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Lively Pitches Await India-Sri Lanka In Nagpur And Delhi For India-Sri Lanka Third And Fourth Test Matches

India's second and third Tests against Sri Lanka in Nagpur and Delhi are likely to be played on surfaces conducive for fast bowling. According to a report in ESPNCricinfo , the Indian team management, led by coach Ravi Shastri, has urged the BCCI to prepare more lively pitches as part of India's preparation for the tour of South Africa that gets underway on January 5 in Cape Town.

The second Test against Sri Lanka begins on November 24 at the
VCA Stadium in Nagpur, followed by the third and final game at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla on December 2.

The first Test at Kolkata's Eden Gardens also had a tinge of green on it, something that was exploited well, first by Sri Lanka pacers Suranga Lakmal - who reduced India to 17/3 on Day 1 despite rain washing away most of the day - and later by India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, who almost won the game for India, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 75/7 in their second innings. In fact, all 17 Sri Lankan wickets to fall were picked up by the Indian seamers.

After the end of the first Test, India opener KL Rahul said that such surfaces are a blue print for India's challenging road ahead. "It's very clear that we're preparing for the next two years that we're going to travel abroad and play a lot of cricket overseas, and we are going to find wickets like this, and it is going to be challenging for all of us, so we wanted to prepare in that way," Rahul said.

Nagpur's VCA Stadium is also expected to have a bit of grass on it when the Test commences on Friday. According to officials, the role of spinners - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - will be almost insignificant in the match. Incidentally, it was the same pitch that was deemed poor by the ICC when it turned out to be a "rank turner" during a Test against South Africa in 2015 that finished inside three days.

The surfaces in India are usually known to be possess sub-continent traits - turning surfaces aiding spinners. However, it seems as if India are bracing themselves for the long overseas schedule that lies ahead of them, with the tour of South Africa followed by England and later Australia in 2018.