Kochi, Apr 4 (UNI) The sweltering heat and high humidity will be a key factor in the fourth ODI between India and England to be played here on April six and batting first will most likely be the wise thing in these conditions.
More than the quality of the pitch in New Delhi, Faridabad and Goa, which had generated much 'heat', it is the searing sun, which may be the deciding factor in the outcome of the match.
By the time the clock touches 12 noon, the mercury level reaches close to 40 deg C, with humidity nearing 90 per cent.
Curator P V Ramachandran says the wise thing would be to bat first under these conditions, which would be tougher on the Englishmen rather than the Indians.
''Though the Indians are used to playing in such extremely hot and humid conditions, it will really be difficult for the depleted and inexperienced England side (already handicapped by the absence of big names like Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan).'' In essence, the toss would be more crucial for the visitors than the home team, which has successfully chased a 300-plus target here.
Such are the conditions here that special permission was given to bring in chairs to allow the batsmen to sit during the drinks break in the last ODI between India and Pakistan last year.
If one goes by Ajay Jadeja's version, who experienced the weather conditions here during his two big knocks in 1998 and 2000, England would find the going difficult and energy depleting.
''If England fields first, by 35th over their bowlers will be exhausted, which will affect them physically,'' felt an official.
Adds a wit, some IV fluids should be kept on hand to deal with dehydration.
UNI GV DH HT2008