Bangalore, happy hunting ground for Pakistanis?

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Bangalore, Dec 7 (UNI) The newly laid wicket at M Chinnaswamy stadium here, where traditional rivals India and Pakistan clash in the crucial third and final test from tomorrow, is billed as one of the best test pitches in the country, testimony to which is the fact that eight of the previous nine tests played here have produced a result.

For Pakistan, which has been at the receiving end in the current tour losing the one-day series and trailing 0-1 in the test series, this ground had been their favourite in this country as they have not lost any of the four matches they have played so far.

While Pakistan won the previous two outings in 1986-87 and 2004-05, India had the dubious distinction of being dismissed for the lowest score of 116 during 86-87. In contrast, Pakistan had hit their highest total against India in this ground, amassing 570 during the 04-05 tour.

For Rahul Dravid, known as the most successful Indian batsman on foreign soil, his home pitch had little to offer so far. He had gone past the 50 run-mark just once in five test matches and had a disappointing average of 18.33 here.

However, the other local lad and Indian skipper Anil Kumble had met with better success, picking up 35 wickets from seven matches at an average of 30.85, with the best effort being six for 98. He also picked up his 400th wicket on this ground.

Kumble said that going out for the toss tomorrow morning would remain in his heart for a long time. ''There is nothing like winning the toss tomorrow. Our plan is simple. Bat first, pile up 600 runs and take 20 wickets,'' he had said during a function two days ago.

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