India vs South Africa: All eyes on Ranchi turf; will be typical Indian wicket, says groundsmen
The organisers have also been concerned about the low sale of tickets for the match.
Updated - Oct 18, 2019 9:41 pm
The third and final Test between India and South Africa is set to kick off at the JSCA (Jharkhand State Cricket Association) International Sports Complex in Ranchi on Saturday. This is the second time that the capital of Jharkhand is hosting a Test match and the supporters are looking forward to an engaging affair. The only other match which was played on the 39,000-seat strong stadium was in March 2017 and it was a drab draw.
From the perspective of the series, this match is a dead rubber as India have already pocketed the series by comprehensively winning the first two games in Visakhapatnam (by 203 runs) and Pune (by an innings and 137 runs). But since matches now are a part of the ICC World Test Championship, the hosts will not allow the momentum to derail as another win will see them pick 40 more points and take their overall points tally to 240, most among the competing sides.
Eyes will be on how the Ranchi wicket plays out over the next five days. The last Test on the surface saw the bowlers having a hard time as four centuries were scored, including one double hundred (by Cheteshwar Pujara). This time, the pitch is expected to favour the spinners and the ground staff has confirmed that it will be a “typical Indian wicket”, according to a report in Hindustan Times.
Track to suit India?
A thin grass layer has been left on the top of the surface to keep it together before it gives way and suits the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Black soil has been used to prevent it from turning into a dust bowl but the scorching sun in Ranchi will play its part. “It’s a very high quality clay soil that rules out the possibility of the pitch turning into a dust bowl,” the groundstaff said.
The organisers have also been concerned about the low sale of tickets for the match. Having sold a meagre 1,500 tickets for the game, the JSCA said it will have to think twice before hosting another Test match. Selling of tickets has become a hard task for the state cricket association even after keeping the prices low (Rs 250 per day).