MUMBAI: In a tactical move ahead of the much-anticipated World Cup semi-final clash against New Zealand, the Indian team management has orchestrated a shift in the pitch dynamics at Wankhede Stadium.
Seeking to leverage their strength on slow tracks, the management, in collaboration with BCCI curators, opted for a trimmed playing surface by shaving off most of the grass.
The strategic decision was communicated after India’s game against the Netherlands in Bengaluru, emphasizing their preference for a slower pitch.
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials confirmed the directive, clarifying that while it won’t be a sharp turner, the request for a deliberate slow track was duly acknowledged.
India’s prowess on slow pitches has been a key factor in their home performance over the years, prompting the team management’s specific request for such playing conditions during the World Cup. Head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma inspected the pitch, ensuring it aligns with their strategy.
Chasing at Wankhede has proven challenging during the tournament, with only one of the four games seeing success for the team batting second.
Rohit Sharma, a local boy, downplayed the toss’s significance, emphasizing his deep understanding of Wankhede’s nuances. As the stage is set for this crucial encounter, India’s calculated move in pitch preparation adds an extra layer of intrigue to the semi-final showdown.