February 27, 2009

The pitch needs attention

The dead pitch is Karachi was as poor as the one in Chennai where Virender Sehwag scored a faster than run-a-ball hundred
27

Most writers don't mind people disagreeing with what they have written, or even getting criticised. Freedom of expression, their own and that of others, is a value journalists cherish and guard fiercely. But I must confess I am a bit surprised with some of the reactions to a piece I wrote criticising the Karachi pitch that managed to get into the record books for all the wrong reasons. In fact, I had expected the opposite; that the Pakistan fans would agree with me that pitches that produce no contest between bat and ball are the biggest threat to Test cricket. Instead, many readers found my views "extreme", "ignorant", and worst of all "prejudiced".

Perhaps I wasn't able to communicate what I wanted to say clearly. I thought I was speaking on behalf of the cricket fan, in Pakistan and elsewhere, but if it came across as if I was singling out Pakistan unfairly, then obviously I failed. I felt the same way about the Chennai Test between India and South Africa despite Virender Sehwag's sensational, faster than a run-a-ball triple-hundred. Any pitch that produces 1498 runs at the cost of 25 wickets is cricket's enemy; and any pitch that reduces a bowling attack comprising Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel to cannon fodder makes a mockery of the most central appeal of cricket. I rejoiced when the bowlers struck back on a slightly bouncy, but by no means unplayable or dangerous, on which India were dismissed for 76 on the first morning in Ahmedabad.

The pitch for the final Test of the series, in Kanpur, produced an interesting debate. India had obviously wanted a turner and they got hit. The pitch looked baked and cracked before the match began, and though it didn't turn out as dangerous as people feared as it might be, run-scoring was still a struggle. The match finished in three days, and the pitch was reported by the match referee for being below par.

That riled me no end. Yes, the pitch wasn't ideal, but it produced a result; South Africa scored 265 in the first innings and India 325; and no one got it. How was this pitch any worse than the Chennai pitch on which only two innings were completed? Perhaps the greater crime of the Kanpur track was that the match didn't last the distance, costing the broadcasting channel precious advertising revenue.

This was at the heart of my protest against the mega bore in Karachi. For Test cricket to stay strong and vibrant, administrators must first protect the interests of the spectator.

I am keen on hearing from you. Our love for cricket keeps us on the same side.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Escort in London on November 18, 2009, 1:19 GMT

    It is certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

  • Subhashis Biswas on March 2, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    I understand and agree with the view of Sambit.Making sporting pitches is an art. And not always 600 runs are scored on dull pitches. But when consecutive innings produce 600 and 700 runs, then we have a problem.I dont think it serves any purpose for the game, to have doubles and tripel centuries and piling runs with no result. Gone were the days where temas scored 500 in 3 days, and matches end in tame draw. This Pak SL series and last test of EEng-WI are bad examples of boring cricket. You would ideally think of about 1470-1500 runs and 35 wickets over 5 days. Just need a little hard clay below the surface, ned a tint of grass. Bounce in the first morning, good stroke play for 1st 3 days, bit of turn in 4th and 5th. That is what we are looking for...not 650/6 declared type of scores

  • younis khan on March 2, 2009, 7:43 GMT

    it is very upsetting that u dismissed my wonderful triple century in such a pathetic manner ! I am taking legal action against sambit bal for defaming me. Now, dont delete this comment ! For heavens sake, take a joke in your stride

  • Arsalan Khan on February 28, 2009, 6:18 GMT

    I never really comment, I'm one of those regular-silent-readers.. but I guess your gesture to clear out things urged me to participate.

    I believe your article was correct, and that Intikhab Alam, Wasim Akram and Younis Khan spoke about the issues too but.. I guess your approach in communication was far too aggressive for the common reader to understand.

    An Indian writer writing about Pakistan is observed with a microscopic view from the eyes of a Pakistani fan.

    Peace.

