Chennai set to offer a batting track

Fomer chief curator of M.A. Chidambaram Stadium says 280-300 would be a par score during Sunday's match between India and Australia.

Australia captain Steve Smith inspecting the pitch as David Warner looks on at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk.   -  R. Ragu

Ahead of Sunday’s bilateral ODI series opener between India and Australia, K. Parthasarathy, former chief curator, M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, and  now a consultant with the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), told Sportstar, "It'll be a batting pitch; 280-300 should be the par score."

On Tuesday though, Australia batsmen plundered 347 runs against a hapless Board President's (BP) XI at the same venue. Asked why he thought that wouldn't be the case come Sunday, Parthasarthy said, "The warm-up match was played on wicket no. 6 — the side wicket. That wasn't a 350 surface either. It had more to do with how our boys played."

"The first ODI though will be on the No. 4 wicket. That's the central wicket. We provide that pitch for most international matches.

"We 're giving the square some top dressing for now," he added.

Weather is a key determinant of how the pitch plays, and with mercury touching the 33-degree mark – maintenance becomes a challenge. "We're watering the pitch and we want to roll it after that. But if it rains (suddenly) then we've to bring the covers out which hampers our preparation, " the veteran curator said.

A boisterous but sparse crowd greeted both teams during Tuesday's warm-up match but come Sunday, the stands will be packed to the rafters. And the hallowed MAC turf promises a run fest.