The fifth and final ODI in the ongoing India vs New Zealand series had come under a cloud, with the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Vizag said to be underprepared for the last match of the series. But all those fears have come to rest with BCCI curator K Sriram showing a green light.
With Vizag set to host the match, preparations for the fifth ODI can speed up. The pitch was only re-laid four months back, and rain was a big hindrance in efforts to prepare a good wicket. The situation became serious when it was witnessed during the Ranji Trophy match between Assam and Rajasthan a few days ago that the ball was keeping very low. There was uneven bounce, and 17 wickets fell on the third day.
This promoted BCCI to send the curator to look after the pitch in Vizag. Sriram said that the pitch can also host the Test match against England next month, which will also mark ACA-VDCA Stadium's debut as a Test arena.
"I was at Vizianagaram for the last three days, preparing pitches for the Maharashtra versus Saurashtra Ranji Trophy game. Yesterday the BCCI requested me to go and inspect the Vizag pitches and inform whether they can host the ODI and Test," The Indian Express quoted Sriram as saying.
"I came this morning from Vizianagaram, inspected the pitches and gave a feedback that the pitches are fine for the ODI and also the Test."
Sriram, after having inspected the pitch, said it is a good surface to play ODI cricket, and also opened up about the type of surface, which will be used for the fifth ODI.
"The fifth ODI (between India and New Zealand) is going to be played on Pitch No. 5, which has an even mix of red soil and clay. I'm happy with what I saw. It will be a good surface," Sriram said.