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India vs England: Groundsmen use barbecue trays to dry Chennai pitch

The fifth and final Test between India and England will be played in Chennai from Friday. The groundstaff is using innovative methods to prepare the wicket after the city was hit by a severe cyclone earlier this week. Both teams skipped training due to a wet outfield

cricket Updated: Dec 14, 2016 20:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
india vs england,indian cricket team,chennai test
Groundsmen in Chennai prepare the Chepauk pitch for the fifth and final Test between India and England from Friday. The city is recovering from cyclone Vardah(Twitter @bbctms)

In the age of the super-sopper and modern drainage for quick drying of the playing surface, ground personnel at the MA Chidambaram Stadium have gone with an indigenous idea.

Though the stadium escaped the fury of the cyclone that hit the city on Monday, there has been damage to the floodlights, sightscreen and some air conditioners.

After rain affected the pitch and surrounding areas, the ground staff used giant barbecue trays with burning charcoal to dry the damp areas.

This isn’t the first time Indian groundsmen have come up with out-of-the-box methods to tackle wet conditions. A helicopter was called in to dry the playing surface at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati, venue of the ODI between India and England in 2006.

Practice off for Team India, England

The wet conditions forced India and England to call off practice. The Indian team management told AFP that practice had been called off but were confident that the match would go ahead as per schedule.

England said they would hold bowling and fielding drills on Thursday. The teams’ press conference will also be held as per schedule.

India are keen to make it 4-0 in Chennai after they broke an eight-year barren spell against England by winning the Mumbai Test by an innings and 36 runs.

Kohli had put the visitors on notice as he said at the post-match presentation in Mumbai that he wanted his team to “fully express ourselves fully”.

First Published: Dec 14, 2016 18:40 IST