Kotla pitch offers hopes to bowlers

Brett Lee might return to playing eleven for the third one-dayer

The newly-laid track at the Kotla made plenty of news during the Champions League T20 for its slow and low nature. The lack of bounce in the pitch hindered stroke-play as bowlers called the shots in helpful conditions. The eight matches during the CLT20 here saw a whopping 104 wickets fall which meant runs were hard to come by.

The lack of carry in the wicket is evident from the fact that there were only two caught-behind-the-wicket dismissals in the entire Delhi leg. That there were as many as five instances of teams registering below 100 totals will not be music to batsmen’s ears. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise if both Australia and India bank on their spinners to deliver the goods. Between them Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina sent down 25.3 overs in Wednesday’s match and their workload isn’t going to be any less in the third match.

While there is a possibility that Brett Lee might return to the Australian squad, there is also bright chance of Victorian left-arm spinner Jon Holland, who has the experience of playing on this wicket during CLT20, winning his ODI cap.     

After Wednesday’s thrashing, Ponting admitted the pitch at the Kotla was something for them to talk about and look at. “In the last few T20 games there it looked like it turned a lot. It was slow and there was not much bounce. But the (team) balance for us at the moment is a difficult thing,” said Ponting whose side has been hit by a spate of injuries to their key players.

Daredevils’ captain Gautam Gambhir, whose team crashed out before the CLT20 semifinal stage, had led the criticism of the Delhi track terming it as not an ideal wicket for T20. But it could be a different ballgame in a 50-over match where there will be enough chances for teams to fight back. The pitch might, in fact, add to the intrigue that the length of a one-day game offers.

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