Kolkata, Mar 27: Gautam Gambhir did a recce of the Eden strip and avoided the media but it was evident from his flying visit that the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper wanted a sporting wicket and not a slow turner.
The Eden wicket had looked “ugly” to India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after their loss to England in a Twenty20 here last year.
Gambhir probably does not want to see the traditional slow track but something that assists his pace attack.
He spoke to the curator Prabir Mukherjee at length after inspecting the wicket which is yet to be mowed.
The veteran curator told reporters that he was not instructed for a tailor-made strip, but the hosts association CAB said they would prepare a wicket that would give KKR a feel of “home advantage.”
“I'm not paid by them (KKR). A franchise has no say regarding the fitness of the ground. It's the association (CAB) that takes care of the ground,” Mukherjee said.
Asked what was his 30-minute interaction with Gambhir, he only said the KKR skipper was inquiring on which of the three strips they would play the matches.
CAB joint-secretary Biswarup Dey however said, “We will make sure they feel at home. There will be home advantage and facilities to favour the home team obviously.”
Three pitches are ready and it's learnt that two of them would be pace-oriented, while the third one would be a turner.
KKR will open their IPL season five campaign against Delhi Daredevils on April 5.