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T20 World Cup | 'Real litmus test': Sidhu on Nassau Stadium pitches

The surfaces at the Nassau County International Stadium have come under the scanner after the first couple of games saw less-than-ideal conditions on offer.
Last Updated : 07 June 2024, 18:35 IST
Last Updated : 07 June 2024, 18:35 IST

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New York: Navjot Singh Sidhu believed that batters should buck up and get used to what the pitches in America have to offer, and not let them get into their heads.

The surfaces at the Nassau County International Stadium have come under the scanner after the first couple of games saw less-than-ideal conditions on offer.

Besides plenty of swing in the air, even when bowlers attempted to bowl with a cross seam, there was plenty of deviation of the surface. Worse, the ball was either kicking up abruptly or staying low occasionally.

Under these circumstances, the two games at the venue are yet to see a total of more than 100 runs. It didn’t help either that some of the players were clipped on their bodies.

In the aftermath of India’s opening game against Ireland, the International Cricket Council admitted in a press release that they were not happy with the surface themselves and will be looking to remedy it in the days to come.

It’s unsure how or what they can do this late, but India’s next game at the venue is against Pakistan, and the stakes are high so a below-par pitch will earn the ire of the cricketing community.

“First of all, cricket coming to America is a boon to the world of cricket,” said Sidhu at an event organised by Star Sports on Friday. “As for the pitch, it takes 3-4 months for the undulation on a new pitch to disappear, you have to water it, play matches on it and roll it consistently. They did not have time but they were very efficient in getting this pitch laid in a short space of time.

“This is the first time we’re seeing the ball dominate. So, what is the worry here? This is the real litmus test. Yes, it is tough to bat but take it as a challenge,” he added.

Sidhu also opined that India hold the advantage against Pakistan because they’re more familiar with the conditions. India had also played a warm-up game against Bangladesh at the same venue

"On their day, Pakistan can beat the best in the world, but there are other factors to consider. Pakistan has just lost to the US, the mental scars will remain,” said Sidhu. “Pakistan will also have to adjust to conditions at this venue. The Indian team has already played two games here, but Pakistan has not played a single game. Adjusting to this pitch will not be easy. There are undulations on this pitch, this will play on the mind of batters.”

Harbhajan Singh, who was the other player on the dais besides L Balaji at the event, dove into what has stopped India from winning an ICC trophy for over a decade.

“I think they cramp up when it comes to the knockouts,” said the former India spinner. “If you look at the 50-over World Cup too, that’s what happened. They were brilliant until the final, and then they played with fear. Their body language was so bad.”

“Generally, you cannot be thinking about winning the World Cup, you must think about it as just another game and get on with your job. That’s how winning is done,” he added.

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Published 07 June 2024, 18:35 IST

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