x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

India, West Indies captains stumped by Chennai wicket

Tents placed over the track at Chidambram Stadium intrigues Sammy and Dhoni deferring their strategies.

Indian cricketers train beside the tents pitched overhead the playing strip. Prakash Singh / AFP
Indian cricketers train beside the tents pitched overhead the playing strip. Prakash Singh / AFP

CHENNAI // Not that Darren Sammy needs a reason to flash his trademark smile but the affable West Indies captain was highly amused when he spotted the canopied pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

A day before West Indies sign off their World Cup Group B campaign against India, Sammy was surprised to see the canopies over the 22-yard track.

"I must say that this is the first time I have seen a tent over wicket," the all-rounder told reporters with a grin.

Sammy could have seen it a day earlier but his team decided not to practise after Thursday night's defeat by England at the same venue.

South zone curator P A Viswanathan said the idea was to trap some moisture in the track. "It's baking hot in Chennai and we wanted to protect the pitch from the harsh sun," he told Reuters.

"The canopies would keep the surface cooler and both teams would like the conditions tomorrow."

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni found the canopies intriguing and postponed his pitch inspection. "I have not seen the wicket because there is a big tent over the wicket, which it protecting it from the sun," Dhoni said.

"It basically means it would look a lot different before the start of the game from what it is looking right now. I think that will be the ideal time to study the wicket.

"From whatever we have seen in all the games so far, it has assisted the spinners, has decent bounce for the fast bowlers at the same time and they are able to get reverse swing. We will see how it looks (on Sunday)."