Shubman Gill, the opening batsman for Team India, expressed his unawareness regarding the controversy surrounding the pitch in the 2023 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. During a post-match press conference, he mentioned that he became aware of the issue only after being questioned by a reporter.
In the thrilling semi-final clash at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, India secured a remarkable victory by 70 runs over New Zealand. Opting to bat first after winning the toss, the Indian team posted an imposing total of 397/4 on the scoreboard before limiting the spirited New Zealand side to 327.
Before the match, certain media reports suggested dissatisfaction from the ICC regarding the utilization of a used pitch instead of a fresh one for the semi-final. However, both the BCCI and the ICC clarified that there was no basis for any controversy.
When asked about the pitch controversy in the post-match press conference, Gill responded with a smile, stating, “I only learned about the controversy from your question. What was the controversy about?”
Despite India’s formidable total, New Zealand’s challenge, especially during the partnership between Daryl Mitchell (134) and Kane Williamson (69), who put up 181 runs for the third wicket, tested India’s resolve.
Gill acknowledged that India anticipated the challenge of bowling under lights. He emphasized their strategy of maintaining specific areas while waiting for the opposition to make mistakes to gain an advantage.
“Honestly, we knew it would be tough, especially under the evening lights. As the new ball lost its shine, it became harder for bowlers to restrict runs. Our focus was on bowling in our desired areas and capitalizing on their errors. During Daryl and Kane’s partnership, it seemed challenging with such massive scores. However, a few timely wickets always kept us in the game,” said the 24-year-old.