World Cup final: As the anticipation for the World Cup final between India and Australia builds, discussions surrounding the pitch in Ahmedabad have taken center stage.
The focus is on understanding the pitch’s temperament, especially after ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson expressed his ‘unhappiness’ with the semi-final match between India and New Zealand in Mumbai. Atkinson reportedly remarked that the semi-final was played ‘first on a fresh pitch and later on a used pitch.’
However, the ICC clarified the situation, stating that such instances have occurred in the past as well. Amidst the speculation, reports suggest that Atkinson was not present in Ahmedabad until 48 hours before the final, adding another layer to the discussion.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin says, “Match tickets are fully sold. Even I didn’t get the ticket. If I get it, I will surely go and watch the match. Like everyone, even I am excited about the match.”
ICC World Cup | Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin says, "Match tickets are fully sold. Even I didn't get the ticket. If I get it, I will surely go and watch the match. Like everyone, even I am excited about the match."#INDvsAUSfinal pic.twitter.com/NPAbAgAZcO— ANI (@ANI) November 18, 2023
Sources indicate that Atkinson arrived in Ahmedabad on Friday evening and is expected to be on the field on Saturday, engaging in discussions about the crucial match.
On the eve of the final, senior BCCI ground staff, including Ashish Bhowmik and Taposh Chatterjee, along with BCCI Domestic Cricket GM Abhay Kuruvilla, closely monitored the pitch preparations. Indian captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid also visited to inspect the wicket and interact with the ground staff.
Addressing the pitch conditions, reports suggest that a heavy roller was employed on the pitch on Friday. According to a curator from the state unit, if a heavy roller is used on a black soil strip, it indicates an attempt to create a slow batting track, allowing for significant scores but posing challenges for consistent hitting.
The curator explained, “If the team batting first scores 315 runs on such a pitch, then it can be a winnable score. Here, the team batting later may face problems.