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T20 World Cup: ‘To play well, you need good surfaces’, Ireland coach criticises New York pitch after India loss

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T20 World Cup: ‘To play well, you need good surfaces’, Ireland coach criticises New York pitch after India loss

New York, June 6 (IANS) Ireland head coach Heinrich Malan criticised the pitch for their T20 World Cup Group A match against India, stating that a good playing surface is crucial, but the recent games at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium haven’t met that standard.

Malan’s comments come after India won the match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium by eight wickets after they bowled Ireland out for just 96, with the pitch having excessive swing and variable bounce, which was uneven on various occasions in the game.

“When you play the game you need a really good surface or as good as surfaces you can get and unfortunately what we’ve seen over the last couple games just doesn’t necessarily live up to that. So hopefully, over the next day or so it can hopefully flatten out a little bit and we can see some good cricket come Friday,” he said in the post-match press conference.

On Monday, at his venue, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 77, as South Africa won the match on a challenging pitch. Wednesday’s match will bring more scrutiny to the pitches at New York, especially with Ireland to face Canada here on Friday and India facing Pakistan in a high-octane clash on Sunday.

“I think we just want to see good cricket, don’t we? It’s the pinnacle of our event and it doesn’t have to be 200 play all the time, it just needs to be an equal contest and I think if you look at today it is debatable where that was,” added Malan.

India’s fast-bowlers, led by Hardik Pandya’s 3-27, blew away Ireland by picking eight wickets collectively. Ireland struggled to adapt and alter their batting plans on a tough pitch. Only Gareth Delany managed to top-score with 26 and was involved in partnerships of 27 and 19 for the ninth and tenth wickets, respectively.

“When we were finding it really tough, we were talking about if we can get to 130-140 and if we can back that up in the execution of our skills from a bowling point of view that’s probably, we were looking at to try and get to at one stage.

“If you look at the way they bowled up front, it was obviously pretty challenging. We had to change our game plan a couple of times and unfortunately it just didn’t go the way we wanted it to work out. Mike Tyson said any game plan change, you get punched in the face, and I think there was some serious bowling out there.

“They’ve got three or four serious quick bowlers which we’ve seen over a period of time who can perform at this level and look, we communicated well. But it’s one thing talking about it and another thing executing it under pressure when there’s some quality that’s coming down at you,” stated Malan.

He signed off by saying Ireland did as much homework on the pitches behaviour in New York, but that didn’t help them in getting the better of India. “We tried to do as much homework as we could even though we weren’t at the ground training or playing on the surface.

“We spoke to the groundsman; the scores were totally different in that warm-up game that was played on that surface. So, we weren’t necessarily expecting it to behave like it did, but again we’ve got to be better with our execution of our skills and that’s obviously something we’ll reflect on.”


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