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‘315 Defendable Score, Batting 2nd Will be Difficult’: Heavy Roller Applied on Pitch Ahead of India vs Australia Final – News18

Last Updated: November 17, 2023, 22:42 IST

Rohit Sharma takes a look at the pitch before the final. (AFP Photo)

Andy Atkinson kicked off the pitch switch storm accusing hosts India of making asking for a used surface instead of a fresh one for their semi-final match. 

After the furore over the Wankhede Stadium pitch being switched ahead of the first semi-final match of the ODI World Cup 2023, there were speculations that the ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson could return home ahead of the final match between India and Australia.

However, as per news agency PTI, Atkinson has arrived in Ahmedabad for the summit clash and will check on the preparations for the pitch on which India and Australia will square off for the ODI world title this Sunday.

It was Atkinson who kicked off the pitch switch storm accusing hosts India of making the change – asking for a used surface instead of a fresh one.

It led to ICC clarifying that there’s no such rule of using fresh tracks for the semi-finals and that Atkinson was apprised of the changes in advance.

“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,” the news agency quoted an ICC source as claiming.

The report further quoted that BCCI’s chief of ground staff Ashok Bhowmick, his second-in-command Taposh Chatterjee and BCCI GM (Domestic cricket) Abbey Kuruvilla monitored the preparation of the pitch on Friday.

There’s no clarity if a fresh surface will be used for the final but heavy roller was being deployed on the strip.

“If 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 state association curator was quoted as saying in the report.

India captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid did take a look at the surface and reportedly had a long discussion with Bhowmick and Chatterjee.

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