“Not good enough”: After Afghanistan coach, Australia great also criticises Trinidad pitch

“Not good enough”: After Afghanistan coach, Australia great also criticises Trinidad pitch

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Former Australia cricketer Tom Moody has heavily criticised the pitch at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Trinidad used for the first semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 between South Africa and Afghanistan and said that the surface is not suitable to host any cricket match. The pitch offered too much lateral movement for the fast bowlers and also offered highly inconsistent bounce, as some balls flew off the surface while others stayed very low. Amid challenging conditions, South Africa did their best to bowl out Afghanistan for just 56 and chased down the total in 8.5 overs to seal their place in the final in Barbados on Sunday.

“Honestly, I don't think you want to see that in any sport. You want a fair contest between bat and ball and I'm not saying we need a surface where you need to score 200 runs. But you need consistent bounce, that's the most important thing. Any batsman will put his hand up and say that's the most important thing.”

“If you have a ball that is hitting the toe of your bat or you think you are going to hit the ball at the same length with your glove, it is a very difficult challenge to deal with. If your ball has sideways movement or swing or spin, it is a different challenge but at least there is some consistency and you can come up with some kind of strategy and method to deal with it and I don't think it was good enough.”

“I covered two games in Trinidad at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and the surface was pretty much the same. You see this kind of peculiar paving, if I put it that way, where there was a lot of thick grass gathered around those cracks and you could just tell that that was what led to the inconsistency of bounce. So, that will be something they will consider, if not already considering it and thinking, well, we've got this wrong,” Moody said on ESPNcricinfo's Timeout show.

Former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Flower expressed similar views. “You saw some interesting sight shots over square and some of the commentators said it was a brand new pitch and maybe they could have used the pitch that was used before and so you knew it needed a certain kind of bounce.”

“It's definitely a bit more consistent and predictable, but those shots showed that crazy paving-type effect and those blocks and the cracks around those blocks produced this wild variation in bounce. And as a batsman, you're trying to predict where the ball is going to go. You want to meet it somewhere in the middle of the bat at least.”

“And on this pitch, it was almost impossible to do that on any consistent basis. I thought it was a bit dangerous actually. Some of the balls flew around shoulder, neck, chin height of the South African fast bowlers and one of those balls flew over the head and gloves of Quinton de Kock, the keeper, for four byes, and I'm glad nobody got hurt.”

Flower also felt that the Trinidad pitch reminded him of the hard pitches during the New York leg of the competition, where South Africa won three matches.

“We saw a similar pitch in New York early on in the competition, which wasn't good enough for international level fast bowlers. And then we saw it again today and it created a complete mismatch.”

“And you can't blame Afghanistan for what they did at the toss. They had a great record of batting first and then defending with their own very good, varied attack. But it was really difficult to bat first there. You didn't know what a good score would be and they just flew.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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