The match officials’ report for Saturday’s game described the outfield condition as “average”, while the ICC’s independent pitch consultant Andy Atkinson inspected it on Sunday and described its condition as “comfortable”.
HPCA ground staff watered the outfield immediately after the game, and did so again on Sunday afternoon – particularly in the areas around the bowlers’ run-up. Tuesday’s match will be played on a new pitch, two steps away from Saturday’s unusually slow pitch.
In a worst-case scenario, the umpire – after consultation with the match referee – may deem the field condition to be “dangerous or unfair”, causing play to be first suspended, and then abandoned. In that case, the teams will share the points. Ahsan Raza and Paul Wilson will be the permanent umpires on Tuesday, while Srinath will be the match referee.
“There’s been a lot of conversation about it, hasn’t there?” Bairstow said. “The last thing you want is for two guys to go out with a knee injury or something. This can also contribute to sore shoulders, if you’re diving and your elbow gets caught in the ground. “It would be very difficult to hold back if someone sees a ball and they try to stop it: it’s a natural reaction to go for it.”
Bairstow’s ankle is still “getting better as time goes on”. He said: “It’s still relatively fresh. But, touch wood, there haven’t been any adverse reactions on different surfaces. Your calves and Achilles and anything… people need to make sure you “Make every effort to make sure those areas are loose and able to handle the stress of a sand-based outfield.”
The outfield was slow during Sunday’s match and Bairstow said England will have to adapt to it. “It can also affect your angles and where you’re standing: When the ball hits the sandy outfield, it may not fly as far. It just affects different things. It’s different from one pitch to another.” It’s like being separated on location: you’ve just got to embrace it. Touch wood, we don’t have any major incidents.”
After this he practiced running for some time at the main intersection. Stokes had not taken part in any of England’s practice matches – the first match was rained out but he did not play – and since arriving in India he had batted only once, in a training session in Guwahati.