End names: Stadium End, Pavilion End
Home team: Delhi
Test history: 33 Tests, 13 home wins, 6 away wins, 15 draws
The Feroz Shah Kotla is a cricket ground located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi. It was established in 1883 and is the second oldest international cricket stadium still functional in India, after the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The Kotla staged its first Test in the 1948-49 season when the mighty West Indies under John Goddard took on India for a five Test series and the ground has produced some really good performances.
Over the years, the pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla has largely been batting friendly. However, in December 2009, the Kotla pitch came under severe criticism after an ODI between India and Sri Lanka had to be called off.
The pitch was deemed unfit and dangerous after instances of atrocious uneven bounce off the pitch. Sri Lanka were 83 for 5 when the match officials decided that the game couldn’t be continued further, owing to players’ safety.
Last Time Out
India rounded off their series against South Africa with a good win in Delhi powered by a brace of hundreds from Ajinkya Rahane there was something there for the quicks though as Kyle Abbott claimed 5 for 40 in the first innings.
South Africa’s batsmen struggled against Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin with the former grabbing a five wicket haul in the first innings while the latter repeated the feat in the second.
AB de Villiers twin 40’s were the only scores of any note from the tourists
Happy Hunting Ground
Rahane’s dual hundreds against South Africa put him at the head of the runs table in the current group.
Ashwin is the leader in terms of wickets taken here in the current squad with his haul of 23 in three matches.
Nobody in the Sri Lanka squad have played at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal laughed off the suggestion that India would roll out a green top in Delhi saying: “If you look at the wicket (in New Delhi), I am not sure that they are preparing for South Africa.
“The Kolkata wicket looked like a South African wicket but not these two [Nagpur and Delhi].”
No rain is forecast for Delhi during the Test which should also see temperatures in a reasonably comfortable range for players used to playing on the subcontinent.
Expect the wicket to offer a little bit for the quicks up front but it is likely to prove to be batting friendly with spinners coming into the match as it wears on.
India may leave a covering of grass on the wicket while that won’t make this a seamer’s dream it could hold the pitch together for longer.
Sri Lanka will need to stay in the game for as long as possible and hope their spinners or batsmen can complete the job in the fourth innings.