Mohali wicket will be sporting
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Mohali wicket will be sporting

Mohali, the venue for the second ODI, seems to have undergone some transformation from the time it hosted the Indo-Pak Test some time back.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2005 11:49 IST

The wicket rolled out at Nagpur on Tuesday was a study in contrast to what it was a year back during the India-Australia Test. It had transformed into a heaven for batsmen and spinners from the then fast bowlers' paradise.

Mohali, the venue, for the second ODI, too seems to have undergone some transformation from the time it hosted the Indo-Pak Test some time back.

The wicket appears to have gained in pace and bounce since then and that was pretty much evident during the recent Challenger Series. The wickets showed good pace and bounce throughout the tournament and, more significantly, every match saw totals scored and successfully chased in the region of 250 and beyond.

In fact, the team chasing the target won every match in the series. "We had a hard look at the wicket after the Pakistan Test and took some corrective measures. We, for instance, tested the clay content of the wicket and found that it was quite low," said Punjab Cricket Association secretary MP Pandove.

"After the findings, we have gradually increased the clay content of the soil. We used the Challenger Series to find out the result and we are quite satisfied with the way the wickets played during the series," said Pandove.

He added that they have zeroed in on two wickets used during the Challenge for the India-Lanka match. "We are rolling them differently and we will select the wicket hav ing more bounce and pace for the match," he said.

The Pitch and Ground Committee chairman Venkat Sundram was also impressed with the wicket. "The wicket will offer good one-day contest," he said.

Notwithstanding thumbs up from all corners, what is worrying PCA curator Daljeet Singh is the dew factor. "The dew is heavy here during this season and it will make life tough for bowlers, especially the spinners. Besides, the dew can also slow down the outfield considerably," he said.

However, he said, we would take several measures to minimise the dew factor. The measures will include spraying a chemical that doesn't allow dew to settle down on grass too much and using super-soppers during the breaks.

"But despite taking all these measures, we can't say for sure how effective they would be," said Singh. So all that will leave the captain winning the toss with a little dilemma. If he wants to make the first use of the good wicket with lightening outfield to pile up big total, or would he let the opposition use it to save his bowlers from bowling under dew.

First Published: Oct 27, 2005 11:49 IST