In the build-up to the highly anticipated semi-final clash between India and New Zealand at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, speculations were rife regarding a pivotal factor that could tip the scales – the pitch. Whispers in the cricketing corridors suggested a switch from a fresh pitch to a used pitch in a purported move to favor the home team. As the cricketing saga unfolded, India emerged victorious, but not without stirring the pot of controversy. The 2nd semi-final, featuring South Africa and Australia at the Eden Gardens, added fuel to the fire by also being contested on a used pitch. This sets the stage for a gripping final showdown between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19.
Mitchell Starc Takes A Sly Dig At The Ahmedabad Pitch For The World Cup 2023 Final
Post the semi-final clash, Australian pace sensation, Mitchell Starc, couldn’t resist taking a sly dig at the pitch for the upcoming final. In a characteristic cheeky manner, Starc remarked, “I guess we’ll find out when we get to Ahmedabad tomorrow and see if it’s a fresh wicket or an old wicket.” The subtle jibe underscored the uncertainties surrounding the playing surface, hinting at potential challenges for the teams.
Starc went on to dissect the characteristics of the pitch, shedding light on its bare nature. According to his observations, the wicket presented a unique challenge, with inconsistencies in pace making it a formidable battleground. He suggested that the initial overs were particularly demanding for batsmen, possibly due to the pitch being under covers for an undisclosed duration. Despite some lateral movement with a hint of nip and swing, the disparities in pace posed challenges during the initial 10 overs.
Acknowledging the toughness of the pitch, Starc commended his teammate, Josh Hazlewood, for his stellar performance and mastery in exploiting the pitch conditions. Referring to Josh’s pitch map, Starc emphasized the effectiveness of strategic bowling, especially in Test matches. He lauded Josh’s incredible contribution, highlighting the pivotal role played during the power play and the subsequent momentum carried through the middle overs. This, according to Starc, mirrored the ideal way to commence matches, particularly in high-stakes encounters.
“Yeah, it was obviously pretty bare wicket. I’m not sure if it was slightly tougher to start with the bat due to being under covers for some amount of time, I’m not sure how long. We probably saw it was very, very inconsistent pace whilst it did probably nip a little bit, there was a little bit of swing. I think the inconsistencies made it tough to bat on with that first 10 overs that we bowled. So, I think looking at Josh’s pitch map, that’s what he does so well in Test match bowling. He was incredible today and the way we run off each other to have that power play that we did and carry some momentum through the middle was how we want to start matches so it was nice to do it in a big game,” he said.
With India set to face Australia in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, the focus intensifies on how the pitch dynamics will influence the outcome. Both teams will undoubtedly scrutinize the playing surface, aiming to formulate strategies that exploit any perceived weaknesses. As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the final showdown, the controversy surrounding the pitch adds an intriguing layer to an already highly anticipated match.