BCCI’s chief of groundstaff Ashish Bhowmick led the pitch preparations on Friday, ordering in a heavy roller that could slow down the pitch for World Cup final.
Get ready for another pitch controversy for the Cricket World Cup final. With Australian media already gung-ho about pitches in India, it was an Indian curator who led the charge for preparing the Ahmedabad pitch for IND vs AUS World Cup 2023 final. And unexpectedly, BCCI’s chief of groundstaff Ashish Bhowmick ordered the heavy roller that would slow down the black-soil surface further on Sunday.
BCCI’s chief of ground staff Ashish Bhowmick along with his associate Taposh Chatterjee apart from BCCI’s General Manager for Domestic Cricket Abbey Kuruvilla monitored the pitch preparations.
Why there was no ICC representative? As per a PTI report, ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson arrived only on Friday evening and will oversee proceedings on Saturday.
“Andy hasn’t gone back home. He has come with ICC delegation today afternoon and hence didn’t come to the ground. He will be available tomorrow to check on the preparation of the track,” PTI cited a source on conditions of anonymity.
Andy Atkinson is not BCCI’s favourite. He accused BCCI of changing the pitch for the India vs New Zealand semifinal.
However, while he said BCCI was trying to slow down the pitch, it turned out to be a run-fest. India and New Zealand amassed a total of 724 runs in the crunch-clash. India came out as the winner with a 70-run margin.
Slow Ahmedabad pitch?
With heavy roller on the Ahmedabad pitch for the IND vs AUS World Cup final, it is likely to be on the slower side. So far, Ahmedabad has seen chasing teams winning comfortably barring one. Only Australia won batting first against England in the league stage.
So far, 283 has been the highest score at the Narendra Modi Stadium in the England vs New Zealand first match. With England posting 282, New Zealand chased down the target comfortably in just 36.2 overs.
- Match 1: England 282/9 (50) vs New Zealand 283/1 (36.2)
- Match 2: Pakistan 191 (42.5) vs India 192/3 (30.3)
- Match 3: Australia 286 (49.3) vs ENG 253 (48.1)
- Match 4: Afghanistan 244 (50) vs South Africa 247/5 (47.3)
However, as per local curators, the Ahmedabad pitch will be slow if a heavy roller is used. And if the team batting first scores 300 or more, it will be a defendable total.
“If a heavy roller is being used on a black soil strip then the idea is to create a slow batting track where you can get a big score but you possibly can’t consistently hit through the line. 315 could be a defendable score as batting second will be difficult,” a Gujarat state curator told PTI.