IND Vs PAK, T20 World Cup: 'Even The Curator Was Confused' - Rohit Slams New York Pitch

India vs Pakistan: India captain Rohit Sharma slammed the New York pitch ahead of their clash against Pakistan. Sharma has said that he spoke to the curators, who themselves had no clue how the pitch would behave on match-day. But what's wrong with New York's pitch, read more to know

Rohit Sharma in Press Conference. AP Photo
Indian T20 cricket team's captain Rohit Sharma gestures during a press conference AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

With less than a day left for the much-anticipated clash between cricketing rivals India and Pakistan in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has slammed New York's controversial pitch, calling it "confusing". (More Cricket News)

"New York is not our home ground. We have played two matches here but we don't have much awareness about its nature. It behaves differently on different days, so even the curator is confused," Rohit said on the eve of the game against Pakistan.

The rivalry between India and Pakistan extends far beyond mere geographical proximity, particularly when it comes to cricket. Whenever they face off, especially in events like the World Cup, anticipation reaches fever pitch.

This was evident during Rohit Sharma's press conference ahead of the India vs Pakistan match, and anticipation surrounding this clash.

Pakistan will be coming into the match against India with a lot of pressure. The Babar Azam-led side slumped to an embarrassing loss against United States in Super Over. It was a result that led to massive criticism both from fans and experts.

However, the big topic of conversation at the press conference was the drop-in pitch in New York.

"In this New York pitch, you don't feel that you can just go and play freely or swing your bat the way you do, uh, in the other venues. So yeah, you got to be mindful. That's where I think. I want to use my experience and play," Sharma said.

However, the Indian skipper said such external factors can be neutralised by playing good cricket and his teammates often thrive in tough situations. The Indians will also be the more confident unit as Pakistan are coming off stunning loss to tournament debutants USA in their lung-opener.

"It's the World Cup so nothing can get bigger than this. The blows can be secondary and putting the team's cause comes first," said Rohit.

Recently, during the India vs Ireland match, which was held at the same venue in New York, Indian captain Rohit Sharma retired hurt after scoring a half-century in their opening fixture of the T20 World Cup. Rohit was struck on the upper arm by a delivery from Josh Little in the ninth over of the chase. Despite the injury, he hit the next two balls for six before walking off, having scored 52 off 37 balls in extremely challenging batting conditions.

After the match, which India won by eight wickets, Rohit stated, he was "just a little sore" during the post-match presentation.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) acknowledged the issues with the pitch and admitted that the pitches used at the New York venue for the T20 World Cup have not been up to standard on Thursday. They promised that the ground staff would try to "remedy" ongoing problems with the drop-in pitches at its showcase ground in New York.

But what is wrong with the pitch at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium?

The international debut of Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York has been troubled. Completed by the ICC in five months to host T20 World Cup matches, the stadium's drop-in pitches have faced heavy criticism for their variable and sometimes dangerous bounce. No team has scored over 100 in the first two matches, and both players and the ICC agree that the pitches have not been ideal for T20 cricket.

Damian Hough, the head curator at Adelaide Oval, who oversaw the creation of the drop-in pitches for the New York project, explained that typically, strips require a high clay content to ensure good pace and bounce.

Reportedly, Hough noticed lines of grass sprouting in the cracks in some spots on the pitch, which he suspected could have contributed to the uneven bounce that troubled batters during the South Africa vs Sri Lanka and India vs Ireland matches. Additionally, overcast conditions contributed to the exaggerated sideways movement and the swing generated by the fast bowlers due to the moisture.