India vs Pakistan Pitch Report: Do Rohit’s Men Really Have The Edge?


Not many of us might have come out of the shell after what happened in Dallas on June 6. The USA stunned an off-coloured Pakistan side via a Super Over win, which turned out to be one of the biggest upsets in cricket’s history. After that shocking debacle, Babar Azam’s unit is up for another daunting challenge and this time against their arch-rivals India. Their head-to-head battle against the Men in Blue tilts towards the latter though with five wins out of seven games.

Meanwhile, the Rohit Sharma-led India will be entering the contest on the back of a comfortable win against Ireland by eight wickets and what could be more satisfying than skipper Rohit (52 off 37) and Hardik Pandya (3/27) returning to form ahead of a blockbuster outing?

India’s bowling unit looks more confident after the likes of Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, and Pandya have delivered fruitful returns with the ball in their tournament opener. The redemption of Rishabh Pant at No.3 has also allowed Virat Kohli to open the proceedings with Rohit.

Kohli, India’s superstar with the bat, does not need any introduction when it comes to a T20 World Cup match against Pakistan. The 35-year-old has smashed 308 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 132.8 against the Men in Green. Hopefully, if he gets going on Sunday then there’s looking back for Team India.

This time India’s batting has the luxury of four left-hand batters – Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel. Their form with the bat will be the key to India’s success in the lower middle order.

On the other hand, Pakistan have produced sloppy performances in their previous few T20I matches. An away-series loss against England has also exposed their loopholes early in the season. Their old-school style of cricket immediately needs a software update if they want to make a comeback.

Pakistan’s batting led by skipper Babar Azam has been performing in bits and pieces and the ICC tournaments demand positive intent from the batters at the top of the order.

The unpredictable side has also been inconsistent in their team selections. Ahead of the T20 World Cup, they brought back their alumni Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim out of retirement to join their core group. Additionally, they also roped in Usman Khan into their squad, who used to play for UAE earlier.

These comebacks didn’t make a difference either and a struggling Azam Khan also threw challenges to the Pakistan think tank.

Furthermore, the Men in Green have also appointed the South African veteran Gary Kirsten as their T20 coach ahead of the ICC event. However, it is too early to judge Gary as a coach considering he won an ODI World Cup with India in 2011.

Overall, a collective effort from Pakistan can only help them dominate India at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Sunday.

What do the pitches at Nassau County offer?

After three matches so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, only one batter has been able to register a half-century – Rohit Sharma scored 52 against Ireland.

There was excessive seam movement and bounce, batters were getting hit by the ball, and conditions have been anything but standard in New York. These conditions forced India to start with three genuine pacers and two spin-bowling all-rounders in Jadeja and Axar instead of Kuldeep Yadav.

“Looking at the pitch and conditions, we are open to make changes and do what is required at that point, but today was a four-seamer pitch and we still managed to get two spinners, who are all-rounders. It gives us balance heading into the game. It [Pakistan game] is going to be a kind of game where all of us need to contribute,” Rohit said after India humbled Ireland on June 5.

As far as the preparations are concerned, India will prepare for tough batting conditions when they play Pakistan on Sunday. However, this might come as a boon for Pakistani pacers, who have dismantled India’s batting in the past as well.

Who holds the edge this time?

With the Nassau County pitches offering low-scoring encounters, the match-defining battle will be prominently between the batters from both sides. With that in mind, India looks like straight favourites for the Super Sunday contest in New York.

 Rohit Sharma’s India will look to prepare for tough batting conditions when they play Pakistan on Sunday.    

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