England v India: Rose Bowl ready for Ashes audition

The Ageas Bowl
Kumar Sangakkara's century denied England victory in the only previous Test to be held at the Ageas Bowl, in 2011 against Sri Lanka
Third Test: England v India, Ageas Bowl
Dates: 27 July - 31 JulyCoverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, live audio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove hopes the third Test between England and India at the Rose Bowl will be an audition for the 2019 Ashes series.

The match, starting on Sunday, will be the second Test the venue has hosted, after England played Sri Lanka in 2011.

It missed out on selection for the 2015 Ashes but will bid for 2019 series.

"I regard it as an audition," Bransgrove told BBC Radio Solent. "Hopefully we can get a proper chance to show what we can do over five days."

He added: "I don't want to be saddled with the reputation of being the only ground not to be awarded an Ashes Test so we need to put our best foot forward."

The ground has undergone a major transformation over the past few years and the work is due to be completed next year.

The £38.5m revamp will include the construction of a four-star hotel, conferencing and hospitality facilities as well as a new media centre.

And Bransgrove says everyone at Hampshire Cricket Club, as well as the Rose Bowl, are hugely excited to be hosting Test cricket.

"It's a great privilege to be able to stage this match," he said. "It's a big Test match in the context of the series so we are very excited.

"It's a massive game and so much national interest in it. The Sri Lanka Test was blighted by the weather and we hope we can get through to a positive conclusion."

With India leading the series 1-0, Bransgrove also hopes England can return to winning ways in Hampshire.

"Selfishly I would love the Ageas Bowl to be the venue where the series turns around," he added. "England need a win - the whole of English cricket needs us to win."

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