Kolkata: Will the ball turn at Motera, just like it did in the second test match of the series in Chennai? Or is it going to be such a strip where the pacers would find aid? How much grass will be seen on the pitch?
England camp is finding it difficult to get a proper answer as they seem to be in serious confusion over the nature of the 22 yards where the third test against India will be played. And sources close to ABP LIVE Bengali confirmed that the Indian team is in no hurry to remove suspense over the wicket and the dilemma might continue till the last moment until the wicket is handed over to ICC match officials, which is usually done 48 hours prior to any match.
“Two types of strips are ready at the ground. In one of these two, black coloured soil is used. This strip is going to help the pacers with an extra amount of pace and bounce. The other pitch is made of red soil, where the spinners will find an extra bit of turn and bounce. It resembles the one used for the second test at Chennai,” an official of Gujarat Cricket Association, who is well aware of the whole process of ground and pitch preparation, told ABP LIVE Bengali over mobile phone from Ahmedabad, on condition of anonymity. He added, “There is a fair amount of grass covering on both the wickets, making the prediction about its nature more difficult.”
Joe Root and company might be wondering what could be the best playing XI for the third test match. If the pitch helps the pacers, the team combination might be different and if it aids the spinners, there might be some more changes. And according to reliable sources, a lot of permutation and combination is going on in the English camp.
The Motera stadium is refurbished and it increases the dilemma over the nature of the wicket. The Motera Stadium last hosted an international test match in November 2012. It’s been nine years. And more to that, only a few T-20 matches are played in the new Motera stadium. According to a GCA official, the T-20 match never gives a proper idea of the nature of the pitch as it involves only 40 overs. “It’s difficult to predict how the wicket is going to behave on the basis of T-20 matches,” that official told ABP LIVE Bengali.
Chennai strip used for the second test match was subject to controversy as a few former English cricketers heavily criticized it. India camp, though, doesn’t find it odd to make the best use of home condition. And to add to the woes of the English camp, the third test match is a day-night affair and will be played with a pink ball, which is obviously not a very familiar format of the game. The dilemma over the pitch in such a crucial match may be the most disliked opponent for a touring team.