Ranchi pitch in spotlight now

15-03-2017
DH


The Jharkhand State Cricket Association International Stadium will become India’s fifth newest Test venue this home season, and as is the case in the country, the pitch was the centre of everyone’s attention. And understandably so.

The first Test pitch in Pune was rated “poor” while the Bengaluru surface, where the second Test was played, has been deemed “below average” by match referee Chris Broad. It remains to be seen how the Ranchi pitch plays out over the course of the Test, beginning Thursday.

Curator Shyam Bahadur Singh has kept two extra pitches ready adjacent to the main surface to face any eventuality; his take being “in case things go drastically wrong with the pitch prepared for the match, one of the other two pitches can be used as per the BCCI and ICC norms”.

While Singh refused to speculate the number of days that the match will last, head coach Anil Kumble hoped there will be a result. “I don’t know. We only hope we will win. How many days the Test will last, I wouldn’t know. But I only hope there will be a result and it will be in our favour.”

The ground staff has been spraying water on the pitch from time to time to compensate for the evaporation due to heat and a decent amount of grass, even if dry, has been left to hold the pitch together. It doesn’t appear as bone dry as Pune but then there is still more than 24 hours left for play to begin.

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