Sri Lanka v India, 2nd ODI, Hambantota July 23, 2012

Wind factor a challenge - Jayawardene


Windy Wellington has competition, from howling Hambantota. The ground here is surrounded by miles of forest and when the wind blows, it really does, from roughly west to east and right across the square. It nearly blows you off your feet; the low stands and grass banks are no barriers at all. The wind is supreme through the day but stops at night, creating different challenges for the batting and fielding sides during the first innings.

Batsmen have to be careful the strong breeze doesn't throw them off their stance, as Virender Sehwag said today. That is not their biggest worry, though. "You have to be careful when playing your shots against the wind or with the wind," Sehwag said. "But we have played in Dambulla and in Wellington, now we are used to the wind."

Batsmen, however, have to worry only about themselves; the fielding captain has others to think about. The ball travels quicker through one side of the field; on the other side, top edges might seem to be carrying to deep fielders, before dropping short. Mahela Jayawardene had experienced the problem when India batted first on Saturday.

"When we were fielding, the challenge for us was the wind," Jayawardene said. "It was quite windy [so it was difficult] for the bowlers as well as some of the guys [who] were off balance. Then, you have to protect one side of the ground better than the other side. This venue is throwing up a lot of different challenges. You need to adapt to it."

The wind stops at night, and that presents different issues to the side defending a total. "One thing we observed [was] the ball was travelling quicker than the day at night," Virat Kohli said after the first game. "[It] surely made a difference. The ball was running off the bat and it is important to assess what we did in the field.

"I think we made a few mistakes, understandably, because we haven't played on this ground before and to get the pace of the ground you probably need a game. Hopefully we can correct those mistakes and put in a good fielding effort in the next game."

Both sides dropped catches and fumbled in the field during the first game. Who will harness the wind better tomorrow?

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    @ Ravi Darira: As you rightly said, if Dravid was playing today he would be "Consolidating" by sucking up balls and finally we would reach a respectable score of 250 and not get bowled out for 138..!! If you are not able to appreciate what Dravid did, then I pity you and I am sure you have started watching cricket recently. Its too early to compare Kohli with Dravid/Sachin/Gangully

  • Narbavi on July 24, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @Ravi Darira: you should feel ashamed for making such a comment, times have changed, pitches have changed, bowlers have changed, everything, Dravid never consumed balls, he just played according to the situation of the game, can you tell me one game which india lost because of Dravid, but i can tell u we have lost games because of slow batting from DADA and sachin a few times,

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Ha ha ha..............Jay Hind

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    All Indians,

    What happened to your very very strong batting line? Now you should be praying, or prevent from watching the match, bz you all can't see when you are defeating no.

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    Spot on Mahela.. The wind really did make the ball move around today... As expected ...wickets have been free- falling... India are 79-6 at the moment..

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    hahaha three big guns back in home

  • Vindaliew on July 24, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    It would be so exciting to have more grounds like this. If golf can have certain courses known for their geographical identities, cricket grounds like this could provide an extra twist to matches. Something like the much-talked-about Lords slope.

  • dummy4fb on July 24, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    indians are going to win this series without any fuss....lanka bowlers are average who looked good against pakistan cuz of the weakness of pak batting...but they are nothing against the might of strong indian batting line up

  • letsgo on July 24, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Any way..its sure the match will be interesting as Srilanka is in the urge to win...lets see. All the best to both the teams..!

  • KingRawana on July 24, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    See MS's comments regarding the evening conditions, ICC should look into this very strongly, this is not a even poised pitch for a game of cricket it you loose the toss 40% of the game being lost any way, this this the king of pitch they want to play T20 world cup games....adamant thinking kills the game for Sri lanka.

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