India ready for turner against England after Stokes questions pitch

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India ready for turner against England after Stokes questions pitch
An India team official inspects the pitch at Ranchi on the eve of the fourth Test
An India team official inspects the pitch at Ranchi on the eve of the fourth Test
AFP
India will be ready for whatever the fourth Test pitch has in store, said their batting coach Thursday, hours after England captain Ben Stokes said he "had never seen anything like" the Ranchi wicket.

Rohit Sharma's India are looking to seal the series in the fourth Test beginning on Friday, after hammering England by 434 runs to lead 2-1 with two to play. England won the opener in Hyderabad by 28 runs on a turning track but lost the next two.

The surface at Ranchi appears to have deep cracks down one side but looks flat on the other and could spin sharply with variable bounce.

"It's a typical Indian wicket, there are cracks, this wicket always had cracks," batting coach Vikram Rathour said.

"It will turn, but how much it will turn and from when we are not sure. We have enough balance in our team to go whichever way we want to go."

Stokes told British media late Wednesday: "I've never seen something like that before. I don't know what could happen.

"If you looked down one side of opposite ends it just looked different to what I am used to seeing, especially out in India," he said.

"It looked green and grassy up in the changing rooms, but when you go out there it looked different - very dark and crumbly and quite a few cracks in it."

India's youngsters and new caps have stood out in the absence of Virat Kohli, who is missing the series for the birth of his second child, and the injured KL Rahul.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, 22, hit an unbeaten 214 in the third Test - his second double-century in consecutive matches. He also put on a destructive 172-run stand with debutant Sarfaraz Khan, who hit 68.

Rathour said the performance of the youngsters showed the ability of India's robust domestic cricket to promote emerging talent.

"Once you get to this level and start playing Test cricket, everything said and done, there are nerves, there is some pressure, but if you get a good start, nothing better than that," said Rathour.

"They have cricket intelligence in them, which is again a great sign. It's a great message, coming from Indian domestic cricket, that the new players are cricket smart."

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