International Cricket

Monday 22nd February 2010
"Expect a run feast in second ODI"
Curators at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium at Gwalior have promised a "batting paradise" for the second India-South Africa ODI. India have already taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after winning by one run in a thriller in Jaipur on Sunday night. Gwalior Division Cricket Association (GDCA) curator Ajay Sahasrabuddhe on Monday said a tried and tested strip, re-laid about two years back, will be used for the match. "This pitch was re-laid in March 2008 and a lot of domestic matches have been played. We have hosted Under-22 matches, Duleep Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy matches in the past two years and the strip is really good for batting. "We are sure that we will see a high scoring game. It is a 300-plus pitch," Sahasrabuddhe said while the finishing touches were being given to the ground for the match. Samander Singh Chouhan, the chief curator of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, who supervised the preparation of the pitch, said the toss would be hardly of any significance on a belter like this. "We are trying that it (pitch) remains the same for 100 overs. I don't think toss would be that crucial although it may help spinners during the second innings but not much," Chouhan said. "In the coastal areas, the batting becomes difficult in the second innings but here the weather is good. So, toss will be almost irrelevant here," added Sahasrabuddhe. The curators also said that dew would not be a factor. "We will use a spray called APSA 80 which keeps the grass dry after spraying. It was successful in Sunday's match at Jaipur, so we will also use it here for the same purpose," the GDCA curator said. Sahasrabuddhe said the tinge of grass on the surface would hardly be of any concern.

"The grass is not much long. It's short and we have rolled the pitch well. And the cracks may be there but the soil is such that it won't open up. It will stay same," he said. "Everybody wants to see fours and sixes. Nobody wants an innings to fold up in oneand-half-hour. One-day cricket is all about runs. Hence the batting pitch," Sahasrabuddhe added. Out of the 11 one-dayers held in Gwalior, India have played nine and won seven of them. The last time an ODI was played here was in November 2007 when India beat arch-rival Pakistan while chasing.

India, SA arrived in Gwalior
The cricket teams of India and South Africa arrived in Gwalior for the second onedayers to be held on Wednesday. The teams landed here at around 1330 hours and headed to their respective hotel. While the Indian team is staying at the Usha Kiran Hotel Palace, South African players are in Central Park Hotel. Both the teams will take the day off and practice on Tuesday. The Indian team will practice in the morning and the South Africans will have their net session in the afternoon. India leading the three-match series 1-0 after winning by a run in the first ODI in Jaipur on Sunday night.