  • Ashwath Sekhar on February 28, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    I have always wondered why people criticise rank turners more than green tops? Surely it is just as difficult to face a fast bowler with a new ball as it is to face a premium spinner on a wearing pitch. Frankly pitches with "character" in them often produce the most riveting and well fought test matches. These type of pitches require the greatest skill on the part of the batsmen and no little skill in the bowlers part. So long live the "ill Prepared" wickets

  • Feroz on February 28, 2009, 3:52 GMT

    Your last post did seem slightly targeted towards Pakistani pitches, perhaps because the memory of the match was still vivid. But in all fairness the recent analyses by S Rajesh here on Cricinfo do support the idea that pitches in Pakistan have been slightly more friendly to batsmen in the recent past, though the number of drawn matches isn't much higher (as pointed out by others). The comparison to the Antigua pitch was unfair. Regardless, I believe most of us must realize that motive behind your post was not to criticize a particular venue. I believe most cricket fans (Pakistan fans included) would share with you the underlying sentiment in both your posts: "The Pitch needs attention" and the administrators must be held accountable. Thanks for sharing your views with us.

  • JK on February 27, 2009, 22:26 GMT

    I think it is absolutely correct to say that pitches worldwide have lost their bite. I think we have the remember that this is test cricket with emphasis on the word "test". In my opinion, if a pitch is so flat and bland that a gautam gambhir can bat just as well as a sachin or kallis, it is worthless to even consider watching the game (no disrespect to GG, but you get the point hopefully). The beauty of cricket is to watch truly great players conquer challenging conditions. Any bias towards batsmen or bowlers makes the game a moot point. An ideal wicket should afford the batsmen a chance of a 100 and the bowlers a chance of a five for...

  • Stuart on February 27, 2009, 19:13 GMT

    I totally agree on the flat lifeless pitch issue. I struggled through the final day of the Lord's Test against SA last summer, that was awful. As a slightly left-field solution, how about bringing back timeless Tests? With the modern congested schedule the players would be clamouring for a raging turner.

  • D.V.C. on February 27, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    I completely agree with you. The bats are too powerful, the boundaries are too short and the pitches are too flat and lifeless. I look at the scorecards for the pre-WWI tests with longing, wondering what a spectacle it must have been to see batsman struggle all day for 50. Often I wish for the return of uncovered pitches.

    For me, predicting the weather was always part of a captain's job. A return to uncovered pitches would give something back to the bowlers and increase the importance of captains' declaration decisions.

    I guess I'm primarily a traditionalist (so much so that I complain to my friends about underarm lobs requiring an agreement between captains to be legal) but I'm beginning to think in favour of night tests. This would return some of the balance to the bowlers, with more swing being available.

    Also, if we used one of the test balls other than the Kookaburra more often that would be good. A larger seam is good for spinners and seamers.

  • Zaid Ilyas on February 27, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    i am from pakistan and found your first article very very good... i agreed with every single word u said and thought u wrote a very good article... but after few days i found out that my fellow pakistanis are founding that article very offensive... and only reason for that was that it came from an indian writer.... I actually consider u one of the very good cricket writers.... first test match wicket was absolutely not fine.... i mean i m the biggest pakistan cricket fan.... but u tell me y would i wanna watch a test match where i knwww.. only thing u could get out of this test match is a draw......i hope pakistanis learn from their mistake and in future they do a better job..

  • Escort in London on November 18, 2009, 1:19 GMT

    It is certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

  • Subhashis Biswas on March 2, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    I understand and agree with the view of Sambit.Making sporting pitches is an art. And not always 600 runs are scored on dull pitches. But when consecutive innings produce 600 and 700 runs, then we have a problem.I dont think it serves any purpose for the game, to have doubles and tripel centuries and piling runs with no result. Gone were the days where temas scored 500 in 3 days, and matches end in tame draw. This Pak SL series and last test of EEng-WI are bad examples of boring cricket. You would ideally think of about 1470-1500 runs and 35 wickets over 5 days. Just need a little hard clay below the surface, ned a tint of grass. Bounce in the first morning, good stroke play for 1st 3 days, bit of turn in 4th and 5th. That is what we are looking for...not 650/6 declared type of scores

