Preparations are in full swing at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium (Uppal) for the Test match between India and Australia from March 2

It is preparations time for the Test match between India and Australia to be played at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium (Uppal) from March 2. And, not surprisingly, the untiring ground staff, headed by HCA curator Y. L. Chandrasekhar, have already ensured that the outfield wore a pleasant, green look. More importantly, the crucial pitch preparation too is in full swing. The top layer has been peeled off and fresh grass has already been planted to see that the entire strip where the wickets – including optional ones – will be ready in time. “It takes just a few days from now on to have a complete new greenish look with fresh grass,” says Chandrasekhar, who has earned a reputation of his own having been in charge of the Uppal Stadium pitch-preparation for many international matches including the Champions League T-20, the first ever Test match at this venue (also between India and New Zealand) and many ODIs too. Clearly struck by the comments after the 2010 Test match that the wicket looked like a national highway with no possibility of a result even if the match were to be played for another 10 days of its docile nature, Chandrasekhar did make amends when the Kiwis played last August and were duly humbled by the hosts for an innings victory. Proving, perhaps, they are adept in preparing result-oriented wickets too. With Sachin Tendulkar playing for one last time in Hyderabad (having already quit ODIs), the Test match is bound to generate huge interest amongst the fans who will in all probability line up to see the genius come up with another special effort. Perhaps, like his classy century against Ricky Ponting-led Australians under the lights. So, Chandrasekhar, his deputy Mukesh Kumar and the entire support staff who are involved in the pitch preparation are aware of the huge responsibility and definitely in the mood to live up to the expectations.

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