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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Shift in batting expectations at T20 World Cup.

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After an exciting IPL season filled with incredible scores, Ricky Ponting, the former Australian captain, offers some advice to teams and batters as they prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup in 2024. Ponting anticipates that the pitches, particularly in the West Indies, may become slower as the tournament progresses, which could have an effect on high-scoring matches. With the West Indies and the USA co-hosts, this prediction adds an interesting element to the tournament.

Ponting made some remarks following Sri Lanka's disappointing display against South Africa, which saw them dismissed for a paltry 77 runs. A remarkable display by Anrich Nortje, who took four wickets for just seven runs, shed light on the difficulties that batters encounter on these fresh pitches. Anrich Nortje recorded a staggering total of 127 dot balls, setting a new record for the highest number in a men's T20 World Cup match.

South Africa emerged victorious with a six-wicket win in just 16.4 overs at the recently opened Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, overcoming a challenging chase. Nortje downplayed any worries about the venue, stating that an exciting match doesn't necessarily rely on "20 sixes," while teammate Heinrich Klaasen stressed the importance of combining Test and ODI abilities to adapt to the unpredictable bounce and movement of the drop-in pitch.


Ponting has highlighted the impact of day games on the ball's behaviour. He emphasised that the swing and seam of the ball will require batters to approach their innings with caution and adjust their expectations for scoring. "In the IPL, 240 was considered a typical target." He believes that it is highly improbable in New York, which introduces a new set of challenges.

The ICC is embarking on an ambitious project to construct a cricket stadium in New York. Damian Hough, Adelaide Oval's head curator, has been in charge of preparing four drop-in pitches at the venue. A warm-up match took place between India and Bangladesh on a recently constructed ground.

The US leg will feature half of the 16 matches as day games in New York, including the highly anticipated India versus Pakistan match. Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, emphasised the significance of swiftly adjusting to the unfamiliar conditions, echoing the sentiments expressed by Ponting.

Ponting also talked about the impact of the IPL on expectations, recalling the embarrassing incident where the Kolkata Knight Riders' impressive score of 272 embarrassed the Delhi Capitals. "Scores of 300 are becoming more achievable in the IPL thanks to the remarkable quality of the pitches and the rules that favour power-hitting," he observed. Nevertheless, he emphasised the importance of maintaining fair competition between the teams and encouraging them to be flexible.

In the coming days, Ponting predicts that as the tournament progresses, pitches in the Caribbean may slow down, which could give spinners an advantage. He also expects teams to potentially achieve scores of 200 or more. "The pitches in the Caribbean may have a strong start but could gradually lose pace as the game progresses. "Teams need to be ready for a wide range of conditions," he concluded.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

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