Humidity levels in Pallekele on the eve of the India-Pakistan match were as high as 77 percent. Bathed in sweat, India’s Mohammed Siraj and Pakistan’s Haris Rauf stood on the green they might share on Saturday.
Divided by colors, united in their thought of how the conditions favor fast bowlers.
“At night, you can bowl six-seven overs more,” Siraj says to Rauf. “If you get a wicket then, that’s that,” responds the latter.
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There’s an assurance that comes from the Indian quick, “Milenge hi milenge, bhai (They’ll definitely come, brother).” The Sri Lanka-Bangladesh game on Thursday acts as a conclusive proof of the surface on offer.
On Thursday, the Lankan batters found chasing 165 a stiff task as Bangladesh managed to remove half of the home side before they got to the total in the 39th over.
A surface that assisted the pacers as well as the spinners. Indian captain Rohit Sharma would emphasize on the same during his pre-game press conference. “We saw in yesterday’s game, there was a bit of swing, bit of spin, we saw everything. It is always going to challenge batters.”
Haris Rauf, who was Pakistan’s destructor-in-chief against India at the T20 World Cup last year before being at the receiving end of consecutive sixes from Virat Kohli in the penultimate over, has his reservations ahead of the contest of the batting firepower on both ends.
“If big batters get set, it becomes difficult,” he tells Siraj, who believes it’ll all come down to how the first powerplay goes – given the slow outfield on offer for stroke players.
For Pakistan, who mounted a 238-run win in their Asia Cup opener against Nepal after scoring 342, conditions in Kandy look to be in complete contrast with the strip they played on back home in Multan.
For Rauf, who struck twice in his five-over spell, it bodes well as per the pre-match assessment of his Indian counterpart.
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