As India and England return to action in the third Test on Wednesday after a well-deserved break, they will have to overcome the fear of the unkonwn on multiple counts at the plush Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
First and foremost, it will be the first international match after the stadium’s renovation to accomodate more spectators than any other cricket venue in the world. The stadium hosted the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy knockouts last month but the surface is still unknown to First Class cricket. From a lush green look it wore four days ago, the strip at Motera has been converted into one that’s eerily similar to the pitch at Chepauk in Chennai. Since the match could end up being a huge factor in determining New Zealand’s opponent for the World Test Championship final, both teams will have to get their combination right.