Former England captain, Michael Vaughan, expressed his disbelief at India's decision, stating that it left a "sour taste" since a World Cup semi-final is expected to be played on a fresh pitch. He also suggested that the ICC's desire to see India in the final may have influenced the decision. Pakistan legend Wasim Akram called the controversy unnecessary, while former New Zealand wicketkeeper Ian Smith emphasized the significance of the pitch being "used" during the toss.
Respected former India spinner and head coach, Anil Kumble, expressed his surprise at the last-minute change, stating that he had no idea why it had been made. On the other hand, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar dismissed the controversy as being created by "morons."
Despite the ICC confirming the change in pitch and stating that it had been made on the recommendation of the venue curator, no explanation was provided for the unscheduled alteration. The ICC's statement also revealed that pitch rotations had been changed on multiple occasions during the tournament, with the pitch consultant, Andy Atkinson, being informed each time.
However, Atkinson had complained about not being given sufficient notice for a previous alteration, which raises questions about the communication and adherence to protocol. The ICC's statement failed to address these concerns and instead focused on reassuring that the changed pitch would play well.
The article concludes by highlighting the uncertainty surrounding the pitch for the upcoming final in Ahmedabad. The pre-tournament schedule suggests using a specific pitch, but previous last-minute alterations raise doubts. It remains to be seen which pitch will ultimately be chosen for the final between India and the winners of the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa.