What England’s seamers would give to bowl on THIS! The wicket for the crucial third Test between India and England is lush and green… but there are still five days of Ahmedabad sunshine before play starts!
- Michael Vaughan led the criticism of the Chennai pitch in the previous match
- England struggled to deal with the spinning ball as India levelled the series
- But the surface ahead of next week’s Third test is currently a bright green colour
- It is a pitch which may aid seam bowling while lights could help the ball to swing
England seamers could be in for a pleasant surprise ahead of the third Test match against India after images emerged of a lush, green wicket at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen were among the critics of the second Test pitch in Chennai, with the surface rapidly deteriorating from day two onwards and kicking up dust after the ball had landed.
The wicket last week was conducive to spin bowling, and while captain Joe Root was reluctant to blame the surface for his side’s 317-run defeat, his side struggled to deal with the ball spitting and turning all over the place from Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel’s deliveries.
England seamers could be in for a third Test surprise with a green wicket in Ahmedabad
England struggled to deal with Chennai’s spin-friendly conditions as India levelled the series
AHMEDABAD FIVE-DAY WEATHER FORECAST
Saturday – Sunny and a light breeze – 33°
Sunday – Sunny and a gentle breeze – 34°
Monday – Sunny and light winds – 35°
Tuesday – Sunny and light winds – 36°
Wednesday (day one of Test) – sunny and light winds – 36°
*courtesy of the BBC
But focus has now turned to the day-night Test in Ahmedabad and pictures ahead of the game have shown a wicket that would not look out of place in England at Lord’s or Headingley.
A surface with grass on provides conditions conducive to the ball moving off the seam, and would help out the likes of Stuart Broad and the returning Jofra Archer, while swing bowler James Anderson could also be a difficult customer to handle with the pink ball known to move under lights, making life difficult for batsmen.
The bad news for England however is that the third match of the series – currently finely poised at 1-1 – against Virat Kohli’s men does not start until next Wednesday, meaning the groundsmen, but more importantly the sunshine in the city, could still make it resemble the surfaces seen in the first two five-day games.
Hot and dry weather means the pitch gets dried out as the moisture from the pitch is evaporated, ultimately resulting in cracks forming and the ball being able to turn as it grips the surface.
The pitch forms part of a new-look and refurbished stadium in Ahmedabad, located in the western state of Gujarat.
Newly-installed LED floodlights will help to eliminate shadows, making it easier for fielders in particular to spot the balls that go in the air during the Test, while a state-of-the-art drainage system will help the ground dry up quickly in case of heavy rain.
Joe Root (left) refused to blame the conditions for England’s 317-run defeat to the hosts
But a green Ahmedabad pitch could aid seamers Stuart Broad (right) and Jofra Archer (centre)
It is also now the world’s largest cricket ground with a seating capacity of 110,000 – surpassing the Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,024 capacity – and around 55,000 tickets are expected to be on sale for the final two Tests of the series at the venue.
Talk in the previous Test match was dominated by the state of the pitch, with former England captain Vaughan describing it as a stinker, while Pietersen and Sir Alastair Cook also weighed in on the surface.
India spinner Ashwin however defended the wicket on his home ground, claiming none of the country’s greats have ever complained when pitches have had grass on them.
The pitch forms part of a new-look and refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera
It is also the world’s largest cricket ground with a seating capacity of 1,10,000