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Friday, December 2, 2011

Now the focus shifts to Vizag - 2nd ODI - India V West Indies

Not many of you might be aware of Waltair – it is the colonial name for the present day Visakhapatnam – Vizag the venue for today’s Onedayer between India and West Indies.  Vizag is a major sea port in the South East coast, situated in the Andhra Pradesh and is one of the pleasant places to visit.   The city is nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and faces the Bay of Bengal to the east. It is the  headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Visakhapatnam is often referred to as The Jewel of The East Coast.

photo courtesy :
After the win made possible b y the last wicket pair of Aaron and Umesh Yadav, there could be more excitement in store.  Vizag could be a ground where spectators would steam in and could well be a high scoring venue.  Will Kieron Pollard make it big here is the Q ?   The venue is  the picturesque ACA-VDCA (Andhra Cricket Association/Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association) ground, set on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam amidst scenic hills now named after Rajasekhar Reddy the ex-CM of Andhra Pradesh. , has hosted just one international match so far: the second ODI of the series between India and Pakistan in 2005 !  I thought many more Internationals had been played at Vizag and I remember one match where Krish Srikkanth was the hero ! .

In 2005, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's maiden international century, was the cause for celebration as India amassed runs along with a belligerent 74 from  Virender Sehwag.  In that ODI – No. 2236 on 5th Apr 2005, India eventually won by 58 runs.  Viru and Sachin opened; Sachin was run out and in walked MSD at no. 3 – made 148 off 123 balls with 15 fours and 4 sixers.  Mohammed Sami went for 65 in 9; Afridi was robbed 82 off 9.

Now this is a new stadium which hosted that earlier match also.  Earlier matches were played at   Indira Priyadarshini Stadium  which  hosted 5 ODI Matches and is also known as the Municipal Corporation Stadium. The first match was held on December 9, 1988 and the last of the 5 matches was held on April 3, 2001.   In that first match Krishnamachari Srikkanth was the all rounder helping India to win.  New Zealand were making merry  with Jones and Rutherford having just added 114 in a little over 28 overs, when Srikkanth came on as India's seventh bowler.  Srikkanth bowled Rutherford and ran through the rest of the batting to reap five wickets with his flattish type of off-spin that has most balls leaving the bat on pitching. He then went on to score 70 to ensure an Indian win which was not as frequent in those days.

There is a famous temple situated on the hillock known as Simhachalam.  This is a shrine of Lord Narasimha.  Significantly, the "nijaroopa darshan" (holy appearance in true form)can be had only 12 hours in a year i.e. on Akshaya Tritiya day, the rest of the time the deity is covered with Sandalwood paste. The darshan described as 'Chandana yatra' or 'Chandanotsavam' falls every year in Vaisakha masa

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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