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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

India vs New Zealand: Dew could have big say in outcome of Ferozeshah Kotla T20

The dew is all set to play a major role in Wednesday’s T20 encounter between India and New Zealand in New Delhi.

india-vs-new-zealand-2017 Updated: Oct 31, 2017 23:44 IST
Siddhartha Sharma
Siddhartha Sharma
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India face New Zealand in the first T20 encounter in New Delhi on Wednesday.
India face New Zealand in the first T20 encounter in New Delhi on Wednesday.(AFP)

There is a chill in the air, indicating winter is setting in. It could be great weather to play cricket, but if it’s a night fixture, tackling dew could be a bowler’s biggest challenge.

On Sunday, when India won the third ODI against New Zealand at Kanpur, dew proved a nightmare for the Indian bowlers as the Kiwis came close to clinching the series. But thanks to Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg-spin and Jasprit Bumrah’s intelligent off-cutters, India salvaged the situation, winning by six runs in the end.

India are aware the hardest challenge will not be getting Tom Latham, Ross Taylor or Kane Williamson, but dealing with a wet ball.

READ | India face Ashish Nehra conundrum ahead of 1st T20 against New Zealand

On Tuesday at the Ferozeshah Kotla, Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun came up with a plan. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav was given a bottle of water and asked to wet the ball before each delivery at the nets. Kuldeep emptied bottle after bottle trying to get used to bowling with a wet ball.

At Kanpur, finger spinners Axar Patel and Kedar Jadhav had a torrid time gripping the ball. Only Chahal was able to land the ball perfectly as the ball comes out of the back of the hand.

With change in format, it seems likely Kuldeep will return. Wrist spinners attack and give the captain a better wicket-taking option, as Chahal showed at Kanpur. And they can grip the ball a little better.

Though India’s 337 at Kanpur was a solid score, the dew helped New Zealand’s cause. The ball came on to the bat nicely and the spinners bowling flatter weren’t a challenge. That is when Chahal showed bowling slower was the only option, and it worked.

READ | India vs New Zealand: How Kuldeep Yadav is trying to negate dew factor in New Delhi

In 2016, in the World T20 match in Delhi against England, Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews single-handedly thrashed spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid as the dew troubled them. England though escaped to victory.

So, on Wednesday when India take on New Zealand in the first T20, toss will play a crucial role as the side bowling second will have to come up with a strategy to beat the dew.

At Kanpur, even the pacers struggled. Bhuvneshwar returned 1/92 and Pandya 0/47 in five overs. With Ashish Nehra in the fray, India can expect him to come up with a plan at the death overs.

First Published: Oct 31, 2017 20:29 IST

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