Sunil Gavaskar fumes over pitch change controversy, terms it ‘nonsense’

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MUMBAI: Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar brushed off the efforts to take away the credit from team India after the Men in Blue marched into the final with a 70-run victory over New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium.

Before the game started, a foreign media outlet claimed that the pitch was changed after a request was made by the Indian management, which reportedly wanted the pitch to be slower.

Gavaskar didn’t hold back while offering his views on the situation and, while speaking on a sports channel said, “This has been such a good pitch to bat on. We’ve had nearly 730 runs scored here. All those morons who were talking about the pitch being changed and that it would do the Indian bowlers a favour, I hope they will just shut up. Stop taking potshots at India just because it helps you get eyeballs. Nonsense”.

He went on to state that even if the pitch was changed, it was the same surface for both teams throughout the game. According to him if a team is “good enough”, they can play on any pitch and secure victory.

“Even if the pitch was changed, it was there before the toss for both the teams. It wasn’t changed in the mid-innings. It wasn’t changed after the toss was done. The pitch was the same for both teams. You are a good enough team, you play on that pitch and you win. And India has done that. So stop talking about pitches. Already they’re talking about the pitch in Ahmedabad (the venue for the final). The second semi-final hasn’t even taken place, you’re talking about the pitch being changed in Ahmedabad”, Gavaskar added.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) issued a statement earlier regarding the pitch, stating that the ICC independent consultant was made aware of the change.

“Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length and has already happened a couple of times. This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host. The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well”, ICC stated as per ESPNcricinfo.

Coming to the match, India opted to bat first and scored 397/4 in their 50 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma (47 in 29 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubman Gill (80 in 66 balls, with eight fours and three sixes) delivered a fine start with a 71-run opening stand.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell stitched up a partnership to pull the Kiwis back into the game. But Shami’s seven-wicket haul left the Blackcaps without answers and India went on to register 70-run victory.

India’s opposition for the final is yet to be decided as South Africa and Australia square off in the second semifinal at the iconic Eden Gardens on Thursday. (ANI)

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