T20 World Cup: Hope New York Pitch Provides Good India-Pak Contest, Says Ex England Cricketer

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Former England batting coach Mark Ramprakash said he is hoping the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York dishes out a pitch which is conducive for a good contest between India and Pakistan on Sunday. Concerns have been huge over the unpredictable nature of pitch at the venue specifically made for the T20 World Cup games in New York, which have produced excessive swing and uneven bounce, with batters struggling to play big shots. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 77 by South Africa, while India dismissed Ireland for 96.

On Friday, Canada made 137/7 and then bowled restricted Ireland to 125/7 on a pitch where India-Ireland clash was played previously. With Sunday set to see New York host the highly-anticipated India-Pakistan face-off, what would be the nature of the pitch is on everyone’s mind.

“The USA’s stunning victory over Pakistan on Thursday has given this World Cup an upset for the ages – now it’s time for the game’s established giants to really bring it to life. This weekend sees two of the sport’s great rivalries renewed with England playing Australia on Saturday and Pakistan, now fighting to stay in the tournament, facing India on Sunday.”

“If the matches we have seen so far are any indication, they will be completely contrasting games, with England’s in Barbados, a familiar and often high-scoring ground, and India’s in the new pop-up stadium near New York, where batting has so far proved very difficult indeed. That is recognised now as the biggest game in global cricket and I expect it to be another very exciting occasion – I just hope we get a surface conducive to a good contest,” wrote Ramprakash in his column for The Guardian.

He also thinks Pakistan’s batting struggles in their shocking defeat to co-hosts USA puts them more under pressure to perform in New York as compared to India’s batting line-up. “India and Pakistan have bowlers who can make the most of these conditions, but Pakistan’s struggles against the USA suggest the same is not true of their batters.”

“In Babar Azam and Virat Kohli both sides have players of absolute world class who can come in and play a more traditional type of innings. Where India look to have the edge is in power hitting, with Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Shivam Dube all high-class options. Pakistan looked poor in their two recent games in England and even worse against the USA, and need others to support Fakhar Zaman with that style of play.”

Ramprakash also questioned the selection of wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan, who has been struggling for form of late and has been fat-shamed on social media, and believes whoever keeps their head calm for executing their skills will win Sunday’s high-octane clash at New York.

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“They have taken a risk on Azam Khan, who has an international T20 average of only 8.80 but brings potentially useful – if not in this particular match – experience from the Caribbean Premier League. Whether his game will be suited to a quick New York pitch that requires lightning reactions is for Pakistan to consider; the way Mark Wood dismissed him at the Oval last week, with a fast bouncer into the body, suggests he may struggle.”

“This is an occasion for sharp skills and calm heads, a real one-off, and both sides will be considering the type of cricketers they select for this game and whether those individuals can be successful on this particular surface,” he concluded.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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