Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Bowl first in Kanpur
After the two huge wins batting first, MS Dhoni would I assume automatically choose to bat first if he were to win the toss in Kanpur tomorrow. I believe that would be a mistake. Although this is based only on what has happened in Kanpur in the past, there is no reason to think the conditions have changed there. Once winter begins to set in, the early morning start can give the bowling side a big advantage on some grounds, especially in the north. That is probably what prompted Pietersen to pick bowling when he won the toss in Rajkot, but it turned out there was hardly any dew or moisture in the air to aid the quick bowlers. In the next match in Indore, India almost got into a deep hole after losing three wickets in the morning as the ball was doing quite a bit. Luckily, things eased up quickly and the pitch also dusted up later on for the spinners to come good. In Kanpur, I don't think the conditions will ease as quickly as it did in Indore, and batting will likely be much easier in the afternoon. This is what Rahul Dravid discovered when he won the toss, chose to bat against a relatively weak Pakistan side, and got hammered. MSD should not repeat that mistake. As for Pietersen, it will be interesting to see how much homework he has done on the Kanpur ground. I would be impressed if he were to pick bowling again, despite the hammering he got for that in Rajkot.