Kiwi quick Lockie Ferguson says quickly assessing how the Wankhede Stadium pitch will play is vital to beating India in the first World Cup semi-final
NZ bowlers aim to tame high-scoring Wankhede in semi-final
New Zealand pace bowler Lockie Ferguson says they must accurately assess Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium pitch ahead of their World Cup semi-final against hosts India and look to tighten up their bowling at the traditionally high-scoring venue.
South Africa twice posted scores of 350-plus at the venue, India made 8-357 in their clash with Sri Lanka before Glenn Maxwell hit a superb double-century as Australia successfully chased down 291 against Afghanistan last week.
"A lot of Indian grounds have been high scoring," Ferguson told reporters in Mumbai before Wednesday's clash.
"That's the nature of one-day cricket in this part of the world.
"It's trying to understand what the pitch will be like and read what a good score on it is because those big overs, 10 runs here or there, can cost you at the back end of the innings.
"From a bowling point of view, we're trying to shut down the big overs, try to understand what we think is a good total. It's an experience thing. The pitch will be different ... it's hard to read two days out. We've got to adapt as quick as possible."
Virat Kohli blasted 95 runs against New Zealand in India's group-stage win over the Black Caps.
Ferguson said the statistics favoured batting first at the venue, with the Black Caps looking to knock India out of the World Cup semi-finals for a second straight edition.
The average first-innings score at the venue in this tournament has been 357, compared to 310 across all ODIs there in the past decade.
"At the same time, it's not up to me and we have to play the game on the day," Ferguson added.
"Whatever it might be – bat or bowl first – we've got plans for that.
"It's important to stick to them. Obviously, it's nice to bowl under lights, nice to see when the ball does move around a bit and it brings us into the game.
"We'll have to play it as we see it come game day, but I'm looking forward to it."
2023 World Cup Finals
November 19: Final, Ahmedabad (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT