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India vs Sri Lanka 2016 2nd T20: Ravi Shastri expresses concern over state of outfield at Ranchi

Presence of a number of brown patches has led to the outfield coming in for sharp scrutiny ahead of the 2nd T20I to be played on Friday.

Ranchi Cricket India Sri Lanka Cricket
The outfield at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi that has invited much attention ahead of the 2nd T20I  

Team India director Ravi Shastri has voiced his concern over the state of the outfield at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi which is set to host the second T20 international between India and Sri Lanka on Friday, Cricbuzz reports. The outfield sports a number of brown patches and the former all-rounder believes the conditions could be a cause of concern with regard to fielding and more importantly, injuries. 

After India’s five-wicket loss at Pune, Indian skipper MS Dhoni had expressed his disappointment about the green top that was prepared for the contest and with the action heading to the skipper’s hometown for what is a must-win game for the hosts, chances are high that a few disgruntled voices will be heard with regard to the conditions of the playing surface and outfield. 

"What I see from the outfield is it is pretty dry and there is a lot of sand. What it suggests is it has not had much of water," said Ravi Shastri.

Vasudev, the head groundsman at the venue, admitted that availability of water was indeed a concern but added that his team has done their best to get the outfield in shape. 

"The weather has not been good," says Vasudev. "According to the government, drought has been declared. Water is life. How will there be life without the grass? We have tried to bring the water from outside and make it green."

Shastri admitted that fielding might be affected due to the presence of brown patches but reminded that it was up to the fielders to adapt and act accordingly.  

 "They have to adapt. It is again practice. They have to get their bodies behind the ball. Ground fielding might not be easy there. You will get some uneven bounce. But you should use this practice session to see that there are lesser misfields (which can happen tomorrow). But the lesser, the better," he said. 

You need a better outfield for an international match, says JSCA Secretary Rajesh Verma

Rajesh Sharma, the secretary of the JSCA, admitted that the outfield was lacking the quality expected at the international level, but feels it was the best they could have come up with. He reminded that Ranchi was announced as a replacement after Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla failed to get the necessary clearances to host the match. 

Sharma added that a number of domestic matches had been played at the venue adding to the workload on the ground staff. 

"For the last one month, women's one-dayers and zonal matches have been going on. So the ground was quite used. For an international match, you need a better outfield," he said. "We had 10 days (to get that done). It was a new challenge, and we have worked hard on it. It's easy to say no, but we (accepted) the challenge. And we have prepared it." 

Verma denied suggestions that outfield was unsafe and added that extra caution has been taken to negate the risk of injuries.

"It is not unsafe. We have, in fact, put sand to make it soft," he said. 

Sri Lanka’s Chamara Kapugedra said that his side have indeed taken note of the outfield but insisted that the fielding standards will not drop as a result.

"Yes, it's not the ideal ground/outfield but you have to put that apart and do what's necessary," Kapugedera said. "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 okay." 

It's an international game and there won't be a drop in standard due to the outfield. We'll lift our game more. You have to be more careful while fielding, we'll put the bodies behind and do our best."

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