A general view of the Sardar Patel Stadium, the world's biggest cricket stadium, is pictured ahead of the third Test match between India and England, in Motera on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (AFP)
A general view of the Sardar Patel Stadium, the world's biggest cricket stadium, is pictured ahead of the third Test match between India and England, in Motera on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (AFP)

Seat colour at Motera can make it hard for fielders to spot pink ball: Thorpe

India vs England: The four-match series between India and England currently stands level at 1-1 and now both teams will lock horns in a pink-ball Test from Wednesday.
ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 09:44 PM IST

England assistant batting coach Graham Thorpe on Monday said that the coloured seating at the newly-built Motera Stadium could make the job of the fielders a little bit harder in terms of citing the pink ball in the day-night Test.

The four-match series between India and England currently stands level at 1-1 and now both teams will lock horns in a pink-ball Test from Wednesday at the Motera Stadium.

ALSO READ - Motera probably one of the best ground I have ever been to: Archer

"I mean, having had the practice sessions, the ball did move around. Like anything, batting can be dependent on how you are being bowled to. It is about having an understanding of what is going on. If you execute well then you are giving yourself a chance of scoring runs in any conditions.

"The side screens are in place, so hopefully, in terms of coming out of the seats, the seating has a certain colouring, so it can be a little harder for the fielders, we have to see how it plays out," said Thorpe while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Monday.

When asked about the challenges of playing in the pink-ball Test, Thorpe replied: "Half-day and half-night. We have had our practice sessions, we had one in the evening and we had one in the afternoon. The challenge of facing the pink-ball in changing conditions, we will have to adapt to. It is an unknown quantity, pink ball does a little more in the evening as compared to the afternoon, we will have to take a look at the pitch as well when it comes to tackling spinners during the day-time," said Thorpe.

ALSO READ: R Ashwin all set to surpass Richard Hadlee, Dale Steyn in elite list of Test bowlers

Zak Crawley had missed the first two Tests against India after slipping in the dressing room, but the right-handed batsman is now back in the mix for selection in the upcoming day-night Test.

"It is very important for others to step up, Joe Root has been in remarkable form this winter. We have always talked about building the partnerships together and hopefully that leads to getting the first innings runs, clear in the mind, looking forward to the upcoming Test. Zak Crawley is looking really fit, he will be certainly in the mix and his injury seems to have healed," said Thorpe.

When asked about Jonny Bairstow being picked in the third Test, Thorpe said: "Jonny Bairstow did well in Sri Lanka, he will come back into the mix, as I said all the players will be available for selection. He is a good player against spin, we are still a day out from the Test, we still want to have a proper look at the wicket, he is with a shout to play the third Test."

"Players are coming back after being mentally fresher I think. They do seem to be a little rejuvenated after getting the break. Jonny was playing a couple of weeks ago, he has looked fine in the nets," he added.

India had achieved an emphatic 317-run win against England in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series. As a result, the series stands level at 1-1 and the Virat Kohli-led side has also reached the second spot in World Test Championship (WTC) standings.

India remain in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship. The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.

England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, has slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India.



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