Samundar Singh Chauhan, the curator of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA), is a relatively unknown person outside his cricketing circles. But, he's the common link to Virender Sehwag's 219 on Thursday and Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten double ton against South Africa in February 2010.
The 50-year-old had prepared the playing surfaces, both at the Holkar stadium, Indore, and the Roop Singh stadium, Gwalior, that helped the two Indian batting stars to achieve their feats. Sehwag bettered Tendulkar's record during the 4th ODI against the West Indies on Thursday.
Why the belters?
Ask to him about featherbeds he prepares, and he is quick to reply: “I believe limited over games thrive on sixes and fours. At the end of the day, it's all about entertainment. Spectators enjoy boundaries and I ensure they get them by preparing such pitches.
“Like most Indian pitches, the central strip at Indore's Holkar stadium too has virtually no grass, thus offering little assistance for pace, bounce or lateral movement in the air. It is a pure batting track,” he said.
A die-hard Tendulkar fan, Chauhan had this to say about the man of the moment. “Sehwag had a good look at the pitch in the morning. He is not known to be too bothered about the wicket and true to his style he didn't enquire about the surface and left within a few minutes.”