Just rises like uh, like a giant saucer, can take 110 they’re expecting huge crowds, even though i mean because 50 means a lot of people as well, but the focus will still be on. The cricket will still be on. The surface will still be on. The ball. Will still be on the conditions michael juan joins me as well. Now. The interesting thing, michael, is that neither india nor england have played such a lot of pink ball test trigger. I think i think england have played three haven’t. They and in india played just two in australia, one in kolkata, yeah, absolutely uh. England have lost two one: one uh england, india, a one on one, so not a great deal of experience. Uh for both teams – i have to say the ground i haven’t been there, but i’ve seen plenty of videos from the england players this week on social media and also the indian players. It looks magnificent. It looks uh a ground. I think over the years we’ll be talking about a huge amount. I mean. Obviously you’ve got eden gardens that has a huge capacity over there in india. I think this ground is going to be talked off similarly over the years because of the crowds and the atmospheres that it’s going to be created. I guess it all comes down to the pitch. It comes down to the ball again messages from the england team that they’ve been delighted that the pink ball has been doing plenty in practice.
They’Ve even had to use older, pink balls because uh, maybe one or two batsmen, started to complain. He was doing too much and they were ruining their confidence but uh england. I feel believe they’ve got a sniff this week, because obviously the ball change and the lights will be on the do make play quite a big factor, particularly in the last session um. You know they’re england, if somehow gon na try and start the game. Well, if they start well, i think they’ll get those memories back from the first test quite quickly if they start badly uh. The memories of the second test will come back quite quickly, so that first date is going to be crucial for the england side. Okay, we’ll go through all the variables first rohit sharma said the day a couple of days ago. Why are we talking so much about the surface? Talk about the performances on it and michael, i noticed you agree, but in the build up for people watching this program, you’ve got to tell them a little bit about the surface there’s 11 pitches on the square. I think there’s some red and some black soil, as you normally see what we’re told is that it’ll be hard that if there’s enough grass on it it’ll seam a lot if there’s less grass it’ll turn a lot, either way there’s movement, but it all depends on How much grass, now michael in kolkata that left six millimeters of grass on? I think that that used to be the norm? Six millimeters of grass word is here and we’ll have to wait and see till till it’s actually exposed in the morning of the game that there will be lesser grass than that, in which case it will turn android sharma alluded to that by saying we have preparing For this, the way we prepared for the chennai test, yeah and india would be silly not to uh prepare which wickets that’s gon na spin i mean um.
India have better skill players against the spinning ball and they have better spinners than england, so that’s why he was absolutely right to say that home advantage is important. You know all conditions around the world change and the home team has it in their right to produce whatever they wish that that’s, absolutely fine um, you know, so i would expect the ball to be spinning i’d. Be amazed if, over the course of the next couple of days, the grass is allowed to grow beyond that six millimeters, i think it’ll be cut right down and england would be silly to prepare for anything other than that second test match that they they saw in Chennai, because you know they got absolutely hammered because india were better skilled, just played better. So why would india want to go back to potentially what happened in the first game where it’s flat for a day or so or you know? Why would you want a pitch where you win the tosh you’re back and then all of a sudden the lights come on and it zips all over the place? You know that would favor the england, england team and so home advantage is obviously very important and when you won one in a series with two to play, uh i’d be staggered. If the ball isn’t spinning from ball, one and it’s a slightly different beast isn’t it this this pink ball. Now this lovely red jelly that we’ve been used to seeing all these years.
It’S leather that’s been dyed, and so you can keep on polishing it. I guess, like you, polish, your shoes, you can keep polishing it. This one’s got more pigment and lacquer on it and i believe the sg ball has a little more lacquer on it than does the the pink kookaburra bowl. So what we saw in kolkata in that one test patch and to be honest, bangladesh wanted their best in that test, match that the ball was seeming to come through the air quicker and was therefore hitting the bat a lot harder, maybe because there’s less air resistance, Because of the extra lacquer on it, four players got hit on the head in the in that test match. So this sg ball is a slightly different beast in that it’s got a little more lacquer on it. Then uh i mean there’s no die like the red ball does yeah, i mean again. The message from the england scene is exactly that that the ball has been fizzing around it’s been sip, zipping and seaming, and a bit of swing that’s. Why they fancy the chances it’s it’s the week, where england feel they have a chance uh rightfully, so i do feel that england will need the favor you know of the conditions. I think they’ll need to probably win the toss back really well and then get the pink ball in hand for the first time when the lights are on on day, two and that’s, why the pink ball test matches can bring in a little bit of fortune in Conditions, you can get a little bit unlucky, uh that you suddenly have to bat first, when the the lights are on and it’s zipping around um.
That toss will be important. You know the team that bats first will get the conditions for the first two sessions. Guaranteeing of sunlight and then really it’s a lottery of when you take guard for the first time so uh batting first, i think, is going to be very important, i’m going to ask you to put a captain’s hat on now. You need to pick up playing 11. Both sides do, but you need to pick a plane 11, where there are so many unknowns. You don’t know what the effect of the dew is going to be. Is it going to take your spinners out of the game in the second session? Is the ball going to zip around uh swing around more than you thought, so do i need more seamers uh? Do i need more technically accomplished battle in that top order? How do you pick a side when there’s so many unknowns going around? Well, i think that’s. Why the teams have been practicing in the daytime and also at night this week and you’ve just got to be smart in your selections to understand the conditions of what’s been happening in practice. What the ball’s been doing in the different stages of the day and then you’ve just got to come up with what you believe is the best team for this week. Um, you know i’d expect johnny bearstow to come back in at number three. I would think zach crawley potentially could open rory burns.
Boomerang comes back, uh um is available, but he hasn’t played a lot of cricket since coming back from australia. So i don’t know if they risk him going straight into a game or they’ll. They want uh siraj as the third sema. So it seems at this stage like kundi, might go away there’s. This theory isn’t there, michael that when it’s, when the ball gets a little discolored at dusk, the wrist spinner is a little difficult to pick. But you you can’t, you can’t just pick one player for every eventuality. Can you no no that’s? Why it’s it’s it’s that that final player in the team of both sides, i think, is going to be the real tricky one? I think both captains and management groups will all know pretty much nine or ten players it’s, just that last player. Do you go for an extra spin as you go for an extra seamer? You want to hazard a prediction michael this. This is. This is like having an equation with too many variables. Well, my predictions uh have pretty much all been wrong. Uh over the last few months, um we’ll factor in the fact that you’re in a different time zone you’re many thousands of kilometers away and you’re you’re. You haven’t seen the surface, so we’ll put all those riders in yeah. I i i think india it’ll be too strong. I think um that juggernaut i mentioned in the second test, it’s a very difficult juggernaut to stop.
Even though you go to a different venue and the ball changes, colour england will feel you know, vibrant they’ll feel that they’ve got a real good chance this week, but also sometimes in practice. You know when the ball is zipping around, that it’s doing all sorts it’s. Sometimes down to the surfaces that you’re practicing on that aren’t, quite as prepared as as well as the the test pitch um no i’ve got a fancy. India, i hope, i’m wrong. I have been wrong over the last few months and many of my predictions, and i hope i am this week but uh now the indian juggernauts just started to it’s, not even creeping along it’s, going along quite a trace uh from that second test match. So i have to say india, clear, favorites it’s, the pink wall test, it’s and it’s an afternoon start 2 30 in the afternoon, it’s, not just as hot as it gets in amber, but so conditions, not that difficult, we’ll wait and see what happens.