Pitch’s Role and India’s Achievement in Home Conditions

October 06 15:04 2016

indsaNew Delhi, Thursday, October 6 – Good news for fans is that there will be no changes in the match schedule of India vs. New Zealand amid the reports that the ongoing series can be canceled when it was claimed by BCCI that their bank accounts were frozen. Viewers will be able to enjoy watching the match at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore, starting October 8.

When Indian squad inflicted a humiliating 178-run defeat on the New Zealand in the second match of 3-match Test series, sealing series, the Indian faces were flaunting a wider smile. Pitch curator plays pivotal role in the teams’ success but the way changing conditions were well utilized by India, it increased concerns for the visiting team. A major question that a pitch is made according to home team’s capability may keep a few busy but whoever followed the game from the start till its end would get to know that India are trying to improve their bowling as much as possible.

It would be true to say that no squad likes to be on the defeating side in the home conditions. Players and management can’t play with climate conditions as this is not in his hands, but same can’t be said for cricket pitches as this could be managed. Success and failures are parts of life and sport is no different. When Virat Kohli-led side won the opening Test in Kanpur, the graph of hopes increased when he arrived in Kolkata stadium, where pitch was completely different and sported varying moods. Regardless of being good, the Kiwis felt pressure, which compelled them lose wicket. Indian spinners and fast bowlers did their bit, making the game to end in four days. The classic Indian Test track took away all chances of winning from the Black Caps, who eyed a win under the captaincy of Ross Taylor.

Mistakes were made at different time intervals, making them fall short of several runs to win Kolkata Test and let go the opportunity of turning the Indore Test the decisive one. If truth be told then fun would have been at peak had the New Zealand skipper and his boys utilized the chance that knocked at their doors in the best way possible lately. Luke Rochi was extraordinary in more than a few senses but team efforts were lacked when it came to batting. A few heroic knocks of Indian players made Taylor-led squad taste Indian conditions and step away from victory that was much needed to level the series. Despite the fact that they failed to chase target in both Tests set by Indian team that were crucial as it was the matter of winning it and taking the lead, but a fresh Test is a platform to explore new avenues.

Kohli’s team managed to log win on the opponents both times in different places, sporting varied climatic conditions. India are expected to be in action after defeating Kiwis at Eden Gardens, which hosted a do-or-die match. Given the fact that the visiting side was not successful to keep their hopes alive in the tournament, attention will be on giving something to their fans to cheer before the finish of longest format games. It will be right to say that no one can actually predict what is going to happen next in any sport and unpredictability is up in cricket. Shami was eying wickets in Kolkata but wasn’t getting it. But when India arrived post lunch, Shami got a wicket that was required to keep his team on the front foot.

The Indian camp would expect to do their bit in the last show as well. Since series is already theirs, chances of seeing players who were in extra earlier in the Playing XI are up now. Indian bowlers and fielders would have probably taught a lesson of life to the New Zealand players. Fielders were not giving any chance to let Kiwis be a threat at any point of time though the ball was sent towards the boundary line a number of times. It was unfortunate that New Zealand batsmen could not carry on feeling enormous ease in playing shots in different corners of the ground to punish the bowlers as Kohli relied on his men and decisions. Backing the squad made him see success in India’s 500th Test and 250th Test on homeland.

He can be said outstanding in all senses even though not so many runs have been totaled by him so far. Maintaining his unique way of treating the deliveries and backing the teammates can be the key to taste success. The need of rotational bowlers wasn’t felt as pitch supported both full time spinners and pacers, giving India timely breakthroughs, helping the host head towards defending the target. India already smelled that chasing the target is going to be next to impossible for the Kiwis as wickets in hand – that’s a team’ strength – was lost. India shall definitely be praised when victory was attained in previous two Test. They will attempt to meet expectations in the rest of the games.

Kohli is ready to try all possible combinations to get timely wickets but the travelers may be seen in a totally different mood, after all, they possess qualities to stand out. Talk about Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja etc. punished New Zealand players on the crease; a few with batting skills while others with bowing. The outcome may be unexpected in the next game, on which eyes are struck. Role of pitch and weather will be highly important.