India vs England: Belter on the cards for 3rd ODI



Ranchi: The contrast between day and night has never been more obvious than while looking at the new Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium in the Dhurwa suburb of Ranchi.

What is a mere speck on the horizon during the day sheds its commoner’s garb at dusk and transforms into a glittering jewel bathed in the white light of six towers.

Canopies reminiscent of the Mound Stand at Lord’s and the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai sit atop the stands, while the lush green outfield provides a beautiful centrepiece to the white and brown outline of the ground.

It was against this backdrop that local boy MS Dhoni and his team practised on Thursday evening, even as the England team cancelled its scheduled session in the afternoon.

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Dhoni, who has been in a rich vein of form for the last month, could be seen studying the centre wicket of the nine-pitch square intently, and would have been suitably impressed by the number of runs it looks to have in store.

“People want plenty of runs for one-day cricket and the wicket out here will live up to it. Chances are that we might see runs at a rate of six-seven,” said curator Basudeb Site.

Dhoni also interacted with fans and police personnel at the stadium, marking a change from his usually reserved persona. Even till late in the evening, there was a crowd of over 100 people gathered outside the main gate of the stadium, and when the Indian team bus left the ground just before 8pm, a huge roar cheered it along.

It is learnt that the India captain is also hosting a dinner for both teams. The ground itself has a capacity of about 35,000 people, plus corporate boxes that can seat a few hundred more. The normal tickets are long gone, and only a few corporate boxes remain to be sold.

The complex, which also features another ground with five pitches, eight practice wickets, an indoor facility, a tennis academy, badminton courts and a swimming pool, is built on a 26.5 acre plot belonging to the Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited, near the medieval Jagannath temple.

The north and south ends of the ground feature five- storey buildings housing the dressing rooms, VIP lounges and media facilities while the eastern and western sides have grass banks-type seating facilities for spectators.

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