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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

With dark horse Pakistan beating both India and New Zealand in their first two matches, the clash against the Kiwis has turned out to be a must-win game for both the sides. It is a kind of virtual quarter-final for both the teams to stay afloat in the high-voltage tournament with conditions that they will be able to beat lower ranking teams like Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia in their remaining games. There is every chance that the winner of the match between India and New Zealand would make it to the next round.

Meanwhile, dew has played an important role in the mega tournament so far. Teams chasing have found it easier to exploit the condition rather than teams batting first. The India-Pakistan tie was a classic example of the prevailing situation in the middle. The Pakistan-New Zealand game also played out very much on the same lines.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has also expressed his dissatisfaction over the dew factor against Pakistan following the problems they faced on the ground. 

“Small factors like the dew make a huge difference. They outplayed us because of the external factor,” he said.

As per reports, the support staff of the Indian team is imparting some techniques in the practice sessions in the build-up to their game against New Zealand.

The Indians are practising with a wet ball to counter the dew factor in the ground and improve their grip on the ball. The idea behind using a wet ball is to make sure that the players are able to grip the wet ball during the match situation.

The Indian bowlers will look forward to bowl the right length. With the dew factor in force, the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and other pacers will prefer to bowl hard length deliveries rather than yorker-length.

“With the dew factor in force, the wet and heavy ball doesn’t swing anyway. Hard lengths become the best option in these conditions. But you can’t pitch it too short and the slower ones back off a length also become hittable because they don’t grip on the surface and the batters find it easier to hit as it skids off the surface. The good length also becomes a tad shorter. The bowlers have to master the full-length ball to take the batters by surprise,” said a bowling expert.

With the ball coming faster of the pitch in dewy conditions, a wrist spinner would be a better option than a finger spinner against New Zealand. In this context, Rahul Chahar could be inducted into the team as he is the only wrist spinner in the Indian squad at the moment.

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