What’s the story?
If reports are to be believed, then the pitch at the Holkar Stadium in Indore is likely to be a batting paradise for the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday between the Kings XI Punjab and the Rising Pune Supergiant.
The home team, led by new captain Glenn Maxwell, will look to begin their campaign on a good note and hope that they can gather some early momentum which they have so badly lacked in the last few seasons.
The Rising Pune Supergiant, on the other hand, will look to make it two-out-of-two in their favour after clinching the ‘Maharashtra Derby’ against the Mumbai Indians.
In case you didn’t know...
This is the first time since the 2011 edition that Indore will be hosting any IPL matches. At the time, the venue was the second base for the Kochi Tuskers Kerala, who played two of their seven home matches at this venue.
The heart of the matter
During the international matches, the venue has proven to be batting friendly with the most famous instance coming in the same year when Virender Sehwag slammed the then highest individual score in the history of ODI cricket against the West Indies.
The last time India played an ODI over there, an MS Dhoni special against South Africa helped India get past the line. The inaugural Test match that was played at this ground saw India wrap things up on the final day against New Zealand and take the series 3-0.
If the pitch does turn out to be a batting beauty, then one can expect the likes of Steven Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Glenn Maxwell and others to have an absolute feast. In the hot, baking sun, the bowlers will be put to the sword in demanding conditions.
Ideally for a T20 match, one hopes for the pitch to have plenty of runs and ensure that the spectators have their money’s worth during the course of the three hours. Having not played host to an IPL game for a long time, it will serve Indore well if they can provide a good cricketing wicket in its comeback in the IPL.