Bowlers term New York pitches ‘graveyard for stroke-makers’

Abdul Mohi Shah
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

LONG ISLAND (NY): Even Pakistan bowlers have started batting for the batsmen, terming the Nassau County Stadium pitches in New York as the graveyard for stroke-making.

Both Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf during mixed-zone media talk were seen complaining that preparing such wickets was a gross injustice to the batsmen.

“Though we are bowlers and like to bowl on such wickets where we have more chances of taking wickets, such pitches where batting becomes all the more difficult serves no good to the game. There should be a delicate balance between bowlers and batsmen when it comes to pitches’ response,” Naseem Shah said.

Probably the best and most impressive of Pakistan bowlers, Naseem said that batting has become difficult here.

“Low scoring, no real thrill of hitting, takes much of the gloss out of T20 entertainment. Nassau County Stadium has got such pitches where scoring runs and entertaining the crowd with big hits is never easier.”

Naseem added that the match against Canada was no exception.

“Don’t think that batsmen did not try to reach the winning target in less than 15 overs. Our batsmen made all the efforts but it was never easier to play strokes and middle the ball. So run-scoring has not been easier on the track. It is not for us but for all those teams playing at the surface.”

When asked as to what special assistance the tracks at the Nassau Stadium offered to bowlers, Haris Rauf first showed reluctance and then replied that these pitches had everything for the bowlers.

“These pitches offer double bounce. Sometimes it seems that the ball is kicking off, the other moment you see it sliding. So it never allowed batsmen to judge properly on the bounce and even on the movement. Sometimes it moves quickly but other time it gets slower. So it creates doubts in batsmen’s minds that ultimately results in his fall.”

As a bowler, Haris said he enjoyed bowling on this track.

“It is here that I completed my 100 T20 wickets. I am happy as a bowler to see such a response from the wickets but we are talking generally on behaviour of the pitch which in no way could be termed ideal for the T20 cricket. People want to watch T20 cricket because of the big hits and high scores. There is no such thing in this wicket.”

Haris when asked as for how long he would continue to play T20 and what targets he has set for himself, he replied that he had no idea yet.

“I want to continue playing as long as I can. I have recovered from injury and am now concentrating on my fitness. I want to stay fit and ready for international cricket. That is what I am concentrating on these days.”

Some facts coming out of Pakistan-Canada match: Canada played out 76 dot balls in this game against Pakistan, the most by any team in a single innings in an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup game.

Haris Rauf has become the second Pakistani bowler after Shadab Khan (107) to reach 100 wickets in men’s T20Is; by doing so in 71 matches, he has also become the third quickest bowler, in terms of games played, to reach the 100-wicket mark in the format (Rashid Khan -- 53 & Wanindu Hasaranga -- 63).

Following his 52-run knock in today’s game against Pakistan, Canada’s Aaron Johnson now has eight 50+ scores in men’s T20I cricket, the most by any Canada batter in the format.

With his unbeaten 53 against Canada, Muhammad Rizwan now has 30 fifty-plus scores as an opener in T20Is, the joint most in the format (also Rohit Sharma).

Rizwan has now registered five 50+ scores for Pakistan in the men’s T20 World Cup, the joint most for the Shaheens in the competition, alongside Babar Azam.