The pitch used for the first World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand was a fresh one and hence, Kane Williamson elected to bat first despite the overhead cloudy conditions. However, the Kiwis lost Martin Guptill early and this forced them back. Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson struggled to find any momentum and this template continued right through the innings.
The Kiwis managed to reach 211 for five in 46.1 overs before rain pushed the match to the reserve day and several former cricket experts have slammed the pitch for being very dry, sluggish and slow.
Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh took to Twitter to slam the pitch. "Doesn't look a great pitch at Old Trafford. Very much on the slow side and offering some turn. If NZ can somehow get to 240 they will be in the game," Waugh wrote.
'Feel sorry for the spectators'
Kane Williamson, who has been the batsman in form, never found any rhythm as the ball started spinning and stopping. When he was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal, he had crawled his way to 67 off 85 deliveries.
Former England opener Mark Butcher too panned the pitch and termed it as 'garbage'. "Sorry, but pitches have been garbage this tournament," Butcher tweeted.
"Uneven, two-paced...MIGHT give you an exciting 5 overs at the end of a run chase, but you've scared everybody off in the previous 95." Another former England cricketer, Graeme Fowler, who has played a lot of matches during his first-class career with Lancashire, termed the pitch as 'awful'.
"I feel sorry for the spectators who have travelled and paid hefty prices having to watch this lottery on a very substandard pitch. It's a disgrace," Flower added.
Before the tournament, there was a lot of talk of pitches assisting stroke-play and there were whispers of score in excess of 450 or even 500, but the nature of the surfaces have surprised a lot of people including the players themselves.
England opener Jonny Bairstow too was not too chuffed about the pitches being used and said that the surfaces were very different from the ones which were being used before the tournament. England were a rampant batting unit on true pitches, but their batsmen have struggled on sluggish pitches this tournament.
"The pitches we've been playing on the last two years are surely the pitches we would be playing on in a World Cup? I don't know why they've changed," Bairstow said.