Pitch report: Saurashtra CA Stadium, Rajkot
Home Team: Saurashtra
Head Groundsman: Rasik Makvana
Test History: N/A
The stadium was build in 2009, featuring fancy stands and a press box that looks like the Lord’s space ship media centre, but only made its international debut in 2013.
The Gujarat city has hosted two ODIs, one in 2013 and one in 2015, and one T20, with only the latter being won by the hosts.
It shot to prominence in 2016 as the home ground of the new Gujarat Lions in the IPL, and has a similar isolated feel to some UAE grounds in that it’s well out of the city.
Last Time Out
Happy Hunting Ground
India coach Anil Kumble: “This is the first Test in Rajkot, it’s a new stadium – we’ve played one-day and T20 cricket here, but in a Test, we don’t know how the wicket is going to be. The looks of it, it looks a good surface.”
Guardian journalist Vic Marks from the ground: “The pitch attracts attention and the usual caveats – never draw any conclusions two days before the match. It is not like the ones that greeted England in Chittagong or Dhaka. Some green grass is visible alongside some cracks; there are one or two bare patches, which suggests the surface is not entirely flat.”
He added: “The pitch will offer turn for the spinners – but we are not sure when – however, the expectation is that batting will not be as treacherous early in the game as it was in Bangladesh.”
Very hot and dry. Predictions are for clear skies and mid-30 temperatures all five days.
No idea. Who knows. Let’s wait and see. One would probably bat first, to get some runs on the board before the heat causes cracks to appear. One imagines. Probably.
Familiar faces help Dawid Malan make an impressive return home
The 33-year-old led the scoring as England wrapped up the T20 series against South Africa in Paarl.
Dawid Malan guides England to series-clinching T20 win against South Africa
Malan put England in control by plundering 16 off four Lungi Ngidi deliveries.
England fan still on Sri Lanka adventure eight months after tour was axed
The 37-year-old is hoping England will return in January so he can finally see the cricket he travelled out for.
Sam Curran relishing responsibility in England T20 side
The Surrey all-rounder opened the bowling before partnering Jonny Bairstow across the winning line.
On This Day 2012: Ashley Giles takes over as England limited-overs head coach
Team director and Test boss Andy Flower was keen to reduce his own workload and Giles seized the opportunity.
Jonny Bairstow happy to put experience to good use after move down England order
Bairstow hit a wonderful 86 not out as England won the first Twenty20 international in South Africa.
Defiant Jonny Bairstow powers England to win over South Africa
The Yorkshire batsman hit 86 not out from 48 balls in a five-wicket win.
England chasing 180 to win Cape Town clash as Faf Du Plessis makes half-century
Sam and Tom Curran experienced mixed fortunes in the first innings of the opening Twenty20 against South Africa.