India opener Rohit Sharma recently opened up about the challenges of getting used to the new Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. The 1,10,000-capacity stadium will play host to the 3rd and 4th Tests between India and England, as well as the upcoming 5-match T20I series.
The size of the Motera Stadium means that the usual floodlight towers can't be installed. Instead, LED lights are present throughout the circular roof, and this will take some getting used to for the players.
In a virtual press conference ahead of the 3rd Test, Rohit Sharma addressed the issue, and said that the team has clear plans to prepare for their new surroundings.
"Yeah, that's always a challenge, getting used to the lights in a new stadium. Tomorrow we'll be practicing under the lights. The focus will be on getting used to the lights and the seats in the stadium. The seats are new, so they'll be shiny. We'll have a long session on the field, with slip catching, outfield catching and so on."
"This is not the first time we've had to adjust to a new stadium" - Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma continued by stating that the Indian team's players have gone through similar experiences in the past. He emphasized the need to take some time out specifically for fielding drills, and stressed the importance of team catching sessions as well.
"This is not the first time we've had to adjust to a new stadium. We've been to many new stadiums in the past and each individual understands what he needs to do to get used to the conditions and the ground. Everyone will have their separate preparation, so I believe once we do a team fielding session, everyone will take out 10-20 mins from their personal skill-sets to get used to it."
Gujarat Cricket Association’s joint secretary Anil Patel doesn't believe that the new LED lights will cause any problems. In a media tour of the stadium recently, he said the following:
“The newly-installed LED floodlights at the refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera will eliminate shadows, making it easier to spot the aerial balls."
It remains to be seen how players from India and England adjust to the new stadium. The 3rd Test will be a Day-Night encounter, and the pink ball is already considered hard to spot. The hosts will look to get through the Test match without too many blips in the field and take a 2-1 lead in the 4-match series.