It was just last week that I wrote about the state of Test Cricket matches in India – Test Cricket – 3 day affair ? Wrote about how poor the pitches were that the test matches were over in just three days ! So on one side we have the ICC working hard to revive the game by introducing the Day Night Test Match and the Pink Ball – [Read How will the Pink Cricket Ball help revive test Cricket] and on the other side we have pitches from India which are resulting in a 3 day test match. See how First Delhi and now Nagpur – When will Indians learn ?
As per the report submitted by the then match referee Jeff Crowe, ICC has pulled up the BCCI and asked to provide clarifications within 14 days on the state of the pitch at Jamptha, Nagpur. Crowe termed the pitch as “poor” as it turned square right from day one and we saw the Protean batsmen suffer with the Indians winning the match. However there was no complaint from the Protean camp about the pitch.
Be that as it may, this isn’t the first time that the ICC has pulled up BCCI over the state of pitches in India. About 5 years back, the Feroz Shah Kotla in the national capital was handed a 1 year ban from hosting international matches due to a ‘dangerous’ pitch. This happened during the India Sri Lanka test where the visitors were reeling at 80 odd runs for the 5 wickets and the pitch had erratic bounce. Prior to that, the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur was termed ‘poor’ as the wicket had turn right from day 1. At that time too, the touring South African side was at the receiving end. The list goes on and includes Indore and Mumbai too where the pitches were termed as poor.
All of us are well aware that spinners are India’s strength, but haven’t they gone a bit too far to make pitches that helps them ? I strongly feel so. Most of the countries like South Africa, Australia, England back their seamers and thus have wickets that assist them. But rarely have we seen a test match end in 3 days ! Even on such wickets we had the likes of Kumble, Bhajji picking up wickets. Frankly, the condition of pitches in India have been going down hill and to support this here is an article in TOI today – read here – which mentions that out of the last 6 test matches played in India, 5 of them have finished inside 3 days. We surely don’t want to see that
I hope that the condition of the pitches improve and the Indian spinners have some task to perform unlike the current scenario where the pitch has played a greater role than the bowlers. With the test cricket already have issues sustaining, such pitches will further deteriorate test cricket.
For a true cricket fan, nothing can be better than a full 5 day test match with a result off the last over !