Kanpur set for crucial clash

India may have surrendered the lead in Mohali but the team is all set to hit back with a vengeance in the third ODI against Pakistan in Kanpur on Sunday.

updated: November 11, 2007 15:07 IST
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India may have surrendered the lead in Mohali but the team is all set to hit back with a vengeance in the third ODI against Pakistan in Kanpur on Sunday.

A clinical India comprehensively beat Pakistan in the series opener in Guwahati before the visitors drew parity in Mohali.

The series is 1-1 at present. Both the teams look to go 2-1 up in the series.

The Indian and Pakistan cricket teams are in Kanpur for the third ODI.

Dhoni's men would certainly like to take revenge for the snatching win Pakistan made in Mohali.

Malik's squad too would like to add extra pressure on Team India with two ups.

However, there has been a bit of a bizarre build up with teams arriving too late in Kanpur to practice, too late to inspect the pitch and apparently too late to hold a press conference.

Heavy security

High security arrangements are being made for the cricketers in Kanpur.

It has been almost three years since the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur saw any international action.

And that's probably just one of the reasons, why there was a huge crowd at hand to welcome the Indian and Pakistani squads.

The security was very well organised, but not so the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association.

The two teams arrived too late to get any time at the nets and their hosts had surprisingly not scheduled any press conference either.

Scoring pitch

With no practice possible, Shoaib Malik decided to at least get a good look at the pitch but that effort was thwarted too with the curator reluctant to remove the covers for fear of the dew.

That means both teams head into the Kanpur one-dayer without being able to gauge the track they will be playing on.

What Dhoni does on Sunday by way of team composition though is anyone's guess since the team hasn't managed a good look at the pitch.

It is on the schedule for the morning and that is when the team will be chosen.

"We need to have a look at the wicket. Then we will think of playing another regular bowler and that would be a spinner," said Lalchand Rajput, Manager, Indian Cricket team.

The curator says it is not going to be a typical Kanpur pitch.

"I have been concentrating on the bounce, if that works then we should be able to cross the 259 mark this time," said Shiv Kumar, Curator, Green Park Stadium, Kanpur

The 259 total is the highest one at the Green Park stadium.

Batsmen's bonanza

But the promise of more runs will be music to the ears of Shahid Afridi who had smashed the world's second fastest century to help Pakistan beat India the last time they played in Kanpur two years ago.

Sachin Tendulkar should be happy too. He is India's leading run-scorer in Kanpur and has shared in two-century stands with Sourav Ganguly.

But not if Shoaib Akhtar has his way.

"Sachin is a great player, his record speaks for itself. His is a prized wicket. Yuvraj is a big player as is Dhoni. I like his captaincy. He is cool, calm and relaxed. I like the way he does things," said Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan Cricket team.

The pitch here at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur has traditionally not being high scoring.

But curator insists he has tried to infuse some bounce and make it batsmen friendly.

Even so, the stroke makers from both sides shouldn't expect much joy.