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India have poor record at Faridabad

March 30, 2006 19:59 IST

England can well take heart from the fact that the Nahar Singh stadium in Faridabad has not been a favourite hunting ground for India.

The home side has won only once in five outings. The sole victory came against Zimbabwe in March 1993, but none of the current players were in that winning team.

In fact, the ground has witnessed some shocking results. Ask Stephen Fleming and Sourav Ganguly.

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The last one-day international at the ground, in October 2003, is still fresh in everybody's mind. New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming promptly elected to bat on winning the toss, but, to his horror, his team was bowled out for 97, on a seamer-friendly pitch. In reply, the Australians coasted to an emphatic eight-wicket victory.

No one could have predicted that the match would be over by lunch. Fleming was left pondering.

India also suffered embarrassment in their last match at the venue, as they went down to Zimbabwe by one wicket in March 2002.

Chasing 275 for victory, Zimbabwe never looked in the hunt as they kept losing wickets regularly. But Douglas Marillier smashed 56 from 24 balls to give the visitors a shock victory as they chased down 58 runs from the last five overs to leave Sourav Ganguly shell-shocked.

Looking further back, India played its first match at the Nahar Singh stadium in January 1988, against the West Indies. Mohinder Amarnath scored a century (100), but India went down by four wickets.

They again went down to the West Indies in October 1994 and were also beaten Hansie Cronje's South Africa in March 2000.

Out of the seven matches played, five matches were won by the side batting second.

Which means the result in the second ODI between India and England is anybody's guess.

Ground in-charge and curator Vijay Yadav believes that the pitch will produce a good contest.

"Both the teams can score around 300 runs on this pitch and the batsmen would enjoy," he added.

Let's see.

Harish Kotian in Faridabad