As per the request from the BCCI, the four-day warm-up game between India and county side, Essex got reduced to three-days following high drama over the condition of the pitch.
It has been learnt that team India felt displeasure both with the pitch as well as the outfield. With this, India threw their preparation in crackpot for the five-match Test series against England, starting August 1st.
After having a look at the pitch in the afternoon, the Indian management decided to reduce the match to three days. However, there is no official confirmation yet behind the shortening of the game.
After getting a patch of green pitch surrounded by a barren outfield, the India Coach got fumed and was seen airy with the groundsman.
This kind of pitch could have proved fatal, as it could have head injuries to the players. Sanjay Bangar, who is the assistant coach and the bowling coach, Bharat Arun were also seen busy in conversation with the groundsman.
While speaking with the PTI, a senior member of the ground staff said,
“all requests of the Indian team management have been accepted“.
When asked whether it includes the “shaving off the grass,” he simply answered
“We have bent over backward to accommodate the Indian team management’s demands. It is disappointing though because we had sold a lot of tickets for the fourth day (Saturday).”
Groundstaff asked to shave-off the grass
After having a conversation with the visitor’s coach, the groundsmen obliged what the coach said to do. The groundsman was asked to shave off the layering heavy grass from one of the adjacent wickets. It was done to make it look similar to the rest of the surface-grass.
Another reason for the melancholy state of Indian staff was the baldness of two nets’ pitches. The wickets in the nets were utterly bald, as compared to the rest of match wicket that was heaving fresh greenery.
The players arrived in two batches and practice session lasted for four hours. Nearly all batsmen and bowlers had rigorous workouts.