Cricket is not a game where you can practise everything and hope to win tomorrow. There may be no match tommorrow. Here's a preview of second One day International between India and South Africa on India's tour of South Africa 2006.
The Weather forecast :
Not good. It started with Sri Lanka's rained off tri-series, then to Malaysia and now to South Africa. Rain god seems to love Indian team a little too much and he is expected to have an effect in this 2nd ODI at Durban.
The weather forecast says morning and evening showers - which means this being a Day/Night match, we will get some play in the afternoon and then some after the rain break. I expect umpires and both captain to be smart and start a match of not 50 overs but 30 overs. This will mean we only need 4 and half hours of playing time and little lunch break - which rain god is sure to provide.
The pitch :
Easily the fastest in South Africa and probably second fastest in World after Perth in Australia. What makes Durban pitch even more dangerous for the batsmen is the dew factor.
They don't play Day/Night games at Perth. But Kingsmead Durban has been hosting Day night ODI's for a long time and whenever the second innings start underlight - ball not only bounces more, but swings extensively.
Toss is very important here but what's more important is believe. Even if you bat first and make 200 - you should believe you can defend it. And even when you bowl first - you must know you can't let them score more than 150.
The short boundaries :
Makes Durban even more harder play for spinners to make a mark.
The start time :
This 2nd India v SA ODI will start at 1800hrs India time. But the important factor here is if there is a delay in the start of this one day International - the last time to start the match is 2245 India time. This means if rain again haunts this match, 2245 is the last till when you can wait.