Grass is meant for cows. That's the thinking of the Indian team management.
A light covering of grass on the pitch for the first Test between India and Pakistan at the Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi was enough to give the hosts the jitters.
Kotla curator Radhe Shyam Sharma had left a light covering of grass so that the pitch could hold firm for all five days of the match. As the Kotla is renowned for dishing out slow and low turners, Sharma wanted to ensure that there would be even bounce throughout.
But Delhi District Cricket Association vice-president Chetan Chauhan stunned the veteran curator on Wednesday by asking him to shave off whatever grass was there on the pitch.
It seems the Indian team management did not want even a blade of grass. Their reasoning was that if Pakistan bowls first on the track, then Shoaib Akhtar and his fellow-pacers could make a decisive impact even if there is help for the first hour or so.
At first Sharma refused and told Chauhan that it was not possible to shave off the grass. "Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh had a look at the wicket and they seem satisfied," he explained.
But Chauhan was not in a mood to listen and finally the curator had to bow to the administrator's demands.
When contacted, both Chauhan and Sharma denied that any such thing took place even though the changed nature of track tells its own tale.
Meanwhile, a senior DDCA official mocked the Indian team on the incident saying: "If they are scared of so little grass, then God save them in Australia!"