T20 World Cup: India coach says batters have the tools to solve New York pitch challenge

Published June 6, 2024
India’s Rishabh Pant (C) celebrates his team’s win with teammate Shivam Dube after the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between India and Ireland at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in East Meadow, New York, on June 5, 2024. — AFP
India’s Rishabh Pant (C) celebrates his team’s win with teammate Shivam Dube after the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between India and Ireland at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in East Meadow, New York, on June 5, 2024. — AFP

India’s batters have the skills and experience needed to navigate the challenge of playing on a tricky pitch in New York, batting coach Vikram Rathour said after their Twenty20 World Cup victory over Ireland on Wednesday.

India captain Rohit Sharma led from the front with an impressive half-century to guide his team to an eight-wicket victory over Ireland in their opening group match.

However, batters found it tough going, with the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium’s drop-in pitch offering a lot of movement and bounce, leading to a low-scoring match after Ireland were bundled out for 96 with four overs to spare.

“It was a challenging wicket and we were expecting a challenging wicket because we played a practice game here. So, we knew what to expect,” Rathour told reporters.

“It is what it is. We need to find a way to deal with it and I think we have enough skills in the team and enough experience in the team to deal with it. We should be fine…

“We have enough good batters who can manage to bat well on any kind of surface. I think that has been our strength for many, many years. I think we can adapt really well to different conditions.”

The stadium in New York has seen few runs in the two World Cup games it has hosted so far, with South Africa defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets on Monday after dismissing their Asian opponents for their lowest-ever T20I score of 77.

The pitch has drawn widespread criticism, with former England captain Michael Vaughan saying in a post on social media platform X: “Trying to sell the game in the States is great. Love it.

“But for players to have to play on this substandard surface in New York is unacceptable. You work so hard to make it to the World Cup then have to play on this.”

Former Australia and Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur wrote on X: “This pitch in New York is very poor!”

The next match at the stadium will see Canada taking on Ireland on Friday, before arch-rivals India and Pakistan face off on June 9.

The June 1-29 World Cup is being co-hosted by the United States and West Indies.

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