India v Pakistan, Asia Cup 2016, Mirpur February 27, 2016

'Low-scoring pitches not good practice for World T20' - Dhoni


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'Low-scoring games are not good for T20' - Dhoni

India captain MS Dhoni said that the pitches in Mirpur during the Asia Cup haven't been conducive for T20s but such conditions are helping his team's batsmen to play with more circumspection. His bowlers hit his preferred lengths to knock over Pakistan for just 83 and in response India lost five wickets before completing the chase.

"We scored 166 in one match but frankly we were going to score 140," Dhoni said. "Other than that there have been low-scoring games which I feel is not that good. We thought it would be good practice ahead of the World T20, so it's not a good practice in terms of hitting but yes in terms of respecting the conditions."

Dhoni said that he didn't think low-scoring games should see teams getting bowled out for below 100 runs but rather teams should be making at least 130 or 140.

"The reason why people love T20 is the sixes and fours," Dhoni said. "At the same time you don't want [teams scoring] 80s and 100s. Low scoring should be 130-140 and high-scoring can be 200 or 240. In a way, it's good for us because we are a side that plays aggressive cricket. What it does, it pushes us to respect the conditions. In the coming games the openers won't go with a set mindset.

"What happened in Australia, we knew the wickets were good, which is not the case here. I feel it's good practice for us. Whether it is good for T20 cricket that's difficult [to say]. The amount of movement we have seen, it is very difficult to get the big shots."

The average score for teams batting first has progressively gone down in Mirpur since February 22 when Afghanistan posted 178 for 7 against Oman. Teams have henceforth scored 172, 166, 129, 133 and 83 batting first.

At least three of those matches have been played on green tops and Dhoni claimed at the toss on Saturday that it was a greener surface than the one they played on against Bangladesh on February 24.

There are seven pitches in the Shere Bangla National Stadium with the two on the extreme ends hardly used because it cuts down the boundary sizes. The five in the middle have hosted 10 Under-19 World Cup games since January 28, and towards the end of that tournament, the pitches were reacting to cooler weather conditions. They had become sticky with the humidity, and juiced up for fast bowling which was evident in the Under-19 World Cup semi-finals and final.

In this tournament, the preference has been towards adding cut grass to the surface in the first game between India and Bangladesh, while the pitch used two days later in the match between Bangladesh and the UAE had live grass and green patches that aided seam movement greatly. The idea to use cut grass is often to keep the square binded for heavy use in short tournaments. It has happened in the past too, as the Mirpur venue is one of the most used venues in Bangladesh.

The focus has been to avoid presenting a poor surface towards the end of such tournaments, particularly in the final, which seems to be the case in the Asia Cup too.

Cut grass can be taken off and it might be in the coming days because of the hue and cry over the pitches. But what would be of more interest is what is underneath, and whether that too would aid the bowlers.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ekansh Aggarwal on March 1, 2016, 9:05 GMT

    Another one of those guys who prefer cricket to be a batsman's game other than an even contest between the bat and the ball

  • Wasim Rko on March 1, 2016, 5:57 GMT

    As You Say High Scoring Games Should Be 200 or 240, I would like to see your team scoring that.

  • Farukh Lucky on February 29, 2016, 22:08 GMT

    Its every one choice me as all rounder living in Greece playing cricket in Greece want the pitches Green all over the world batman should adopt to the condition bowler have already made effort to bowl a delivry . Watching the ball fly close to bat is something i like and then a batsman hit it for four or six thats skills ' skills are not that you make a pitch like indian or pak broken Road like pitch ( in punjabi we call it KHADA ) where even blind player can hit the ball where he want ( i am in fevor real compition not one sided compition ) that's why i say Dhoni is wrong . T20 world cup is not end of life or cricket it's part of it later india ' pak ' bangla ' lanka will all tour south africa ' Aus'NZ 'ENG there the pitches will be Green why not prepare for that make Green pitches and let the ball and do the talking

  • Farukh Lucky on February 29, 2016, 22:00 GMT

    I am briging if's and buts in the conversation because those ifs and buts change the match completly you all know what you felt inside when that ball rap on kholis pad and umpire didn't raise his finger . I meant say is awwww he got away . Final will tell all the results how good india is prepared and how good pak is good luck

  • Dhiraj on February 29, 2016, 14:28 GMT

    "The reason why people love T20 is the sixes and fours," Dhoni said. How can you be so wrong Dhoni. Never expected you to misread the game so much.

  • Nish on February 29, 2016, 14:27 GMT

    @REVOLUTION72 & CRIC_101 Well said!

  • Dave on February 29, 2016, 13:42 GMT

    People are missing Dhoni's point altogether. He is not saying the wicket is bad for cricket. He is simply saying we won't get such wickets in India for WT20, so why not play in similar wickets so that people can be prepared? Pakistan will surely not play with 4 pace bowlers in India, so they will have to have a new team order when playing WT20. That is logical. Dhoni hasn't changed his team and still plays with 2 spinners in Bangladesh, because he wants to keep the team consistent for WT20.

  • blahblah1234567_9F5B2346-4AB1-446E-A1A0-77E2268CE43B on February 29, 2016, 13:29 GMT

    People like a close contest not a team smashing 4 or 6s to make 300 and the opponent is all out for 80. More often than not a small score will provide that thriller.

  • Altaf on February 29, 2016, 13:16 GMT

    So you mean 200 runs only justify good T20 !? Childish comment from captain.

  • Tanvier on February 29, 2016, 11:54 GMT

    The reason why people love T20 is the sixes and fours," Dhoni said.

    Foolish comment from the captain. People don't love T20 for 4s and 6s but for its format and the excitement it brings in a short time. This excitement can be created by low scoring but tight matches, great bowling, fielding, the energy and the fast paced nature of the game,

    If people want just 4s and 6s the replace bowlers with bowling machines let the team scoring more win the game..

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