Dry wicket means spinners are key
The white cricket ball floats, India and New Zealand's net sessions at the Rajasthan Cricket Academy (RCA) showed on Tuesday, when some lofted shots by Yuvraj Singh landed on the swimming pool. Shalabh Manocha reports.cricket Updated: Dec 01, 2010 01:32 IST
The white cricket ball floats, India and New Zealand's net sessions at the Rajasthan Cricket Academy showed on Tuesday, when some lofted shots by Yuvraj Singh landed on the swimming pool.
Whether New Zealand will swim or sink in the five-match series will become clearer after Wednesday's day-nighter at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here.
That in turn may decide whether every member of the India squad gets a game some time in the next 10 days or not. If India go 2-0 up, the selectors may even rest a few more seniors and give some fringe players a final opportunity to impress before next year's World Cup.
Captain Gautam Gambhir, standing in for the rested Mahendra Singh Dhoni, made it clear before the series began that rotation of players could wait, winning came first. He sang a similar tune on Tuesday after Indian players had their nets and Virat Kohli, Yuvraj and Yusuf Pathan hit a few balls a long way.
"We have not won the series yet. There is no room for complacency," Gambhir said.
There could still be one change, not as a part of any rotation policy, but because of the wicket. "It looked to be on the slower side, a little dry. Might take a bit of spin," Gambhir said. Prodded further, he said: "It might be good if we can put another spinner in."
So Ravindra Jadeja may come in for one of the medium-pacers, probably Munaf Patel. Ashish Nehra did not bowl at the nets but both he and Sreesanth batted. Munaf and R Vinay Kumar's roles were restricted to bowling at the top-order batsmen. With winning still top priority, the Indian batting line-up is unlikely to be changed.
Indian pitches, dry or not, are tailor-made for big-hitters and the World Cup could turn out to be a contest of who can hit it further, oftener. That is why India want Yuvraj to regain form and Yusuf Pathan to find his feet at this level.
The visitors, watched by former England coach, Duncan Fletcher, hit a few similar shots with the same result. Fletcher's here as a bit of a consultant," New Zealand skipper, Daniel Vettori, said.
Brendon McCullum and Vettori, both of whom missed the first ODI in Guwahati with bad backs, batted. However, right-arm medium-pacer Daryl Tuffey is out of the tour after straining the bicep on his bowling arm.