Pitch Report: Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium, Rajkot
Home Team: Saurashtra
Head Groundsman: Rasik Makvana
Test History: 1 Test (1 Draw)
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.
The ground became a Test venue in 2016 when it hosted the first Test of the 2016 Pataudi trophy series between India and England.
Last Time Out
The pitch that greeted England for the first Test of their tour of India and their batsmen made the most of the conditions.
Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes scored hundreds as England reached 537 all out in their first innings.
In reply India made 488 all out, propped up by centuries from Murali Vijay and Chetheshwar Pujara. Adil Rashid took 4/118 in his 31 overs of toil.
An Alastair Cook hundred and 82 from Haseeb Hameed helped England reach 260 for 3 before they declared.
England’s bowlers gave India an almighty scare reducing them to 132 for 6 on day five but Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja held out and the hosts would steal a draw.
Happy Hunting Ground
Refer to the above here but Pujara leads the way in the current group given Vijay has been axed.
Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin each took three wickets in that Test in 2016.
Jason Holder urged his batsmen to be patient: “All our batters have to have a gameplan and know how you’re looking to score, and how you’re looking to make runs against this quality attack in their own backyard. One of the things I spoke about is patience. We’ve got to be patient but not only that, we have to capitalize on any loose delivery or any opportunity to score”
Very hot and dry. Predictions are for clear skies and temperatures in the high 30s for all five days.
The team winning the toss will bat first as neither side will want to risk being shot out in the fourth innings as the track breaks up.
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