  • younis khan on March 2, 2009, 7:43 GMT

    it is very upsetting that u dismissed my wonderful triple century in such a pathetic manner ! I am taking legal action against sambit bal for defaming me. Now, dont delete this comment ! For heavens sake, take a joke in your stride

  • Arsalan Khan on February 28, 2009, 6:18 GMT

    I never really comment, I'm one of those regular-silent-readers.. but I guess your gesture to clear out things urged me to participate.

    I believe your article was correct, and that Intikhab Alam, Wasim Akram and Younis Khan spoke about the issues too but.. I guess your approach in communication was far too aggressive for the common reader to understand.

    An Indian writer writing about Pakistan is observed with a microscopic view from the eyes of a Pakistani fan.

    Peace.

  • Ashwath Sekhar on February 28, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    I have always wondered why people criticise rank turners more than green tops? Surely it is just as difficult to face a fast bowler with a new ball as it is to face a premium spinner on a wearing pitch. Frankly pitches with "character" in them often produce the most riveting and well fought test matches. These type of pitches require the greatest skill on the part of the batsmen and no little skill in the bowlers part. So long live the "ill Prepared" wickets

  • Feroz on February 28, 2009, 3:52 GMT

    Your last post did seem slightly targeted towards Pakistani pitches, perhaps because the memory of the match was still vivid. But in all fairness the recent analyses by S Rajesh here on Cricinfo do support the idea that pitches in Pakistan have been slightly more friendly to batsmen in the recent past, though the number of drawn matches isn't much higher (as pointed out by others). The comparison to the Antigua pitch was unfair. Regardless, I believe most of us must realize that motive behind your post was not to criticize a particular venue. I believe most cricket fans (Pakistan fans included) would share with you the underlying sentiment in both your posts: "The Pitch needs attention" and the administrators must be held accountable. Thanks for sharing your views with us.

  • JK on February 27, 2009, 22:26 GMT

    I think it is absolutely correct to say that pitches worldwide have lost their bite. I think we have the remember that this is test cricket with emphasis on the word "test". In my opinion, if a pitch is so flat and bland that a gautam gambhir can bat just as well as a sachin or kallis, it is worthless to even consider watching the game (no disrespect to GG, but you get the point hopefully). The beauty of cricket is to watch truly great players conquer challenging conditions. Any bias towards batsmen or bowlers makes the game a moot point. An ideal wicket should afford the batsmen a chance of a 100 and the bowlers a chance of a five for...

  • Stuart on February 27, 2009, 19:13 GMT

    I totally agree on the flat lifeless pitch issue. I struggled through the final day of the Lord's Test against SA last summer, that was awful. As a slightly left-field solution, how about bringing back timeless Tests? With the modern congested schedule the players would be clamouring for a raging turner.

  • D.V.C. on February 27, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    I completely agree with you. The bats are too powerful, the boundaries are too short and the pitches are too flat and lifeless. I look at the scorecards for the pre-WWI tests with longing, wondering what a spectacle it must have been to see batsman struggle all day for 50. Often I wish for the return of uncovered pitches.

    For me, predicting the weather was always part of a captain's job. A return to uncovered pitches would give something back to the bowlers and increase the importance of captains' declaration decisions.

    I guess I'm primarily a traditionalist (so much so that I complain to my friends about underarm lobs requiring an agreement between captains to be legal) but I'm beginning to think in favour of night tests. This would return some of the balance to the bowlers, with more swing being available.

    Also, if we used one of the test balls other than the Kookaburra more often that would be good. A larger seam is good for spinners and seamers.

