As India celebrates its just-achieved success in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it would shift its attention to England. The two sides clash from February 5 in a four-Test series for the Anthony de Mello Trophy, defended by India. The opening two Tests would be held in Chennai, owing to limited venues for the COVID-19 pandemic.

While India looks to continue its success in the format, it would aim to tame England 4-0 to solidify its stance for the final spot in the ICC World Test Championship table. Furthermore, with the kind of squad India possesses, it does not look like an uphill task. However, considering the English team, it would still be challenging.

Meanwhile, according to The Indian Express report, the MA Chidambaram (Chepauk) Stadium in Chennai would possess a green look. It would allow the seamers to have its say, making the contest equally competitive, considering the number of seamer England maintains.

“A Chepauk pitch with an English look is being made. I always believe there should be an equal contest between bat and ball. Pacers, spinners and batsmen should have something on the pitch and that is what cricket is all about. There will be grass cover because it needs to last five days. There will be runs for taking too,” said curator V Ramesh Kumar to TIE in an exclusive interaction.

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The Chennai track has traditionally suited the spinners, owing to the composition of the red soil. However, it has been under heavy criticism for the past few years due to its flat track, while the slow nature of the pitch did not impress Chennai Super Kings skipper, MS Dhoni, during the 2019 Indian Premier League.

Meanwhile, this would be the maiden international pitch-curating stint for Ramesh, who is yet to curate a pitch even in the domestic circuit. Having passed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s curation test in 2018, he did not curate pitches in the Ranji Trophy but did lay turfs in Salem, Tiruppur and Coimbatore.

“I was surprised when I got the call. I have assisted other curators for IPL, but I have never done a pitch on my own at this level. This is the first time I’m making a pitch from the scratch. I didn’t expect it to happen too soon,” he wondered.