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Nagpur pitch in focus in T20I series decider

  • Published at 11:57 pm November 9th, 2019
Bangladesh's Mahmudullah and coach Russell Domingo during training in Nagpur Saturday BCB

The toss could also be a factor, as the team batting first have won in eight out of 11 T20Is at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium

The pitch at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium has been a major talking point ahead of the decisive final match of the T20I series between Bangladesh and host India Sunday.

Bangladesh took the lead in the series after the first match at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi Sunday, winning by seven wickets on a turning pitch similar to those at home. 

However, India leveled the series with a dominant batting display on a flat track at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot in the second match Thursday.   

Addressing a pre-match press conference in Nagpur Saturday, Indian stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said, “I have not seen the wicket yet, but Nagpur is generally a very good track to play cricket on. It assists the batsmen, but also the bowlers if they bowl in the right channels.

“In T20Is, it is all about variation and skill level and we displayed that in the last game. To restrict them to a score of 153 was great, considering the way they started out. It shows we have got quality spinners who can slow the run rate down in the middle overs. The pitch does not matter if you have the skills and variations in your armory.”

The toss could also be a factor, as the team batting first have won in eight out of 11 T20Is at VCAS.

The highest successful run chase at the venue was 123, by the West Indies against South Africa in 2016.

During the World T20I in 2016, India failed to chase a 127-run target set by New Zealand at the venue, after getting bowled out for 79.

In 2017, India successfully defended a low target of 144 at the same stadium, defeating England by five runs. 

“I think Nagpur historically has lower scores than Rajkot. The average score there was 185, while here it is 155. I think the spinners will have a bigger role than they had in Rajkot. We definitely feel that if the wicket does spin, it will bring our spinners into the game. We have a whole host of bowlers who can fill up the 20 overs,” Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said at the pre-game presser.  

Bangladesh have already made history in this series, by beating India in a T20I for the first time in nine attempts. 

Now, they have the chance to make the series even more memorable by emerging as the overall victor, while India never want to lose against their neighbor. 

With such high stakes on the line, everyone will have their eyes glued to the toss, as both captains try to gain any possible edge.

Meanwhile, left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain are slight doubts for the series decider as the duo sat out bowling and batting practice respectively Saturday.