The ODI World Cup 2023 is just around the corner, with the top 10 international sides preparing to battle it out for cricket’s most prestigious trophy. The mega-event is set to be a thrilling spectacle with top teams fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on the prize.
The road to victory will be a challenging one as adapting to pitch conditions in India will be crucial. For Pakistan, the battle will be an uphill one after their humbling defeats against India and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023.
The Men in Green will be hoping to bounce back quickly after their disappointing loss and prepare for the mega-event in India. Judging the pitch conditions will be extremely crucial for the Green Shirts as they hope to win their second World Cup title.
Let’s have a look at the venues and pitch conditions that will be on offer in India for all the Pakistan matches.
Pakistan will play its nine group-stage matches at 5 different venues. Their opening match of the competition, set to be played against the Netherlands on 6 October, will be held in Hyderabad before facing Sri Lanka at the same venue.
Pakistan’s clash, the blockbuster encounter against arch-rivals India on 14 October, will be played at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. Bengaluru will be the host for Pakistan’s match against Australia and New Zealand while Chennai will host the encounter against Afghanistan and South Africa.
The Green Shirts will also play two matches in Kolkata, against England and Bangladesh.
|Pakistan vs Netherlands||6 October||1:30 PM||Hyderabad|
|Pakistan vs Sri Lanka||10 October||1:30 PM||Hyderabad|
|Pakistan vs India||14 October||1:30 PM||Ahmedabad|
|Pakistan vs Australia||20 October||1:30 PM||Bengaluru|
|Pakistan vs Afghanistan||23 October||1:30 PM||Chennai|
|Pakistan vs South Africa||27 October||1:30 PM||Chennai|
|Pakistan vs Bangladesh||31 October||1:30 PM||Kolkata|
|Pakistan vs New Zealand||4 November||10:00 AM||Bengaluru|
|Pakistan vs England||11 November||1:30 PM||Kolkata|
Here is the complete stadium and pitch analysis:
1. Hyderabad (Netherlands and Sri Lanka)
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
The pitch in Hyderabad is considered a good pitch to bat on. Recently, run-scoring has been relatively easy but the pitch does seem to slow down in the second half of the match, providing some assistance to the spinners.
- Advantage of Batting First: The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium traditionally favors teams batting first in limited-overs cricket. The pitch tends to be more conducive to batting during the initial innings, making it a desirable choice for teams to set a target.
- Assistance to Medium Pace and Spin Bowlers: As the game progresses, the pitch undergoes a significant transformation, becoming increasingly challenging for batsmen. During the second innings, the surface begins to slow down, offering assistance to medium-pace bowlers and spinners. Batsmen may find it difficult to time their shots, and the ball tends to grip and turn.
- Dry and Difficult Surface: The pitch at this stadium is generally dry and challenging, which enhances bounce and spin for bowlers. Spinners, in particular, can exploit the conditions to their advantage, making it crucial for teams to have quality spin options in their bowling lineup.
- Opportunities for Run-Scoring: Despite the challenges posed by the pitch during the latter stage, batting on this wicket is still manageable in both innings. Batsmen can score runs, but they need to adapt to the changing conditions as the match progresses. Anything in excess of 290 is considered a match-winning score on this pitch.
|Total matches played||7|
|Batting first won||4|
|Batting second won||3|
|Highest score||Australia 350/4|
|Lowest score||England 174/10|
|Last Match||India vs New Zealand 2023|
2. Ahmedabad (India and Potentially Final)
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium
This venue has seen a remarkable transformation in recent times, with the pitch offering assistance to the pacers. Generally, batting is difficult on this track.
- Beneficial for Fast Bowlers: The Narendra Modi Stadium boasts a bowling pitch that has consistently provided substantial assistance to fast bowlers. This surface has more bounce compared to previous matches, and it is the quick bowlers who have harnessed this attribute to its fullest potential.
- Encouragement for Aggressive Seamers: Bowlers who can hit the deck with authority are at a distinct advantage on this pitch. The additional bounce and movement make it challenging for batsmen to settle in and score freely. Seamers who extract seam movement and maintain a consistent line and length are often rewarded with wickets.
