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Rain likely to spoil second ODI also

After the washout at Wanderers, rain is likely to mar the match between India and SA in Durban on Wednesday.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 14:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

After the washout at Wanderers, rain is again likely to play spoilsport in the second day-night one-day international between India and South Africa in Durban on Wednesday.

The local weather service predicts a fresh southerly wind on the morrow, suggesting there would be good rainfall in the morning as well as in the evening.

Both the teams, in case the rain gods have similar bearing on this game as they had on the opening match of the series at the Wanderers on Sunday, would never know how weak or strong they actually are against each other.

History is overtly loaded against India who have never won a game against South Africa at this venue though its last two visits, against different rivals, have brought happy tidings.

India were overwhelming winners against England in the 2003 World Cup at this venue when Ashish Nehra returned figures of 6 for 23, which remain the best bowling figures in Kingsmead in a one-day international.

India kept up the good work against Kenya in the semi-final of the same competition, prevailing upon the Africans by 91 runs to book their berth in the World Cup final.

Indeed, the first one-day international at this venue was played in 1992 against India and only two players, Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar, survive from that game.

Kumble might not be chosen to relive the experience as only one spinner in Harbhajan Singh could be accommodated, but it might mean little since rain has invariably disrupted games in Kingsmead in recent years, with four of the last seven one-day internationals abandoned because of it.

Since the Wanderers abandoned game, two outdoor sessions and the improvement in Virender Sehwag's injured finger are the two things which would delight the Indians.

Sehwag still sports a stitch or two on his injured right ring finger, but he is almost certain to come out with Sachin Tendulkar at the start of the Indian innings whenever the rain gods relent.

South Africa have not made any changes in the squad from the first game but they have let it be known that a player or two could be added in the group in Kingsmead ahead of the remaining games.

Most likely, it implies a certain inclusion of Dale Steyn who terrorised the Indians with a five-wicket haul in the tour opener in Benoni last week.

Steyn would surely stay in the background but his presence would be a confirmation that South Africa feels pace and more pace is the strategy against the Indians.

The South Africans feel that Indians, after their Benoni experience, are more likely to stay on the backfoot and bat from well inside the crease at Kingsmead.

After the the Wanderers wash-out, with a sigh of relief, the Indians must have utilised that extra bit of time to work out some strategies to counter the South African pacers.

Teams (likely):

India: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, S Sreesanth.

South Africa: Graeme Smith, Loots Bosman, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Justin Kemp, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Charl Langeveldt.

Umpires: Billy Doctrove (WI) and Brian Jerling (SA)

Match referee: Chris Broad (Eng)

First Published: Nov 21, 2006 14:29 IST