India At T20 World Cup: Team Has Experience And Skills To Tackle NY Pitch, Asserts Rathour

The batters' plight on the pitch in New York, combined with a substandard outfield, has led to two low-scoring games

Team India defeated Ireland in just 12.2 overs and chased down the target of 97 runs. Photo: BCCI

India have enough experience and skills to deal with the Nassau County ground's "challenging" pitch, which has caused concern with its uneven bounce, said batting coach Vikram Rathour but he also conceded that toss becomes crucial in such conditions. (More Cricket News)

Skipper Rohit Sharma had to curb his attacking instincts in a high-quality 52 during India's eight-wicket thrashing of Ireland in their T20 World Cup opener here on Wednesday. Rohit was forced to retire hurt shortly after copping a blow to his right bicep off Josh Little.

Rishabh Pant was also hit on his left elbow during his 36 not out, another indication that the pitch had uneven bounce with variable movement.

"(We are) trying to control the controllable. It was a challenging wicket and we were expecting a challenging wicket because we played a practice game here so we knew what to expect," Rathour said in the post-match press conference.

"We need to find a way to deal with it and we have enough skills in the team and enough experience in the team to deal with it. We should be fine," the former India opener said.

While conceding that winning the toss becomes vital in such conditions, he was not sure of a good first-innings total.

"The toss is crucial in conditions like these but fortunately, we won the toss so it was a great start, but you again can't control that. Even if we lose the toss and we have to bat first, we still need to find ways to deal with the situation and the pitch," he said.

"As many as we can get. I'm not going to put any number to that. We need to bat well and maximise whatever we can get. Whatever you can get," Rathour added.

The batters' plight on the pitch in New York, combined with a substandard outfield, has led to two low-scoring games.

After Sri Lanka were shot out for their lowest T20I score of 77, South Africa needed more than 16 overs to overhaul the target and also lost four wickets in the process.

The Irish batters, put in to bat by India, also struggled against high-quality bowling to be shot out for a mere 96.

With India slated to play two more matches here including the blockbuster clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday, Rathour expressed confidence in the team's batting group to find ways of getting runs.

"We have enough good batters who can manage to bat well on any kind of surface — that has been our strength for many, many years," he said.

At the same time, despite having spent the longest time among all batters on Wednesday, Rohit was not sure what to make of the pitch.

"...(I am) quite unsure of what to expect from the pitch," Rohit said at the presentation ceremony.

Rathour, however, mentioned that adaptability would be the key in such a scenario.

"We can adapt really well to different conditions and on this surface you really need to adapt well and take it head-on and not worry about it too much," he said.

Asked if the game can be promoted effectively in America's unexplored market with low-scoring matches likes the ones witnessed so far, Rathour said having new tracks was always going to make things a little difficult.

The track being used here was flown in from Adelaide.

"I am sure it has been challenging for the curators or for ICC to create something here in the past 6-7 months or whatever time they have taken. It was never going to be easy," he said.