After a run-riot in Mohali that saw Australia completed a record chase, the two teams can expect the same at the Kotla, with chances of dew having a major impact far less in New Delhi.
The temperatures in the capital have been steadily on the rise over the last week which means chances of dew causing as much trouble for the team bowling second is far less at the Kotla.
“I don’t think dew should have a major impact in the game. We have a 1.30pm start for the match and even if dew comes down, it shouldn’t have as big an impact as it did at the PCA Stadium in Mohali because we are located a little south of Chandigarh,” a Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) official told CricketNext on Monday.
The pitch should be great for the batsmen and chasing might be a better option unlike previous years. “The tracks for the Ranji Trophy had plenty of runs in them. Bengal managed to chase down a 300-plus total in the fourth innings with ease to win the match. We don’t expect the surface to change much over the course of the two innings. The team chasing should have the advantage in the fifth ODI; it will safeguard them from dew as well if it comes down,” the official added.
The last ODI played at the Kotla was back in 2016 but the venue also hosted a T20 game in 2017 which India won batting first against New Zealand. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel had made life tough for the Kiwis after the hosts posted a 200-plus total in that game.
Reminded of that slow nature of the pitch, the DDCA official said, “That match was played two years back. The Kotla pitch has evolved since then. We had plenty of high scoring ties in the IPL games last year and spinners haven’t had a huge impact. It has been a thrilling ODI series so far and fans can look forward to another high-scoring clash come Wednesday.”
However, historically batting first has been a safe option at the Kotla. The slow nature of the track has never really changed in the capital and Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav, Chahal and even Kedar Jadhav will like to get all the help they can from the surface against the in-form Australian batting line-up.
This is skipper Virat Kohli’s hometown and no one knows the Kotla better than him. Kohli has the option of following Kotla’s history or guarding against the possibility of dew once again nullifying his tweakers. It will be a tough choice come Wednesday afternoon for the Indian skipper, should he even get to make that choice at all.
First Published: March 11, 2019, 6:29 PM IST