Bowler’s envy, batter’s paradise.
That’s the reputation the Holkar Stadium has built for itself over the last decade, thanks to a short outfield and a flatbed for most of the international games it has hosted. An ODI double hundred and the joint-fastest T20I hundred hammered over here is a testimony to it.
No wonder then that India head coach Rahul Dravid - in a jovial mood on his return to the city of his birth - joked ahead of India’s third ODI against New Zealand that the bowlers want to run away from the stadium.
With the series sealed, both the top orders will be eager to make the most of tailormade conditions for the willow-wielders. While the Black Caps will be desperate to show their mettle and prove their worth in Kane Williamson’s absence, India will hope that captain Rohit Sharma continues his good work from Raipur three nights earlier.
Rohit was into his elements during a quickfire fifty on Saturday.
Having notched up the joint-fastest T20I hundred at the same venue in 2017, the veteran will be eager to mark the 10th anniversary of his elevation as a regular India opener (he had opened thrice in South Africa in January 2011) with a triple-digit score.
It will be interesting to see if India tests its bench strength in the dead rubber. While allrounder Hardik Pandya and pacer Mohammed Siraj are likely to be rested, the locals will hope that hometown hero Rajat Patidar makes his India debut.
While Patidar is unlikely to make his debut, one local will definitely be on the field right through the game. Umpire Nitin Menon will officiate on the ground for the first time in an international on his home turf.
The teams (from):
India: Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Hardik Pandya (Vice-capt.), Srikar Bharat, Yuzevendra Chahal, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur, Umran Malik, Washington Sundar and Suryakumar Yadav.
New Zealand: Tom Latham (Capt.), Finn Allen, Doug Bracewell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi and Blair Tickner.
Umpires: Nitin Menon & J. Madanagopal.