Ind vs Eng: Roasted in Rajkot, Virat Kohli can expect grass-free pitch in Vizag

Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 13:07 IST | PTI

With spotlight firmly on the pitch, BCCI curator Kasturi Sriram said that unlike Rajkot wicket, the 22-yard strip to be provided for the second Test against England 'won't have much grass'

Virat Kohli and Assam coach Sunil Joshi, who criticised the Vizag pitch recently
Virat Kohli and Assam coach Sunil Joshi, who criticised the Vizag pitch recently

Visakhapatnam: With spotlight firmly on the pitch, BCCI curator Kasturi Sriram said that unlike Rajkot wicket, the 22-yard strip to be provided for the second Test against England "won't have much grass" with turn on offer from second day onwards.

With Indian spinners especially Ravichandran Ashwin being rendered ineffective primarily due to lack of assistance from the pitch, it is only natural that the hosts would expect a strip that's to their advantage.

"There will not be much grass and we should expect the ball to turn from lunch on Day 2," Sriram said adding that there has not been any instruction from the team think-tank.
"Yesterday, it was cold and today it's drastically hot and humid and wicket appears dry now. We will see how is it on the eve of the match."

Like Rajkot, it will be the first time that a Test match will be played at this venue. On October 29, New Zealand were shot out for 79 on a slow turner to hand India the five-match ODI series 3-2. ACA secretary Gokaraju Gangaraju was more defensive in his approach.

Neutral wicket
"We have prepared a neutral wicket and it should assist both the teams equally. We hope to see a result," G Gangaraju said.

The Vizag pitch made headlines for the wrong reasons when Rajasthan skittled Assam for 69 in their second innings in a Ranji Trophy match ending inside three days with their coach Sunil Joshi, a former India left-arm spinner, crying foul.

'Ranji wicket different'
But Gangaraju stressed that one should not draw parallel with the Ranji Trophy wicket. "The Assam wicket was a different one and some miscommunication had led to that."

Referring to the New Zealand ODI, he said: "The wicket had a bit of moisture during the India-New Zealand match. But it was their inept batting that led to the collapse."

With spin-friendly conditions on offer, toss will play a key role. For a record, after the first Test, the Indian captain had said he was surprised to see the tinge of green on the track. "I was quite surprised to see that much grass, to be honest. It should not have been the case," Kohli said.

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