- Variable Conditions: While the pitch generally favors fast bowlers, its behavior can vary from match to match, adding an element of unpredictability to proceedings. There have been some instances of the pitch being flat to bat on as well.
|Total matches played||26|
|Batting first won||14|
|Batting second won||12|
|Highest score||South Africa 365/2|
|Lowest score||Zimbabwe 85/10|
|Last Match||India vs West Indies 2022|
3. Bengaluru (Australia and New Zealand)
Venue: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
Traditionally a high-scoring ground with a flat pitch that favors batsmen, with little assistance for pacers. Spinners can be effective as the game progresses.
- Balanced Batting Conditions: While the pitch may initially favor the bowlers for the first few overs, it tends to settle down as the game progresses. Batters who can weather the early storm have the opportunity to score runs at a fast pace.
- Bowler-Friendly Conditions: The presence of grass on the pitch makes it conducive for fast bowlers, especially during the early part of the match. The ball tends to seam and swing, offering significant assistance to the pacers. The seam and swing lasts for just a few overs.
- High Scoring Games: The ground has witnessed some high-scoring encounters, with an average first innings score of 266. Teams batting first have managed to post imposing totals, but chasing teams have also been successful, showcasing the venue’s competitive nature.
- Adaptability: Teams and batsmen should be prepared to adapt to the evolving pitch conditions. A good start with the bat can set up a competitive total, but bowlers must also be ready to make the most of favorable conditions.
|Total matches played||23|
|Batting first won||10|
|Batting second won||12|
|Highest score||India 383/6|
|Lowest score||India 166/4|
|Last Match||Australia vs India 2020|
4. Chennai (Afghanistan and South Africa)
Venue: M. A. Chidambaram Stadium
A turning pitch that highly benefits spinners, difficult for batting
- Pitch Behavior: The pitch at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium is generally dry and hard, making it a challenging surface for the batters. The pitch aids the spinners.
- Batting Conditions: Initially favorable. In the first innings, the dry and hard nature of the pitch makes it relatively easy for batsmen to score runs, but the dray nature of the pitch makes it difficult for the batters once the spinners come in.
- Adaptability: Teams and batsmen should be prepared to adapt to the evolving pitch conditions. A good start with the bat can set up a competitive total, but the spin bowlers must also be ready to make the most of favorable conditions.
|Total matches played||22|
|Batting first won||14|
|Batting second won||8|
|Highest score||Asia XI 337/3|
|Lowest score||Kenya 69/10|
|Last Match||India vs Australia 2023|
5. Kolkata (Bangladesh, England and Potentially Semi-Final)
Venue: Eden Gardens
Traditionally a high-scoring ground with a flat pitch which favors the batters.
- Batsman-Friendly: Despite the initial assistance for spinners, the pitch at Eden Gardens tends to be batsman-friendly in the first innings. The ball comes onto the bat nicely, making it relatively easy for batsmen to score runs. This characteristic encourages high-scoring contests, and teams often aim for substantial totals when batting first.
- Dew Factor: One of the defining features of the Eden Gardens pitch, particularly in limited-overs cricket and during the winter season, is the dew factor. Dew tends to settle on the outfield, making it challenging for bowlers to grip the ball effectively in the second innings. Consequently, the team winning the toss often opts to bowl first, hoping to exploit these dewy conditions and restrict the opposition.
- Spin in First Innings: In the first innings of a match, the Eden Gardens pitch typically offers a bit of assistance to spinners. This characteristic makes it crucial for teams to have quality spin bowlers in their lineup who can exploit the early turn and variations. Batsmen might have to exercise caution and adapt their approach accordingly during the early stages of their innings.
|Total matches played||30|
|Batting first won||18|
|Batting second won||12|
|Highest score||India 404/5|
|Lowest score||India 120/10|
|Last Match||India vs Sri Lanka 2023|
However, it is expected that the pitch conditions will be slightly different given that this is a World Cup, which usually means that the pitches are flatter, making it a high-scoring affair. Generally, this has been a trend over the past three World Cups.