The Wankhede Stadium wicket for the ICC World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka will be a slow turner, according to the pitch curator, Sudhir Naik. This is like most wickets in the subcontinent during this time of the year, says Naik who is a former India player.
If the pitch report is anything to go by, the Sangakkara – Mahendra Singh Dhoni battle is likely to be another cliffhanger for the 1.5 billion cricket fans watching the final live worldwide.
The final will also be a deciding factor for the future of both the captions, and many players in the teams.
Naik still expects the pitch to support batsmen and offer opportunities to score runs. He thinks that the team batting first will get the maximum benefit of the turning wicket.
“It will be an ideal one-day wicket,” Naik told news service – IANS. Naik was part of the India squad who toured England in 1974.
If Naik’s interpretation of the wicket is correct, the battle for the world cup will see a score of about 270 to 280 runs. The warring teams will do well to play an extra spinner.
“The bounce will be even with a good carry,” the 66-year old curator said. “The pacers will get something out of the wicket in the initial overs.”
While the team batting first will be able to score runs, spinners will rule the second session of the final match.
The temperatures will be very high, and Mumbai is known for high humidity. This will make it very difficult to score runs in the second half of the Tournament decider.
Khans to attend the ICC World Cup decider
In the meantime, the final between Sri Lanka and India is likely to attract who’s who of Indian business and of course, Bollywood.
The three ruling Khans of Bollywood, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and of course, Aamir Khan are attending the final battle.
During India-Pakistan face off in the second semi final, Shah Rukh Khan had said “if Team India wins no one can stop me from going to the finals at Wankhede.”
Salman Khan also said, “I will try and go for the finals.” Aamir Khan was spotted at the Mohali stadium for the India-Pakistan semi-final and is likely to be at Wankhede with his better half.
President Pratibha Patil will be there
If the prime ministers of India and Pakistan stole limelight from cricketers at the second semi-finals, the presidents of India and Sri Lanka don’t wish to be left behind.
India’s president, Pratibha Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart, Mahinda Rajapaksa, will attend Saturday’s cricket World Cup final. While Patil will fly to Mumbai, Rajapaksa will arrive from Colombo.
Don’t get carrid away: Dhoni
India’s skipper MS Dhoni has warned his team not to get carried away by the excessive hype ahead of their World Cup final against Sri Lanka and stick to their basic job of playing “good cricket”
Heavy security for India – Sri Lanka game
Aerial and sea surveillance will guard the final match which is likely to be attended by the who’s who of India’s political and business leaders. About one thousand police will be posted at the Wankhede Stadium for Saturday.
The security arrangement is described as the biggest in Mumbai since the US president, Barack Obama’s visit last year.
The security cover is likely to be more extensive than the Mohali match where the prime ministers of India and Pakistan attended the match.