The Cricket World Cup semi-final witnessed a controversy right before the match between India and New Zealand, as accusations of the pitch being swapped at the last minute were made at the Board of Control for Cricket India. The match turned out to be a high-scoring contest, with India emerging victorious. The second semi-final also saw a used pitch being deployed for the contest between Australia and South Africa. After the Aussies won the game by the barest of margins, pacer Mitchell Starc had a cheeky take on the pitch for the final.
Australia didn’t look at their best chasing a mediocre target of 213 runs. They lost 7 wickets in the process of the run-chase. When Starc was asked if he was concerned about the final, considering the nature of the run-chase against South Africa, he gave a rather cheeky response
“I guess we’ll find out when we get to Ahmedabad tomorrow and see if it’s a fresh wicket or an old wicket,” Starc said, in a cheeky manner.
In the press conference, Starc was also asked about the nature of the pitch at the Eden Gardens.
“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.
When asked if it was a surprise to have played on a pitch that really didn’t ‘showcase the one-day game’ in a tourament that has seen so many runs being scored in the league stage, Starc said that he isn’t an expert to read pitches.
“Yeah, I’m certainly not going to say I’m one to read pitches and know what they do. I mean training here the last few days, the practice wicket certainly turned a lot. From all reports I think the wicket we played on has been used a few times so no surprise that it did turn. Probably a little surprising that it did seam around a little bit whilst I said before it was pretty inconsistent pace wise, I think average first inning scores here have been sort of around 300 mark or a little bit higher. So yeah, a little bit surprising but you know sometimes it’s nice to see ball dominate bat sometimes,” he asserted.
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