Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday paid a surprise visit to the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium which will host the third Test between India and Australia next Thursday, PTI reported.

The report stated that Dhoni had a discussion with the curator as he took stock of the preparations for what would be the maiden Test at the venue.

Reports had earlier suggested that Dhoni would attend the BCCI awards in Bengaluru, which were held on Wednesday. Dhoni is said to have travelled instead to Ranchi from Kolkata where Jharkhand were based for the league stage of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

After speaking with the curator, Dhoni is said to have headed towards the strip and checked the wicket.

Curator SB Singh however termed it as a routine visit and said it had nothing to do with the upcoming third Test to be played from March 16-20.

“When he’s here, he often visits the stadium for fitness work out and spends long time at the gym. Today was no different. He also saw the wicket and we had an informal discussion. This is not unusual for me,” Singh was quoted as saying.

“He has never intervened in pitch preparation in the last four years. Being such a great player, I always look forward to his inputs on the quality of wicket,” Singh added.

The JSCA has prepared three wickets — pitch number four, five and seven — for its debut Test and Singh said all of them will last the distance.

“Each of them will behave differently. The team will choose the strip two days before the match. The pitch will suit both the batsmen and bowlers and will definitely last five days.

The ongoing series between India and Australia has restarted the debate over quality of wickets on offer. The pitch used during the first Test in Pune that India lost by 333 runs was deemed ‘poor’ by ICC match referee Chris Broad.