The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given an average rating to the pitches used for the ODI World Cup 2023 Final, between India and Australia in Ahmedabad, and the semi-final between Australia and South Africa at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
According to Times of India, ICC match referee Andy Pycroft rated the track for the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium while the pitch in Kolkata was rated by former India pacer Javagal Srinath.
Pitch used for the final
The ICC World Cup 2023 final was played on a used pitch which saw Australia defeat India by 6 wickets and lift the trophy for the 6th time. Choosing to bowl first on a sluggish Ahmedabad wicket, the Aussies restricted India to a below-par 240 in 50 overs. In reply, Travis Head smashed a match-winning 137 off 120 balls as the Pat Cummins-led side chased down the target in just 43 overs.
Several reports claimed that the Australians raised a concern about the Ahmedabad track in the final which was used for the India vs Pakistan face-off on October 14. Though captain Cummins termed it a ‘pretty good wicket’ in the pre-match presser, former captain Ricky Ponting stated that the pitch prepared by the hosts ‘backfired’.
The strip at Eden Gardens
The second semi-final between Australia and South Africa turned out to be a low-scoring affair. The Aussies bowled out the Proteas for 212 in 49.4 overs and then, finished the tricky chase in 47.2 overs after losing 7 wickets.
Most of the pitches received an average rating
The Times of India report stated that the pitches used in 5 out of 11 games of Team India received an average rating by the ICC. Apart from the final, the games against England in Lucknow, vs Pakistan in Ahmedabad, vs South Africa in Kolkata and vs Australia in Chennai saw the tracks being rated average.
Wankhede track for semi-final 1 rated good
The Wankhede track, which was eventually surrounded by controversy, has been rated ‘good’. It saw India putting in a mammoth total of 397 with Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer smashing centuries. The second innings also witnessed an 181-run stand between New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and all-rounder Daryl Mitchell before Mohammed Shami registered the best bowling figures – 7/57 – by an Indian in ODIs.