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'Wankhede pitch will be a slower turner, will spin from Day 3'

Last updated on: December 05, 2016 19:51 IST

The MCA sources dismissed reports that instructions have been received from the Indian team management with regards to the preparation of the pitch.

IMAGE: Groundstaff work on the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium pitch in Mohali. Photograph: BCCI

Contrary to popular perceptions that Wankhede Stadium pitch for the fourth Test will be a rank turner, one of the Mumbai Cricket Association groundstaff actively involved with the preparation of the 22-yard strip stated that it is expected to assist slow bowlers only from Day 3 onwards.

"The wicket will be normal. It won't turn on the first day and it can slowly start turning (assisting spin) from day three," a MCA source said on Monday.

England are down 0-2 in the five-game series after the draw in the series opener at Rajkot and losses in the next two Tests at Vishakapatnam and Mohali.

The visitors face a must-win game in Mumbai in order to keep themselves alive in the series ahead of the fifth and final Test in Chennai, from December 16-20.

"No special preparations are being made. The World T20 and Ranji matches have happened here. We have to prepare well for an international match and we have done that," he added.

"We got 20 days to prepare the wicket as a Ranji Trophy game was shifted away from the stadium (to another venue). In our opinion, there will be little bit of bounce."

"We are watering as per the usual procedure. There was a little dew factor that we had to take into consideration and have done watering accordingly. Because of the dew, we watered it less," they added.

The MCA sources also dismissed reports that instructions have been received from the Indian team management with regards to the preparation of the pitch.

Another MCA official said that 'it will be good wicket' where one can expect good cricket, adding around 60-65 per cent season ticket sales have taken place so far.

This will be the 24th Test match at this ground and the win-loss record in favour of the hosts is 10-7.

Incidentally, England have won the last two matches they had played at this venue -- in 2006 and 2012 --- after having lost three Tests on the trot.

Their only victory prior to those three defeats was in the BCCI's Golden Jubilee Test in 1980.

The first-ever game between the two teams at this venue, in 1976, was drawn so that the win-loss record stands 3-3 between the two teams out of seven encounters.

The stadium is hosting a Test match after three years and the last match which it hosted was the farewell Test of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar against West Indies in November 2013.

Meanwhile, England will practise on Tuesday morning while India will practise in the afternoon. The two teams have had an extended break after the conclusion of the third Test at Mohali.

Most of the visiting team members had travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates during the break and are scheduled to reach Mumbai on Monday night.

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