Cricket World Cup 2011

SA likely to get pacey wicket

2011-03-01 06:59
SA's spearhead Dale Steyn. (AFP)

Mohali - The Mohali pitch has a reputation for being very good for the pace bowlers, and it is likely to be the case again on Thursday when South Africa take on the Netherlands in their second World Cup game.

GALLERY: SA in the World Cup

South Africa have made it clear that their three-spinner tactic for their opening game against the West Indies was very much based on the conditions prevalent in Delhi, on a low-bouncing Feroz Shah Kotla pitch.

Pace bowlers have traditionally done well on the Mohali pitch, with Glenn McGrath, Umar Gul, Kyle Mills, Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan amongst the leading wicket-takers on the reclaimed swamp-land.

South Africa have played two ODIs before at the ground - neither of them on regular tours of India.

Wayne Parnell was just past being a babe in arms when South Africa played India at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in 1993, during the Hero Cup against the hosts, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

India were bowled out for just 221, with Hansie Cronje, Fanie De Villiers and Richard Snell taking the seven wickets that fell to bowlers, but despite Jonty Rhodes' half-century, an excellent display by the Indian pacers saw South Africa fall 43 runs short.

South Africa's other match at one of India's newer venues was in 2006 in the Champions Trophy, when outstanding fast bowling by Makhaya Ntini (five for 21) saw Pakistan rushed out for 89 as the Proteas won a crucial game by 124 runs.

South Africa will be very happy to hear groundsman Daljit Singh saying there will be both grass and bounce on the pitch on Thursday and, with snow on the mountains in the hills in the distance, a general chill in the air, and rain about, everything seems geared towards South Africa fielding a fleet of pace bowlers rather than spinners.

Whatever the composition of the attack, South Africa, with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe all in excellent form, will be confident of mopping the floor with the Dutch, who were excellent against the English, but looked out of their depth against an on-form West Indies.


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