Gone are the days when the pitch at the Green Park Stadium used to produce dull results, especially in Test cricket. Now, it has a different character. The pitch for India’s 500th Test, against New Zealand in September, was so good that not only did seam bowlers produce bounce, spinners too extracted sharp turn.
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That wasn’t all as batsmen like Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Kane Williamson showed their might in style. But this time don’t hope for an evenly-balanced pitch for the first T20 between India England on Thursday as it’s going to be a bald one.
A run feast is certain and even if there is dew in the second innings, good stroke players can chase down 200 plus runs. An early start of play (at 4.30 pm in special condition) is expected to give advantage to the side batting second in the first-ever T20 tie at this venue.
With two more T20 matches after this, the outcome of this should set the tone for series. “Both the sides want to start with win in the series so I have crafted such a pitch (within the permissible limit) where the batsmen will have an upper hand,” chief curator Shiv Kumar told HT on Tuesday. “T20 is a serious business for both sides. But at the same time fans too want to see sixes and fours. I think slow bowlers would have the advantage here,” he said.
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya doesn’t find any difference in the style of captaincy of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. “I don’t see any change in style of captaincy of the two. I enjoy advice from both my seniors. Both back me in bowling and batting,” said Pandya ahead of the Kanpur T20I.
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“Starting with a win is what we all want and I am hopeful of getting that here,” said Pandya, who said he won’t have any problem adjusting to bowling alongside veteran Ashish Nehra. “I have played with Nehra on previous occasions too and I don’t think it’s going to make any difference to me.”
On his poor shot selection in the last ODI at Kolkata which India lost by five runs, Pandya said he hopes to learn from mistakes. “I had my chances and there was no other way for me that time. But I would love to rectify that in future,” he said.