The Indian cricket team, now, has its back to the wall. After losing the Twenty20 series, and now trailing 0-1 in the five match ODI series, it cannot afford another loss. Hence the team would be hoping that the Holkar Stadium, where the second cricket ODI between India and South Africa is scheduled to be held, is a happy hunting ground for the home team, as they have won all their previous high-scoring matches at this venue. India have played three ODIs at the venue, and have won all the three ODIs at this 27,000 capacity stadium.
Curator Samandar Singh Chauhan, is reputed for producing the flattest of tracks, devoid of any grass. Samandar though didn’t clarify as to what will be nature of the track even though Holkar Stadium might play true to its reputation.
It will be nearly after four years that an ODI will be held at this venue, after Virender Sehwag scored a magnificent 219, in India’s 153-run victory over West Indies.
The other two ODIs were against England in 2006, and 2008, which India won by 7, and 54 runs, respectively. The tall scores are an indicator that another run-feast can be expected at this venue with India having successfully chased down a target of 289. On the other two occasions, India scored 292, and 418, after batting first.
The pressure is squarely on India’s skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and his men to bounce back in the series. The Proteas have surprised all by their performance in the series. They have showed great grit, and character so far. The Indian team have looked rather listless so far.
The Proteas have looked sharp and their batting and bowling have clicked. It is a long series but the Proteas have given enough hints that they cannot be taken lightly, and are ready to take on India in their own backyard. They seemed to have done their home work quite well. A B De Villiers and his men would be keen to maintain their winning momentum and like to further add to India’s agony, by going ahead in the series with a 2-0 lead.