India vs Australia: Is MS Dhoni playing a role in pitch preparations for Ranchi Test?

Ashim Sunam
MS Dhoni, India vs Australia second test, Ranchi third Test, Ranchi pitch

The pitch -- those 22 yards that makes such a big difference in Tests -- has been a major talking point in the ongoing India vs Australia series, which is evenly poised at 1-1. With the third Test, starting from March 16 in Ranchi, which will be hosting a Test match for the first time, local superstar MS Dhoni is said to be passing some inputs over the pitch preparation.

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Dhoni might not have played a single Test match for India in his hometown of Ranchi, but even when he was on duty for his state side Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the former captain was in touch with the pitch curator. Dhoni even visited the match venue, the JSCA International Stadium, in person on Tuesday.

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"He (Dhoni) is very cautious about the wicket conditions. To make sure that everything is in place, MS visits the stadium regularly. MS gave a few suggestions. And even after reaching Kolkata, he constantly kept in touch with the curator and the groundsmen to know about the preparation of the pitch," Sportstar quoted JSCA secretary, Debasish Chakrabarty as saying.

"With the Indian team bouncing back in the series, even Dhoni wants to make the third Test memorable. That's why he is always ready to help."

The first two Tests, which did not even go to the fifth day of play, witnessed plenty of turn, as is expected from Indian tracks.

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Three different pitches are reportedly being prepared for the third Test in Ranchi. Though one is not exactly sure as to which pitch will be used, JSCA curator SB Singh confirmed that the pitch has been prepared as per the guidelines of the BCCI. 

"We will be strictly following the BCCI guideline, which states that a pitch should be balanced. Even though this track would eventually help the spinners, it would also give the batters a chance to stick around," Singh said.

With spinners having received good purchase from the first and second Test, it would come as no surprise if the Ranchi pitch follows a similar pattern too.

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