Fresh from its convincing victory over England in the second One-Day International at Kochi, the Indian team, along with the English side, flew in to Ranchi for the third ODI to be played here on Saturday.
The capital of Jharkhand and the home town of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is abuzz with expectation of another Indian victory at the newly built JSCA International Stadium.
Best in the region
The 39,000-capacity stadium, one of the newest and the best in this region, will host its first match.
With the inauguration set for Friday, all the international games allotted to Jharkhand will henceforth be held here leaving the Keenan Stadium at Jamshedpur that served Bihar and then Jharkhand cricket in semi-retirement.
Taking a leaf out of the books of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, this stadium has two ‘hills’, one each on the eastern and western sides, a concept that is new to India. The two ‘hills’ are expected to seat about 1,300 spectators.
The complex will house a swimming pool, badminton courts and 44 double bedrooms and 11 suites, all under construction.
Nine pitches in the main square and eight practice pitches outside have enhanced the stadium’s infrastructure.
Six floodlight posts dot the stadium. As one enters the stadium through the main gate on the northern side, the imposing façade of the stadium greets the visitors. As one nears the pavilion, another structure — a bat hitting a white ball — catches the eye.
The quality of the grass is yet to be improved, especially on the southern side where it is yellowish. Otherwise, the outfield is green and expected to be pretty fast.
The pitch, a cynosure of all eyes before an international fixture, is likely to be a sporting one. Basu Dev, one of the long-standing groundsmen of the JSCA at the Keenan, is here to lend his experience.
The pitch is devoid of grass but looks firm. Daljit Singh, chairman of the ground and pitches committee, along with zonal curator Ashish Kumar Bhowmik, are here to oversee the preparation of the pitch.
With tickets sold out, the first international fixture here is expected to captivate a full house.