Home » ICC rates pitches for ODI World Cup final, one semifinal as ‘average’ | Cricket News – Times of India

ICC rates pitches for ODI World Cup final, one semifinal as ‘average’ | Cricket News – Times of India

MUMBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given an ‘average’ rating to the pitches for ODI World Cup final between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium and the second semifinal of the tournament between Australia and South Africa at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The final on November 19, played on a used pitch, saw Australia win by six wickets.Choosing to bowl first on a slow and sluggish wicket, they restricted India to 240 in 50 overs, and then reached the target in just 43 overs, with opener Travis Head smashing 137 off 120 balls. In the second semifinal, Australia bowled out South Africa for 212 in 49.4 overs before scampering to the target in 47.2 overs, losing seven wickets.

The pitch rating for the final was given by ICC match referee and former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Pycroft, while the wicket for the second semifinal was rated by ex-India pacer Javagal Srinath.

There were reports that the Australians, led by their captain skipper Pat Cummins, had raised concerns about the wicket for the final, which had been used for the India versus Pakistan tie on October 14 earlier in the World Cup, before the final. In the pre-match presser, though, he termed it as a “pretty good wicket”. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting had said that the pitch prepared by the hosts “backfired on India”.
Overall, in as many as five matches that India were involved in, out of the 11 games that they played in the tournament, the pitch was rated as average by the ICC. Apart from the final, the hosts’ matches against South Africa in Kolkata, vs England in Lucknow, v s Pakistan in Ahmedabad and vs Australia in Chennai saw the pitch being rated as average.

Incidentally, the pitch for the World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium, at the centre of a massive controversy as the hosts had got it changed at the last minute, received a ‘good’ rating. The match, played on a used pitch, saw India race away to 397 for four after choosing to bat first, with the Kiwis making 327 in 48.5 overs in reply.
During the World Cup, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid had lambasted the ICC’s rating of the two pitches involving India’s matches against Australia and Pakistan.
India ‘A’ matches in Ahmedabad
The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is likely to host all the three matches of the England Lions’ (which is the ‘A’ team) ‘shadow tour’ to India in January-February next year. The matches will be played from January 6 to February 5.
“The BCCI has requested us to host the matches. We’ve accepted the board’s request. We are awaiting a final confirmation from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in this regard,” Gujarat Cricket Association secretary Anil Patel told TOI on Thursday.
England ‘A’ will also play a warm-up match at the venue. England will tour India for a five-Test series next year. “The India ‘A’ series was earlier supposed to take place in Mumbai, Pune and Karnataka, but the matches have been shifted to Ahmedabad,” a source said.