Indian team headed to Cuttack for the first T20I of the three-match series against Sri Lanka. Cuttack will be hosting a game after a long time. As per reports, the pitch at the Barabati Stadium and former skipper MS Dhoni attracted maximum attention on the eve of the T20 series opener.
Dhoni, who is often seen examining the pitch very closely ahead of matches went straight to the 22-yard strip after dropping his kit bag and had a look at both ends of the pitch.
Dhoni also had the first feel of the surface in the nets. The Odisha Cricket Association had allowed free entry to some of the galleries opposite India's practice nets, and hence MS Dhoni witnessed a crowd of five-thousand chanting 'Dhoni-Dhoni' for him.
Having bagged the Tests series 1-0, India suffered a defeat in the first ODI before producing a 2-1 result. The second and third T20Is are slated to be held in Indore (December 20) and Mumbai (December 24).
Before Dhoni, India's current skipper Rohit Sharma and Ravi Shastri also checked the pitch, which was covered to protect it from drying excessively.
Things didn't go well for India when they last played a T20I here at Cuttack. An ugly incident marred the T20I against South Africa, as poor performance by India led to the crowd gettin unruly and throwing bottles into the ground.
Though, in the last ODI which was played this year in January against England, India did well and piled up 381 runs. The game saw centuries from two veterans Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni.
As per PTI reports, the pitch isn't as good as it was. Even some football matches were played in the multipurpose stadium.
According to an official, it was a two-paced wicket that aided bounce from one end. "Every effort is being made to produce a sporting wicket where at least 180 runs are scored."
He further said there would not be much dew to worry about.