Groundstaff at the Chepauk in Chennai on Wednesday resorted to using burning coal to dry the pitch to be used for the fifth and final Test between India and England to be played at the venue from December 16, PTI reported.

The city, which was lashed by cyclone ‘Vardah’ on Monday, is limping back to normal with organisers confident of hosting the high-profile Test at the venue despite the damage caused.

The iconic stadium was not spared from the wrath of ‘Vardah’. However, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association president Kashi Viswanathan assured that the square and the outfield were not been damaged.

On Wednesday though some dampness was seen on the ground and the groundstaff were forced to rely on the age-old formula of keeping coal trays on the wicket to dry the surface.

With less than 48 hours left for the Test match to start, it appears the TNCA is leaving no stone unturned to get the game off without any hiccups.

“The wickets prepared for the match and the outfield are in excellent condition. It should play true but I cannot say as to how the wicket would behave,” BCCI’s south zone curator PR Viswanathan was quoted as saying by PTI.