Cricket: Wet start expected for third test as intimidating cauldron awaits Black Caps

By Andrew Alderson in Indore

The entire outfield of Holkar Stadium was covered overnight. Photo / Andrew Alderson
The entire outfield of Holkar Stadium was covered overnight. Photo / Andrew Alderson

Indore welcomed the New Zealanders with a deluge but the visitors will embrace the subsequent cooler temperatures after the stifling humidity they suffered at Eden Gardens in the second test.

Thunderstorms are forecast for the first two days of the final match in the series. India hold an unassailable 2-0 lead.

The entire outfield of Holkar Stadium was covered as the home of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association prepares to host its maiden test, starting Saturday.

Puddles ensured traffic chaos in surrounding streets. Holes had to be drilled in the road directly outside the ground as a temporary culvert to stop mini-dams from pooling.

The venue has been host to four one-day internationals stretching back to 2006.

Watch: A day in the life of Kolkata traffic

Video



If those matches are a gauge, spin will play a role. In the most recent ODI between India and South Africa last year, eight of the 19 wickets fell in that fashion.

Runs could be on offer, too.

Virender Sehwag scored 219 to help beat the West Indies in 2011.

Regardless, the stadium looks another intimidating cauldron if New Zealand are to overcome the odds to win their third test of 34 in India.

Wandering through the Narendra Hirwani Gate and into the Kapil Dev Stand, the realisation strikes that the entire playing surface is fortified by a wrought iron fence with a hooked top.

It's gladiatorial with no obvious escape routes; other than the occasional gate manned by a guard. The New Zealanders need to find their own Cricketus Maximus to dominate.

Given the opening two test losses, it might surprise that after an unscheduled day off, New Zealand only have an optional training today. Presumably it's with an eye to freshening jaded bowlers rather than underemployed batsmen.

One player expected to take a full part is captain Kane Williamson. He has not had a net practice since a viral illness ruled him out of the Kolkata test.

Despite the rain, parents and children still queued for tickets at the ground, indicating keen public interest.

- NZ Herald

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