Ahead of their second T20 international in Ranchi on Friday, both India and Sri Lanka looked a tad concerned about the JSCA Stadium outfield. But Indian team director Ravi Shastri and Sri Lankan middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedera looked to be ready for the challenge as they spoke about adjustments.
“They (fielders) have to adapt. It is again practice. They have to get their bodies behind the ball. Ground fielding might not be easy here. You will get some uneven bounce. But you should see there are lesser misfields (which will be there tomorrow). But the lesser, the better,” said Shastri as the players used the practice session on match eve to get used to the difficulties.
Kapugedera concurred and hoped there wouldn’t me much trouble as it is an international stadium. “Yes, it’s not the ideal outfield but you have to put that apart and do what is necessary. It’s beyond our control anyway and we have to play the match anyway. It doesn’t look that bad, there’s just sand and that’s OK,” he said, insisting that fielding standards won’t drop.
“It’s an international game, so there won’t be a drop in standards due to the outfield. We will lift our game more. You have to be more careful while fielding. We will put the bodies behind and do our best,” he added.
Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) secretary Rajesh Verma has already admitted that the teams might be facing problems and cited lack of proper preparation time as the reason . “It’s a race against time. To be honest, we didn’t have enough time to prepare. This venue had been hosting the women’s zonal meet last month and then in January-end we were allotted this (India versus Sri Lanka) game. We have had just nine-ten days,” he had said.
The outfield is still very rough and bumpy and while it could make the fielders iffy, the condition just might allow reverse swing to come into equation. The ball will lose its shine quicker. “It’s just 20 overs. But there will be a bit (of reverse swing) in the last few overs I guess,” Kapugedera, who is confident of them winning the series, observed.