it would not acceptable to have a single pitch available for the event (World Cup).

The VIG has also said that the time to switch between power sources needs to be checked to ensure that it is immediate so that in the event of failure of the primary source there is no interruption to light and that the light levels need to be checked to ensure they meet standards. — Special Correspondent

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