Former New Zealand fast-bowler Mitchell McClenaghan has come up with an interesting take on the pitch controversy ahead of the World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand.
The high-flying hosts and the Black Caps will clash in the first semifinal, a rematch of last edition’s semifinal. The huge clash is set to be played at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. And ahead of the match, the pitch has become a major talking point. According to reports, the BCCI has decided to change the playing surface at the last moment to suit Team India.
British news outlet The Daily Mail has reported that the ICC and the BCCI had agreed that the match will be played on the pitch. The match was reportedly set to be played on pitch No.7 which has not been used in the World Cup so far. However, the BCCI has decided to conduct the match on pitch No.6 which has already been used for two league games.
“But a WhatsApp message circulated on Tuesday to a group of more than 50 BCCI and ICC officials confirmed that the first semi-final had been moved to pitch No. 6, which has already staged games between England and South Africa, plus India and Sri Lanka,” the Mail said.
Mitchell McClenaghan on pitch controversy:
Many believe that the BCCI took this step to favor India’s spinners and neutralize the threat of New Zealand pacers. However, former Black Caps star Mitchell McClenaghan suggests that the BCCI’s decision could, in fact, play into the hands of New Zealand.
He took to X to state that the wicket will suit his country as it will take India’s in-form pacers out of the game. He also backed left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner to be the best performer with the ball, writing: “Wickets playing right into New Zealanders hands, India’s seamers have been outstanding and this will take them out of the game.”
Wickets playing right into New Zealanders hands, India’s seamers have been outstanding and this will take them out of the game.
Santner man of the match.
— Mitchell McClenaghan (@Mitch_Savage) November 15, 2023
Team India are eyeing their third World Cup title and first since 2011. India have also not made it to the final since 2011 and will be desperate to do it in the ongoing tournament.