September 5, 2003

Sporting pitch expected at Mohali for India-New Zealand Test

Wisden Cricinfo staff

New Zealand can expect a "sporting wicket" for their second Test against India, which will be held at Mohali from October 18-22. Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Test match organising committee, IS Bindra, president of the Punjab Cricket Association, said: "For the first two days it should help seamers; on the third and part of the fourth day it should be a batsman's dream, and for the rest of the match spinners should enjoy bowling on the wicket."

Bindra also informed that infrastructure in the stadium would be spruced up before the match. "A video-replay screen will become operational by October 10 and a world-class gymnasium will be commissioned before the match. We have also imported aeration machines so that the outfield is not very hard and the player gets a cushioning effect while fielding."

Mohali hosted its first Test in 1994-95, and on a seaming pitch, West Indies' fast bowlers ran amok as India were thrashed by 243 runs. The track has since become more batsman-friendly, producing two draws in the last three matches, including one which involved New Zealand in 1999-2000.

New Zealand arrive in India on September 23, and will play two Tests and a triangular one-day tournament, also involving Australia. The first Test will be held at Ahmedabad, from October 8-12.