Rohit Sharma Questions Pitch Conditions Despite India’s Win Over Ireland

New York, June 6, 2024: India captain Rohit Sharma expressed his displeasure with the inconsistent bounce of the new drop-in pitch at Nassau County ground, which left him with a bruised right bicep. Despite India securing an easy victory over Ireland, the challenging conditions have made Rohit reconsider the team selection strategy for the upcoming T20 World Cup clash against Pakistan on Sunday.

During the post-match presentation, Rohit admitted that including four spinners in the 15-man squad may not be practical if the pitches in the tournament are similar to the one in New York. “Yeah, just a little sore (the arm). I said it at the toss as well. Quite unsure of what to expect from the pitch. Not aware of what it is to play like on a pitch that’s five months old,” Rohit commented with a straight face.

Rohit scored 52 off 37 balls before retiring hurt after being struck on the bicep by a delivery from Ireland pacer Josh Little that bounced unexpectedly. The variable bounce seemed to bother him, as he noted, “I don’t think the wicket settled down even when we batted second. There was enough for the bowlers.”

India’s pace attack thrived in these conditions, bowling out Ireland for 96 in 16 overs. Rohit praised his bowlers, saying, “Try to hit those lengths consistently. That’s what pretty much what you have got to do. All these guys have played a lot of Test cricket. Arshdeep is the only guy who hasn’t. His two wickets upfront set the tone for us.”

However, Rohit expressed doubts about the necessity of four spinners in New York and possibly in the West Indies. “Don’t think we can play four spinners here (laughs). When we picked the team, we wanted to have the balance. If conditions are there for seamers, we wanted to have that. Spin will play a part later on (West Indies).”

Looking ahead to the game against Pakistan, Rohit remained uncertain about the pitch conditions. “I don’t know what to expect from the pitch to be honest. We will prepare as if the conditions are going to be like this (for Pakistan game). This is going to be a kind of game where all XI of us will need to contribute.” Reflecting on his own innings, he added, “It was scratchy, but good to spend some time in the middle and understand what kind of shots to play there.”

Jasprit Bumrah, who took 2/6 in 3 overs, welcomed the bowler-friendly conditions. “Coming from India, with the ball seaming around, I wouldn’t complain when there’s help for bowlers. In this format, you have to adapt to the conditions, you have to be proactive,” he said. “Trying to stick to the plans and trying to go back to what has worked for me. You always want to cover all the bases in these conditions. You got to be prepared, very happy with the outing today.”

Ireland captain Paul Stirling acknowledged India’s dominant performance. “We needed to put a bit of pressure back on the Indian bowlers. They didn’t really miss that often. Their groupings and lengths were outstanding.”

As India gears up for the high-stakes match against Pakistan, the team will need to adapt quickly to the varying pitch conditions and make strategic adjustments to maintain their winning momentum.

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