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T20 world cup

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Spotlight on Nassau County track as world gets ready for India-Pakistan blockbuster

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PTI

New York, June 8

A confident India would look to capitalise on an unpredictable Pakistan’s vulnerable state and lack of familiarity with the tricky conditions here when the traditional rivals lock horns in their eagerly-awaited T20 World Cup clash tomorrow.

Kohli vs Amir

Amir has bowled 19 deliveries to Kohli in T20Is with 12 being dot balls. Kohli has scored 16 runs, including three boundaries, at a strike-rate of 84.21

The marquee game, which is expected to draw the biggest crowd of the tournament so far, will be held at the newly constructed 34,000-seater Nassau County International Cricket Stadium at the Eisenhower Park on the outskirts of the city. Heading into this high-profile contest, the 22-yard pitch remains a major talking point, having already faced significant criticism for its unpredictability, which the ICC has officially acknowledged.

In the six innings of the three matches hosted at the stadium so far, teams have surpassed the 100-run mark only twice. Some former players have wondered whether the low-scoring conditions would be of any help in selling cricket to the American market through the showpiece.

The four drop-in pitches at the venue, laid in April under the supervision of Adelaide Oval groundsman Damian Hough, are yet to settle down properly. The uneven bounce of the surface has also raised safety concerns for the batters, especially after Rohit Sharma was hit on his shoulder, forcing him to stop batting during the tournament-opener against Ireland on June 5.

“I don’t know what to expect from the pitch to be honest. We will prepare as if the conditions are going to be like this (for Pakistan game). This is going to be a kind of game where all XI of us will need to contribute,” Rohit had said after the game against Ireland.

Pakistan, however, are yet to acclimatise to the conditions at the Nassau Stadium. They arrived in New York on Thursday night following their shocking defeat to debutants USA and took the next day off. As a result, Babar Azam and his squad have had limited time to adjust to these challenging conditions, which could be a disadvantage heading into this crucial encounter. And a defeat against India could significantly complicate their qualification prospects.

Babar blamed the loss primarily on bowlers but what he cannot afford to overlook is the underwhelming performance of the team’s batters, including himself. The captain consumed 43 deliveries for his 44, which is nowhere close to being a decent strike-rate in the shortest format. He would be hoping to do better.

#Cricket #New York #Pakistan


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