CHENNAI : MS Dhoni, one of India’s most successful captains, has often said that he would like to carry the wicket at MA Chidambaram Stadium with him. He was bowled over by its characteristics, as he felt that it had something for batsmen and bowlers.Despite this clash being inconsequential, considering that India have already won the series, the strip for the final T20I between India and West Indies too looks dry and hard, and promises runs.
This season’s Vijay Hazare Trophy games at Chepauk were played on different pitches. For the last few weeks, no matches were held at the venue, as it was being prepared for this clash. Tamil Nadu’s Ranji Trophy matches too were shifted to Dindigul and Tirunelveli for the same purpose.During Vijay Hazare, Tamil Nadu’s 50-over captain Vijay Shankar had said that the Chepauk wicket was slow and difficult to bat on. But the surface for this match looks good.
BCCI-appointed neutral curators have been assisting with preparations of the wicket for the last two seasons. Chandrasekar, the BCCI zonal curator for this T20I, said that the wicket looks ideal for the slam-bang version of the game.“Wicket No 4 has been prepared for T20s. The wicket is hard, dry and bereft of grass. It looks solid, and it’ll be a good batting strip. The outfield is also superb, and it will be fast.
The team that wins the toss will most probably bat first,’’ said a source involved in the preparation of the pitch.Bowling second with the white ball under lights has always been a tricky proposition for many teams. “That is always difficult at Chepauk. Humidity will be a factor, and so will dew. If conditions remain the way they are, gripping the ball while bowling second will be something that teams will ponder. The toss will be vital,’’ said a senior member of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.
Six practice wickets — three for each team — have been put in place at the venue’s B ground. West Indies flew in from Lucknow on Wednesday night, and they will practise on Friday evening. Quite a few of the players who are part of the Test team for their Bangladesh tour (starting November 22) will arrive on Thursday night, and practise on Saturday morning.
After this T20I, West Indies players will leave for Bangladesh in two batches, on November 14 and 15. India players are expected to arrive on Saturday.Ticket sales have been brisk, and the stadium is expected to be packed, with Rohit Sharma in roaring form.