IND vs ENG 2024: Here’s Rajkot Pitch a Day Before Start of 3rd Test, Grass Shaved Off

Last Updated: February 14, 2024, 10:51 IST

Rajkot pitch two days out from the 3rd Test (left) and a day before. (Pic Credit: Sahil Malhotra)

Rajkot pitch two days out from the 3rd Test (left) and a day before. (Pic Credit: Sahil Malhotra)

A day before the start of the third Test between India and England in Rajkot, the grass on the pitch has been shaved off and it’s likely it will be a batting paradise.

Preparations are in full swing for the third Test between India and England to be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot from Thursday. The first two matches of the five-Test series have been quite entertaining with England storming to a stunning 1-0 lead by winning in Hyderabad before a hurt India recovered to draw parity in Vizag.

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The pitch used for the contests in Hyderabad and Vizag grabbed as much attention as the performances of the players. Unlike the pre-series predictions of ‘rank-turners’ and ‘dust-bowls’ being the norm, the teams have been greeted by ‘sporting pitches’.

So naturally, there’s quite a buzz around what Rajkot has in store.

Two days before the start of the third Test, the pitch appeared quite green from a distance. However, that grass was nowhere to be seen on Wednesday, the match eve, giving indication it’s going to be a flat wicket.

In Rajkot, the Indian team has played two Tests before.

The first was incidentally against England during the 2016-18 series and it produced a dull draw. Joe Root, Ben Stokes struck centuries as the tourists piled on a mammoth 537-all out in their first dig.

India responded with 488-all out courtesy a ton from Murali Vijay.

England then declared their second innings for 260/3, setting India 310 runs to win. The hosts were 172/6 on the fifth day with Virat Kohli unbeaten on 49 in the company of Ravindra Jadeja, 32 not out, when the two teams shook hands for a draw.

The second Test at this venue was against West Indies, a contest that didn’t even last three full days. India declared on 649/9 with Virat Kohli, Prithvi Shaw and Ravindra Jadeja hitting centuries.

West Indies were asked to follow on after being skittled for 181. They fared a little better in their second dig to be bowled out for 196 as India completed an innings win.

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