The Rose Bowl, Southampton Cricket Ground
The Rose Bowl, currently known as the Ageas Bowl due to its sponsors, is a cricket ground and residential hotel complex in Hampshire, England. The ground was constructed as a replacement for the County Ground located in Southampton. More commonly known as Hampshire Bowl, Southampton, the ground has hosted a variety of international and county level tournaments. The ground is home of Hampshire County Cricket Club since its inauguration back in 2001. A relatively newer ground, this ground has hosted events like 2004 Champions Trophy and two T20 World Cups. The ground will witness a decent number of matches in this year’s WC as well.
Although the ground was constructed in 2001, international cricket found its way to this venue in 2003 when first ODIs were played here. T20I cricket started in 2005 while Test cricket was introduced later on in 2011. Since then, it has witnessed multiple ODI matches whose details are given below:
- ODI Matches: 22
- Seating Capacity: 15000 (25000 with temporary seating)
- Matches won by teams batting first: 12
- Matches won by team batting second: 9
- No Results: 1
Pitch and Weather Review:
Rose Bowl has a balanced pitch suitable for both batting and bowling. This means there’s no advantage for any team in any department. Most top ranked teams except India have strong, balanced squads. India have a more batting-leaned side so they’d prefer a flat track suitable for batting. Nonetheless, the pitch suits both batting and bowling so fans can expect nail-biting contests.
As for the weather conditions, Rose Bowl doesn’t experience too much rain and unlike Asian tracks, dew factor is not an issue here. Light breeze can provide some swing to the bowl but not as much to become a problem for the batsmen.
World Cup Fixtures:
The citizens of Hampshire should consider themselves lucky as they get to witness 5 World Cup matches whose details are given below:
- South Africa vs. India (5th June)
- South Africa vs. West Indies (10th June)
- England vs. West Indies (14th June)
- India vs. Afghanistan (22nd June)
- Bangladesh vs. Afghanistan (24th June)
Perhaps the most interesting match at this venue will be India vs. SA. Statistically speaking, SA have the upper hand on India when it comes to ODIs. But SA are famous for choking at international events. India are a much more successful side when it comes to mega events and they already have two world titles to their name. A clash between them will put fans on the edge of their seats. WI might face their toughest challenges yet as they are scheduled to take on two best ODI sides right now, England and SA. WI have shown some signs of revival when they levelled a 5-match ODI series against England but this revival might be short-lived if they suffer defeats at the WC. Afghanistan are scheduled to play two games as they take on India in their first match here which is tantamount to 2 easy points for India. Defeating Afghanistan will be a piece of cake for India and they’ll be hoping to destroy Afghanistan to boost their net run rate. Afghanistan’s final match at this venue will be against Bangladesh. Bangladesh have much more experience about ICC events as compared to Afghanistan so presumably, Bangladesh will win this face off. All bouts seem one-sided except SA vs. India but if WI perform as they did in the series against England, they may surprise the world as well.
With the WC coming in less than two months, each team is ready to make their mark in the mega event. With uncertainty in the air, no team is currently the favorite for the crown. The teams that were down and out last year have risen from the ashes and proved that they’re as formidable as some top teams. SA vs. India promises to be a good contest but SA have to stop choking at ICC events to ensure they lift the trophy. England may have the home field advantage but WI brought back Chris Gayle in order to score huge runs. Bangladesh might be a little out of shape but they’ve shown that they can beat any team on the given day. The line-up above have some big names but smaller teams like Bangladesh have shocked the world in the past.