Sunday clash between India and New Zealand in the ongoing Men’s T20 World Cup Cricket Tournament could well turn out to be the decider as to who progressed from the Super 12 round to the next level. Both teams have lost their opening games against in-form Pakistan. So it makes this meeting a must-win match for both sides.
The Role Of Dew In Deciding Outcomes Of Matches
From the outset of the tournament, dew has been playing a part in deciding the outcome of the matches. The dew factor catches on with the teams especially in the second half of the evening games, meaning that sides batting second are getting an undue advantage while chasing. We have seen how both the Indian and New Zealand bowlers struggled to bowl accurately to a chasing Pakistani side. On both occasions, Pakistan found it less daunting than their opponents to hit the cricket ball all around the park.
History Of Dew Interference In ICC Tournaments
This is not the first time that dew has meddled with the playing conditions of the cricket field. Back in 2014, when the T20 World Cup was being played in Bangladesh, the ICC was left with no choice but to bring over a custom-made gel with anti-dew properties from India. It was then applied on the surface of the outfields. Teams that participated in that edition practised using wet cricket balls to get accustomed to the conditions.
Virat Kohli Acknowledges The Role Of Dew
The Indian Captain Virat Kohli had been asked by reporters about the dew factor after his side succumbed to Pakistan on Sunday. Although he did not point to it as the sole reason behind his side’s poor performance, he referred to it while answering to the media. Kohli said, “Small factors such as the dew make a huge difference. They outplayed us but with such conditions, you need to win the toss.”
Methods To Counter The Dew
The most important part of the training to deal with dew is to know how to grip the cricket ball. Since dew makes it difficult for bowlers to do exactly that, wrist spinners would be more suitable under such conditions. A professional who works with the Indian team had this to say on the topic: “The wrist-spinner can have the flipper and the top spin going. They can derive extra bounce to keep the batter guessing.”
When there is dew on the outfield, pace and seam bowlers find it hardest to bowl full-length deliveries. The same Team India expert explains, “With the dew, the ball doesn’t swing anyway. If you are not landing the Yorkers, then it’s best you don’t offer full-length balls. Hard lengths become the best option. But you can’t pitch it too short because it sits up. The slower ones back off a length also become hittable because they don’t grip on the surface and skid-off at a nice pace for the batters. The good length becomes a tad shorter and more in line with the stumps. If one can master the full-length ball, the batters will be caught by surprise.”
News From The Indian Camp
The Indian team members are well aware of the impending challenge of another second innings defence with the ball. So they would be getting ready by adhering to the norms set by the National Academy of Cricket (NCA) in handling wet balls.
The Indian team has several quality spinners at its disposal. Ravindra Jadeja will most likely play against New Zealand for his all-rounder capabilities. Among R Ashwin and Rahul Chahar, the former would be a better option considering the latter’s poor run of form in recent times. Varun Chakravarthy was not useful against Pakistan due to the characteristics of the pitch. But Kohli could still opt for him for his variations in bowling, especially his back of length deliveries.
In the pace department, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami would be better options for India in the opening spells, as they can bowl the hard length balls. The dew would surely neutralise the threats offered by Shardul Thakur and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar since both bowlers depend too much on swing.
India Hoping For A Comeback
Captain Kohli is confident that his side would be playing to gain back the trust of the supporters. He told the media that the four-day gap would allow his side to analyse the mistakes from Sunday and figure out measures to prevent their repetition. It is easy to figure out that the practice sessions would include hours of dew sessions.