India v South Africa: T20 World Cup Mock final and tale of the three stadiums

India and South Africa will lock horns in a showpiece series. The series will start with the three match T20 series. As per BCCI rotation policy the T20 matches  are given to two stadiums, who will host the game for the first time. The first match will be held in Dharamashala Stadium, and the next two will be held in Cuttack and Kolkata. While Dharamashala and Barbati will host their first T20, for iconic Eden Gardens it will be the second match in history.

T20 cricket is an evening entertainment for Indian fans, will back in the country with an international avatar. This series will be significant as Faf du Plessis led South Africa T20 team will give a serious fight in each of the match as 2016 World cup will be held in India. So, this three match series will be a trial for the host – Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and for South African players. When the both teams will clash for the final encounter at the Eden Gardens on October 8.

These three stadiums will grace the shortest form of the game with their  beauty and rich history, before the bat and ball clash in India during the festival time in October and  November. It is expected that the India-South Africa series will make India’s festival season more enjoyable.

The series finale will be held at Eden Gardens, Bengal, who will embrace the match with the ecstasy as Durga Puja will be just one week away.  The upcoming  great Indian festival will be covered by five match ODI series  and followed by four match Test series. Similarly, the series will be graced with the thrill of the festivals.  On this occasion, we should look at those three stadiums  which will hold the T20 matches.

Dharamshala Stadium: 

With a capacity of 23,000 spectators the beautiful stadium is a glittering green plate in the Himalayan region. The impressive feature of the stadium is openness, small stands, which allow the gentle wind to sweep across the stand. As a result quick bowlers get assistance in  the air.  The stadium, in terms of beauty will sit in the line of Adelaide Oval and Newlands in Cape Town. The stadium is located at an altitude of 1317 meters above sea level.

This stunningly beautiful stadium is the first venue in India to use winter rye grass scattered around the outfield, which prevents the grass from dying when temperatures fall below 10 degrees.

The stadium hosted only two ODIs so far. The first ODI was hosted in January 2013 between India and England. The match was held in 6 degree temperature. The last ODI was scheduled to happen against West Indies, but Dawyne Bravo’s team controversially refused to play the match citing the dispute with their cricket association back in the country. Besides, the IPL T20 matches in the summer of every year, the stadium yet to hold any international T20 match. So, the India v South Africa will be the first T20 international for this awesome stadium.

The city has become a popular holiday destination for Indians since stadium came to the international scene.  The only problem with the stadium is communication as hilly road surrounded by terrain pose horror. The adjacent airport is located 250 km away  in Chandigarh.

Barabati Stadium, Cuttack

Like the  Dharamsala Stadium, the Barabati stadium  will also host its  first international T20 match. It hosted the third One Day International match in India in January 1982 between India and England.  Barabati is the witness to India’s first 2-1 home series win against England the same year. This pitch generates unpredictable bounce as well, Kapil Dev took his 300th wicket at this ground when Dilip Mendis led the Sri Lanka team were playing Dilip Vengsarkar led India. This stadium being located in a small city hosted the last Test in 1995-96. The match was heavily affected by rain, but Narendra Hirani’s 6 for 59 bamboozled New Zealand that helped  India to win the Test.

India played 16 ODIs here and have won 11 of them. Matches of the now defunct IPL team Deccan Chargers used be played here as it was their second home. But, international T20 will be first when India will take on South Africa on October 5 at IST 7 PM.

Eden Gardens, Kolkata: 

The only T20 international took place at Eden Gardens when England defeated India by 6 wickets way back on October 29, 2011. Eden Gardens once used to boast a 100000 Lakh capacity stadium, but after the renovation before the 2011 World Cup, capacity reduced to 66 thousand. However, it is still the second biggest cricket Coliseum after Melbourne Cricket Ground in the world.  Eden Gardens, being the oldest cricket stadium in the world,  is the witness to many historic cricket matches. From the Douglas Jardine led England to Australia’s World Cup victory in 1987 to India’s 1996 world cup semi-final defeat to Sri Lanka Eden Garden poured with vocal ambience and Mexican waves. This ground also defined the career of some great cricketer  like VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Allan Border, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammed Azharuddin among the many.

2001 Test victory over invincible Australia is one of the historic moments that defines nature and cult status of Eden Gardens. So, when this stadium will host its second T20, Durga Puja wooing Bengalis will make their way to this 151-year-old stadium to watch the mock final (hopefully featuring India) of the 2016 World Cup final.