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Rajkot pitch report for 3rd IND vs ENG Test – CricBlog

Cricket News: A look at the Rajkot pitch for the third Test between India and England starting on February 15

The ten-day-long break between the second and third Test is set to end, with anticipation building ahead of the Rajkot showdown. It has been a fascinating series between India and England so far, with the visitors landing the first blow in Hyderabad before the hosts fought back to win in Visakhapatnam.

So, what will the Rajkot pitch have in store? This will be just the third Test played on this ground, with batsmen finding joy in the two matches. The last Test took place in 2018 where India hammered West Indies by an innings and 272 runs after pummelling 649/9d batting first. Two years earlier, it was a high-scoring draw between England and India where both sides scored well over 450 in their first innings.

Rajkot pitch report for 3rd Test between India and England 2024

Images of the Rajkot pitch have surfaced on social media two days out from the Test. There appears to be a touch of grass on the surface which could hold it together for the first few days before it begins to take more spin. If so, it should be a fine batting pitch in the early stages.

Hot and clear conditions are forecast for the five days which makes the toss an important one. The two first innings totals in Tests at Rajkot are 649/9d and 537, and the ground has a reputation for being one of the best batting surfaces in the country. However, any presence of grass will bring the skilled pacers from either side into the game early, where they need to pounce.

Also, even if it a flat surface, both teams are a good chance of offering opportunities for wickets given the attacking nature of their batting.

Pitch won’t be a rank turner – Kuldeep

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav shared his thoughts on the Rajkot pitch in a press conference. “It is not going to be a rank turner, but will be a good wicket,” he said.

“When we say it is going to be a batting (friendly) wicket we do not mean that 700-800 runs will be scored here, but it will be a better wicket compared to playing on a rank turner. I hope it helps the spinners who play.”

Both teams have their injury and availability concerns. Jack Leach is out of the series due to a knee injury, while Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli will not feature. However, Ravindra Jadeja is likely to play according to Kuldeep.

“He (Jadeja) is doing his routine (work). He did one session yesterday and I think he is available. I am not (even) sure of my position because there are two days left for the game. If I get the opportunity, I will be more than happy. I do not think too much about if I am playing or not — I just enjoy my day and keep working hard and that is my process,” Kuldeep said.

This Test is a crucial one in England’s quest to become the first team since 2012 to win a series in India. A defeat means they will have to win both the final two Tests which will be a mighty difficult task.

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