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Thursday, January 10, 2013

the place where Gandhi studied ~ Rajkot to host ODI No. 1

For those following, Cheteshwar Pujara and Taruvar Kohli made triple centuries ~ tomorrow  India resumes matches against England in the 1st of 5 one dayers.

The focus shifts to Saurashtra, a region located on the Arabian Sea coast of Gujarat state. It consists of 7 districts of Gujarat, including Rajkot District. It is a peninsula also called Kathiawar after the Kathi Darbar who ruled part of the region once.  The place where the match is tobe played in a new ground is  famous for its jewellery market, silk embroidery and watch parts. The city hosts several small scale manufacturing industries.  The city is also home to one of the largest CNC machine manufacturer in the country, Jyoti CNC Automation Pvt. Ltd.   That is Rajkot, the third largest city in the state of Gujarat, after Ahmedabad and Surat. Rajkot was the capital of the Saurashtra State from 15 April 1948 to 31 October 1956, before its merger to Bombay State on 1 November 1956. Rajkot was reincorporated into Gujarat State from May 1, 1960.

Rajkot has the Alfred High School, one of the oldest institutions in India today ~ a school constructed during British rule in India by political agent Kernel Singh. This was the first English school in the saurashtra (region), which was originally called Rajkot English School was founded on October 17, 1853. Mahatma Gandhi had ok his primary education in this school.

Whatever it be, India has hit rock-bottom; England has lost both its tour matches – one to India A and other to Delhi; still whether India can romp home comfortably is moot Q.  The last time England were here on a ODI series they were routed 5-0 – still things are different now.   Results have changed but not the composition of the team. Ajinkya Rahane who showed glimpses of class at England now gets full chance from the bench ~ and he has replaced Virender Sehwag, which to me, should not have happened.  The rest of the composition is almost the same and whether the results would be different remains to be seen.   England's pace battery led by the impressive Steven Finn could pose bigger challenge. The spinner Ashley Giles is their new coach. 

The match is to be played on a debutant Rajkot stadium – crowds have thronged to buy tickets.  This newly built stadium reportedly has no pillars – those who frequented Chepauk of yore would remember how those huge concrete pillars would prevent view in some angle. 

Cricinfo reports that the stadium has come up on a 30-acre portion of agricultural land next to the Jamnagar highway, acquired around 2004.  The cost is said to be around Rs 75 crore.  The complex has two playing fields: the main one inside the stadium, with a 90-yard outfield, and a smaller one outside, with a 70-yard outfield.  The latter is used for outdoor nets, and also for district-level matches.  There are more than 60 hospitality boxes dotting the West Stand and the Pavilion Stand but the SCA has decided against selling them permanently to corporates and will only hire them out for international matches.

so tomorrow, no Sehwag and  Ajinkya Rahane would open alongside Gautam Gambhir who should feel fortunate to be in the side.  Pujara has recently made a double- and a triple-century in his previous two Ranji Trophy games, but it is unlikely that Cheteshwar Pujara will make his ODI debut in front of his hometown fans in Rajkot.  Bowling could be Bhuvi, Ishant, Shami Ahmed with Ashwin, Jadeja and Yuvraj.  Will it be another 300+, remains to be seen.

with regards – S. Sampathkumar.
10th Jan 2013.
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