The Indian cricket team on Monday donated Rs 35,000 to the Wankhede Stadium groundsmen after a convincing 372-run win over New Zealand on Day 4 of the second Test match in Mumbai.
It was a token of appreciation for not dishing out an under-prepared track where the divot would explode and the match would end inside three days. The Virat Kohli–Rahul Dravid era began with a convincing Test series win against New Zealand at home.
Earlier in Kanpur, India’s new head coach Rahul Dravid donated Rs 35,000 to Green Park’s groundstaff, led by Shiv Kumar, for preparing a sporting pitch for the first Test against New Zealand.
For a team that had fought tooth and nail in Kanpur, the extra bounce and turn did pose familiar problems for the Kiwis in a match they will try to remember for Ajaz Patel’s 10-wicket heroics. Patel bowled 73.5 overs across two innings for New Zealand and his team, in total, batted 84.4 overs which would signify abject capitulation.
“I think it was good to finish the series as winners, came close in Kanpur, not able to get that last wicket, had to work hard here. This result seems one-sided, but right through the series, we were made to work hard,” India coach Rahul Dravid said after the demolition act.
“There have been phases where we were behind and had to fight back, credit to the team. Great to see the boys stepping up and taking their opportunities,” he added.
The appreciation to groundsmen of Kanpur and Mumbai means that a template going forward would be sporting wickets with a bit of everything rather than something diabolical.