Tuesday, March 22, 2011



 The Motera pitch, where the second quarterfinal of the World Cup will be played on Thursday, should hold no worry for the Indians. In fact, it has every thing that should excite MS Dhoni & Co.

On offer is a flat track with very low dead grass just to hold the surface together with slow bounce and carry but no lateral movement whatsoever. The early period of the innings, when the ball comes nicely to the bat, would be ideal for someone like Virender Sehwag, who likes hitting through the line on the up. Once the track is few overs old, the slowness of the pitch will give the fast bowlers something to look forward to as stroke-making becomes difficult.

That seamers bagged 14 of the 26 wickets that fell during the last two Cup matches at the venue shows that fast bowlers willing to experiment can extract some purchase from the 'dead' track. Then again, the way the Zimbabwe slow bowlers spun a web against the mighty Aussies in the first match here gives the impression that tweakers too can make life difficult for batsmen.

With the sun getting hotter by the day and the weather getting drier, there is a possibility that the pitch will assist the spinners. Though dew shouldn't be a concern in these parts at this time of the year, the outfield under lights might give away some moisture. "It all depends on the amount of watering you are doing on the outfield and the pitch in the buildup to the match. Gujarat is a dry state so one should be very careful with the amount of water one uses. If you use less water, then the outfield will be dry and even the pitch might break early. If you are using more water, you might end up having thick and tall growth of grass which will result in more work for the groundsmen and a slow outfield," curator Dhiraj Parsana had said before the first match between Australia and Zimbabwe on February 21.

Parsana however refused to talk anything about the track for the quarterfinal. "I will be able to talk in detail only on Wednesday. There is still some time before the match and we are working towards giving a good one-day wicket."

Meanwhile, both teams landed in Ahmedabad on Monday evening. While the Indian team landed in the city from Chennai at around 6:30 pm and checked in to a five-star hotel in the Satellite area, the Australian team arrived at around 10 pm.

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