With India all set to play their first game at the newly-built Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, England and India players who have begun training are wowed by the world’s largest cricket stadium with a sitting capacity of 1,10,000. Ahead of the day-night Test against England, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya said he feels proud to have such a stadium in the country, and is eager to have fans for the pink-ball match. “To be honest, surreal to be at the world’s largest stadium, we cannot wait to have fans around and see the atmosphere, all the boys loved it, it took us around one hour to get used to the size of the stadium. I feel very proud that we have this stadium in India. I have not seen a gym connected to the dressing room, this is the first time I am seeing a dressing room having a connected gym. It feels fantastic, I cannot thank the GCA enough,” Hardik said in a video posted on the BCCI’s official website.
Batsman Cheteshwar Pujara further added that the gym facility next to the dressing room is very useful for the players.
“It is an amazing feeling, it is a huge stadium and we all are looking forward to playing our first pink-ball Test at Motera. The gym is next to the dressing room so it is useful to the guys, the gym is excellent and we did our gym session, we had a good time,” Pujara said.
“It is a massive ground, we have never played in such a huge stadium. The gym is fantastic, we have never seen an association have a gym facility like that, it was a pleasure training here,” opener Mayank Agarwal added.
Both the Indian and England squads arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday, for the four-match Test series which currently stands level at 1-1. The teams will face off beginning February 24. The fourth Test of the series will also be played at the Motera Stadium.
India registered an emphatic 317-run win against England in the second Test of the series. Ravichandran Ashwin registered an eight-wicket haul, along with his 106-run knock in the second innings. He shared a crucial 96-run partnership with Kohli, and this helped the hosts post a healthy target in front of England.
As a result, the series stands level at 1-1 and the Virat Kohli-led side has also reached the second spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings. India remain in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship. The hosts cannot afford to lose another match, as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.
England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, have slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India.
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