The T20 cricket is primarily known for power-hitting and adventurous shots which often give maximum results (sixes, boundaries) to batters but there are certains playgrounds where ‘running between the wickets’ is crucial to score vital runs and one such venue is the IS Bindra Punjab Cricket Association Stadium — the host of the first T20I between India and Australia, here on Tuesday.
The longer boundaries at square of the wicket often dictate the style of play and strategy of batters. It helps batters, who rely more on singles and doubles to keep the scoreboard ticking even in the T20 format.
Well, who can forget that famous run-chase by India against Australia in a T20 game in Mohali during the 2016 World Cup. That thrilling chase in the Super 10 Group 2 match was dominated by the insane running between the wickets by Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. It was a measured and calculated batting display, considering the longer boundaries and Australian camp ran out of ideas, failing to counter and eventually lost.
Six year later, India are facing the same opposition at the same venue and the eyes will be on Kohli’s style of play. The 33-year old batter, who plays a sheet anchor kind of role for India and often does not intend to play bigger shots in the early phase of his innings, will feel comfortable in taking more twos.
Also, not to forget, Kohli is a supremely fit cricketer and keeps fielders on their toes, with his sharp running between the wickets. So, the Mohali crowd can expect the same sort of athleticism from the star cricketer. The bigger boundaries and ground also mean bigger gaps between the two fielders.
So, not only Virat, other batters from both teams, can also exploit that part of the game.
Apart from batters, the spinners will also be delighted with the large square boundaries and expected to be more courageous in their decision making. Both teams have quality leg spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Adam Zampa, who love to use flighted deliveries in order to create a deception in the minds of the batter, and will fancy their chances.
However, they might have to battle dew. The weather is going to remain hot and humid in Mohali, which is an invitation for dew. As far as the pitch is concerned, the PCA Stadium is known for producing lively pitches and it’s expected to remain the same for this game as well.
Not only Mohali, the other two venues — Nagpur and Hyderabad — for the three-match series also have bigger boundaries as well, which will give Team India a perfect opportunity to try their game plans, keeping in mind the ground dimensions in Australia, the host of next month’s T20 World Cup.
So, bigger boundaries, lively pitch, true bounce — the near-perfect conditions for a T20I game awaits India and Australia at the historic ground.