India beat West Indies in the 2nd ODI © Getty Images
India (blue( beat West Indies(maroon) in the 2nd ODI © Getty Images

Oct 14, 2014

The pitch for the crucial fourth One-day International between India and the West Indies will be fast and bouncy, according to Sunil Chauhan, chief curator at the picturesque HPCA Stadium. Both teams go into the contest tied at 1-1 in the five- match series with the third match being cancelled due to cyclone Hudhud.

While players of either side have remained in Delhi post the second ODI and are not expected to reach here before on Thursday, curator Chauhan is busy giving final touches to the centre-wicket.

“The pitch is fully ready and unlike the Delhi wicket, you will see a fast yet sporting wicket here. As a routine precaution we have covered the wicket following a light spell of rain today. Our aim is to provide a wicket which holds true for 100 overs,” Chauhan told PTI.

The Indian batsmen will have their task cut out against a decent West Indies pace attack in the second ever international match at the venue. The debut ODI match in January 2013 saw India lose half their side for less than 80 runs before posting a modest 226 against England. The hosts went on to lose the game.

Though that was a day affair, Chauhan doesn’t see the surface behaving much differently during the first day-night match here. “The wicket will behave more or less the same throughout the match. The ball will swing at least until the power-play.

A lot of it also depends on the conditions. It rains anytime in the hills and in that case there will be a lot of swing on offer for the fast bowlers. There will be a nice carry even in dry conditions and you will see balls going past shoulder height regularly,” said Chauhan.

Asked whether batting second would be a disadvantage, he replied, “The dew factor will come into play only around 9 pm and by then more than half of game would be done. We have measures in play to to deal with the dew. Anyway we don’t expect the ground to be that wet in the night. I am pretty confident that side batting second will not be at a great disadvantage.”

The winter is about to arrive in the North of India, therefore, the weather is likely to change drastically during the game. The maximum Friday forecast is 22 degree Celsius and minimum 8. “I think it will be around 24-25 during day and 17-18 in the evening. It is a significant drop but should be comfortable enough for the players,” Chauhan said. Daljit Singh, chairman of the Board of Cricket Control in India Ground and Pitches Committee, is expected to inspect the 22 yards tomorrow.

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