T20 WC: Even conditions for both teams in day games, says RP Singh

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 31, 2024 IST

Team India

New Delhi, May 31: India have been playing Day and Night their white ball international games and World Cup matches for last couple of years. 

But in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, with 28 games scheduled to be played in day time, former India left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh says, both teams are likely to get similar playing conditions.

The T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA will see 28 out of 55 games being played as day matches, including India's all four league stage fixtures. 

RP Singh believes having games in the morning will even out the conditions for both teams as dew won't come into consideration. 

India will play their only warm-up against Bangladesh on June 1, before opening their tournament campaign against Group A opponents Ireland on June 5 at the 34,000-seat modular Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, followed by clashes against Pakistan, USA, and Canada.

This will be a huge shift for India in terms of playing day matches in the T20 World Cup as they have predominantly played their games in the showpiece event in the evening, which Singh believes will also have an impact on the tournament scoring rate, compared to huge scores being posted in IPL 2024.

"Firstly, Impact Player is not there (in this World Cup). Plus, circumstances are really different, and if it's a slow wicket like we saw last year in Miami (when India played two T20Is against West Indies), 180 would be a good score instead of 200. The impact of day matches will be that it evens out everything. If it was a night game, then dew would have been an important factor."

"But if it's heavy cloudy weather, then it will aid fast-bowlers. Whoever has got better skills and can swing the ball well, that bowler will do well," said Singh in a conversation with IANS, on the sidelines of the unveiling of the Team India Champions team jersey for the upcoming World Championship of Legends happening in the United Kingdom in July.

With India playing their three league games in New York, it means they need to adapt to the newly-laid drop-in pitch, made by the ground staff of Adelaide Oval and after being fully ready in Florida, they were transported to Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in semi-trailer trucks for installation.

As of now, India are practising on drop-in pitches at the practice facility in Cantiague Park to get used to the challenges it brings on pace and bounce fronts for both batters and bowlers.

 “Understanding the behaviour of drop-in pitches is difficult, but after you insert it into the surface area, how much you water it and the amount of grass you leave on it, determines the pace bowlers can get from it. Otherwise, if there isn't grass on the drop-in wicket and the weather remains dry, then it will be of slow nature," added Singh on how drop-in pitches would behave in the World Cup.

There's also the wind factor to be taken care of, especially while bowling and Singh thinks the captain will have a big role to play in using that aspect in his favour.

"If a bowler is bowling against the wind, then it's an issue. But if the wind is sideways, then one can choose their ends, depending on whether they are inswing or outswing bowlers."

"Wind can be used as a factor in bowling, as the job of captain and coach is not just to elect to bat or bowl on winning the toss, but also to see which end is the best for which bowler. So, to use that factor, the role of captain will be huge."

Singh also thinks captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli be India's designated openers in the World Cup. "If I were the coach, Rohit and Virat should open, with Sanju Samson at three, with Surya, Rishabh and Hardik to follow at number four. five and six respectively."

It's the first time a World Cup will be played in the USA, and Singh believes the move can help cricket make more inroads in the country which is largely dominated by baseball, soccer, basketball, swimming, track & field events. "I think it's a good plan by ICC as there hasn't been much cricket in that region. Plus, the people who have gone there from the subcontinent are mostly into playing cricket in the USA. But when you organise a big tournament in the USA, the people will get influenced there to take up the sport. So, it's a good move from ICC to engage with local people there and spread the sport in the USA."

Closer home, the search for India head coach Rahul Dravid's successor is still on after the application deadline was on May 27. Gautam Gambhir, who top-scored in India's triumphs in the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup, is largely seen as the man for the top job, especially after making Kolkata Knight Riders win IPL 2024 as the team mentor.

"I am in favour of an Indian coach to be the next head coach of the national side. Under Rahul Bhai's coaching, we did well, though were unfortunate in losing the ODI World Cup final. But he's had a tremendous impact as the Indian head coach. If it's Gautam, then it's a very great option," signed off Singh.

Different playing conditions, pitches, weather and crowd support are part of cricket. Modern day players are expected to cope all the pressure and perform.

 If team India can face all challenges in the Caribbean and the USA, and play according to their potentials, they are tipped to win the coveted trophy this time. (With IANS support)

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