New Delhi: Ahead of India's must-win encounter against Australia, the team management has opted for a strategy that backfired against New Zealand in the World Twenty20 opener in Nagpur.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, pitch for Sunday’s match in Mohali was altered at the request of the host team.
“The game was scheduled to be played on a pitch which would have played similar to the one that was used for the Pakistan-Australia match. But India weren’t happy and have now requested a change. Now, the pitch that they have chosen will assist spin and maybe inconsistent bounce,” an official told HT.
Interestingly, pitches for such tournaments are prepared by an ICC-appointed curator. Hence this move comes as a surprise.
So far the Mohali track has produced big totals, with New Zealand scoring 180 and Australia more than 190.
No comments were offered by Daljit Singh, Punjab Cricket Association curator and BCCI pitch committee chairman, with regards to Indian team management's request.
“You have seen what happened during last year’s Test against South Africa. PCA is known for its quick wicket. But the highest total in that match was 201 by India in the first innings. Moreover, the same pitch will be used for the women’s match between India and West Indies before India take on Australia. There will definitely be some wear and tear. The pitch is likely to slow down in the evening,” a PCA official said.
Against New Zealand, the Men in Blue failed to counter Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner on a turning Nagpur track.
Similarly on a slow track at Eden Gardens, the famed Indian batting line-up looked uncomfortable.
Hence it would be interesting to see how the team fares against Adam Zampa, the Aussie leg-spinner who has been impressive in the tournament.