Chandigarh: With cold conditions persisting in the northern region for the past several days, fast bowlers are likely to get assistance in the last two ODIs between India and England at Mohali and Dharamsala. It rained heavily in Mohali and other parts of Punjab in the last few days and though the weather has been dry since Saturday, the temperature has dropped slightly and there is chill in the air.
The officials at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), which is hosting the January 23 ODI in Mohali, were working with all modern equipments at their disposal to give finishing touches to the ground after the heavy downpour. Both the teams, who arrived here on Sunday by an afternoon flight, will have their practice sessions on Monday starting with England in the afternoon followed by the Indians in the evening.
A PCA official said they are hoping the weather remains clear, but also seem confident of preparing the ground incase there are further rains.
"We have the best drainage system and modern equipment at our disposal to dry out things in minimum possible time in case of more rains. But we hope that weather holds good and there is plenty of sunshine during the next three days," the official said.
The Chandigarh MeT Department's forecast for the area valid till Wednesday says "days will be mainly sunny with fog or mist during night and morning". The maximum temperature in Mohali these days settles in the range of 16-18 degrees Celsius as against 13-15 Celsius in Dharamsala while the minimum temperatures have been hovering in the range of 6-9 Celsius as against 3-5 Celsius for Dharamsala.
The official said that traditionally Mohali is known to offer pace and bounce to fast bowlers, but under the present cold conditions, the seamers should get extra movement. With a day-night encounter pacers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Steve Finn and Jade Dernbach would enjoy bowling on the Mohali track.
While in Dharamsala, the mighty Dhauladhar mountain range has received heavy snowfall during the past few days and the conditions will be cold and to the liking of the pace bowlers. However, a senior official overseeing the preparations at Dharamsala felt that the cold conditions would not be of a consequence in the day-game.
"There should not be much of a problem. When India played against Pakistan in Delhi recently, the weather conditions were really cold. The conditions in Dharamsala will not be worse," the official said.