Opener Rohit Sharma has said that he expecting the new wicket at the renovated and refurbished Motera stadium to help the spinners in the third Test just like the one in the second Test. He also added that the team will try and get used to the lights and the shiny seats at the venue during Monday’s extended practice session.
India and England play the third of the four Test series at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera from Wednesday.
“I don’t see anything changing in the pitch to what we played in the second Test match. It is going to be more or less similar. It is going to be turning as well. Yes, we are preparing according to that. When the day comes we need to still assess the pitch and what it is going to be like,” said Sharma while talking to the media on Sunday.
“Focus (during the practice on Monday) will be on lights and new seats as they will be shiny. We will have a long day tomorrow. We will get used to slip catching and outfield catching. Every new ground you go to, you try to get used to those lights, the surroundings, the atmosphere in the ground… everyone will do 10-20 minutes of individual preparation to get used to outfield and the lights,” he added.
The India opener, who hit 161 in the first innings of the second Test to take the initiative away from England and help his team win, said that they are only thinking about the next Test and are not thinking too much about the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
India need to win at least two Tests in the series and also win the series to qualify for the WTC final. The series is level at 1-1.
“You just have to focus on the process and not think too far ahead. If you are thinking too far ahead, it puts you under pressure. If you try and stay in present, I don’t think you will feel that pressure. It is a five-day game, so the focus and pressure changes every day. I think it is very important to stay in the moment and think what we need to do on that given day. It is important to focus on little, little things and when you do those little things right, it will eventually add up to what you want to achieve,” said Sharma.
“You have to make sure you win those sessions. Because in a day you get three sessions. Winning every session is a challenge. So you need to just break down the five-day Test into little sessions and see what happens after that. We will be very happy to qualify and play the (WTC) final. But again there are little steps we need to take before we reach that final. It is still too far ahead. We have to play two Test matches before that. We will play them and see what happens after that,” he added.
He also said that the conversation over pitches should stop and “experts should focus on the game”.
“Pitch is the same for both teams. I don’t know why people talk about it. For years, India has been making pitches like these. When we go abroad, nobody (none of us) says anything about the pitches there. We need to do what suits us. This is what home or away advantage is. If you take it out, (then) tell ICC to make a rule and say you should make similar pitches in India and abroad. Pitches shouldn’t be discussed much,” he said.