According to reports the Kanpur track where the first test between India and New Zealand is going to be played will be favourable to the home team. The pitch is dry and has cracks. Early indications suggest that the ball will not be turning alarmingly or very early. The curator of the Kanpur Test Shiv Kumar said that the track ins typically green and will be favourable for batting for the first two days of the test. He further added, “A spinning track in the series opener will give India the perfect start and the Kiwi batsmen will have to apply themselves to stay at the wicket as it is going to be a slow turner again.”
The Kanpur Test will be played at the Green Park stadium which is located on the banks of river Ganga. This stadium was named after Madam Green, who used to practice horse-riding at the venue in the 1940s. This stadium was started in 1945, it has got flood lights installed for day night games only in 2006. It is the only stadium in India to have a Students’ Gallery. It also has the largest manually operated scoreboard in the world. Interestingly, the Green Park stadium is the only international venue in India which is not owned by a state cricket association.
If we go back in history it can be recalled that Indian spinners had dominated the visiting Kiwis in the previous test encounters at the Green Park in Kanpur. The first test encounter happened in 1976. At that time the track was slow. The legendary spinning trio Bishan Singh Bedi, BS Chandrasekhar and S Venkataraghavan, claimed six wickets in total in the first innings. In the second innings the spinners continued to spell their magic. Again, in the second test in 1999 the current Indian coach Anil Kumble claimed a total of ten wickets in the test. The Kiwis were then captained by Stephen Fleming. Harbhajan Singh and Sunil Joshi’s contribution of two wickets each also helped the Indian cause.
In the upcoming Kanpur test the Indian team led by Virat Kohli is also expected to use the spin attack comprehensively. The current Indian team boasts of three spinners – two off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja complimented by leg-spinner Amit Mishra. Statistics show a very healthy winning record of test wins by Indians at home. In the last six years, India has won seven out of the eight series at home.
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