  • Zaid Ilyas on February 27, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    i am from pakistan and found your first article very very good... i agreed with every single word u said and thought u wrote a very good article... but after few days i found out that my fellow pakistanis are founding that article very offensive... and only reason for that was that it came from an indian writer.... I actually consider u one of the very good cricket writers.... first test match wicket was absolutely not fine.... i mean i m the biggest pakistan cricket fan.... but u tell me y would i wanna watch a test match where i knwww.. only thing u could get out of this test match is a draw......i hope pakistanis learn from their mistake and in future they do a better job..

  • Satish on February 27, 2009, 13:14 GMT

    If batsmen do not complain about the Karachi and Chennai wickets, then they should stand up and deliver on the 2002-03 NZ wickets, or the Kanpur/Mumbai wickets.

    However I wish your feelings about the Kanpur wicket are expressed strongly. Because we only see teams running to the ICC when the wickets produce 2, 3 or 4 day results.

  • Anas Imtiaz on February 27, 2009, 12:52 GMT

    I absolutely agree that the pitch in Karachi was nothing short of futile. I witnessed the Indo-Pak Test in Karachi where Pathan got a hat-trick and then Pakistan won. Same ground, but a result-oriented pitch!

  • Vipul Gupta on February 27, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    Yes Mr Bal. I completely agree wih you and it is high time that the administrators realised that bowlers are very much part of this game and they should be treated with some respect. In my opinion the Kanpur Test dished up an interesting contest between bat and ball.

  • Rathin on February 27, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    Could not agree more. Funny thing is - if it seams it is a good wicket, but if it turns it is a bad wicket!

  • Deano on February 27, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. For too long we have had dull pitches. In the subcontinent there have always been low, slow tracks; but at least they turned. Now even that isn't guaranteed. As a cricket fan, I want to see bowlers and batsmen rewarded for hard work. At the moment bowlers get no reward and batsmen don't have to graft. Interestingly one of the best pitches in England, Old Trafford, where the ball comes on for the batsmen, but there is bounce for the seamers and turn for the spinners, has been deemed unnecessary in England tests for the next 2 years. As you say, 5 days of mediocre cricket gets the nod over 3 or 4 days of quality cricket.

  • Arif Shah on February 27, 2009, 12:25 GMT

    Pitches in Pakistan were debated way back in the times of Imran Khan. I can't say about domestic level but at international level i've never seen a pitch with bounce in Pakistan. Foreign experts, soil and other measures were all tried. I can also hardly recall a turning wicket because the weather in winter is not hot enough for the pitches to break. The only option left is to leave some grass on the wicket. Even that doesn't always work as moisture evaporates in sunshine and grass becomes brown and dry. Rare instances are green wickets with cloudy weather which helps the bowlers consistently for 5 days in the match. But that is a big risk for home team which Aamir Sohail duly regretted after losing against Zimbabwe in 1997.

  • Couch Cricketer on February 27, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    Many of us Pakistan cricket fans on the internet forum pakpassion agreed with you about the pitch. But 1) we did not like you lumping this pitch with the pitch in Antigua 2) You are an Indian and sadly most fans from Pakistan will take your comments as an indian rather than a cricket writer which is our bias 3) In your article you had specifically targeted test match pitches in Pakistan only when Since 2003 - 22 Test in pakistan of which 7 have been drawn. (32%)

    Since 2003 - 29 Tests of which 13 have been drawn. (45%)

  • Arjun on February 27, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    I agree with you to a point. I prefer to see cricket matches dominated by bowlers. However, the complaint about the Kanpur pitch was because it was more batsman-unfriendly than bowler-friendly. A pitch that is full of cracks from day one can reduce the match to a game of luck. Though to be fair, Ganguly showed with his 87 that it probably wasn't as bad as it was made out to be.

  • Rex on February 27, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    One of the greatest injustices South African fans and their journalists are rendering to India and cricket in general is their unceased whining about the pitch in Kanpur. Everytime they mention that the South African team has had a great time since 2006 by not losing a series till date, they mention that India had indulged in "gamesmanship" (some reputed journalist's own words) to draw the series. It can be the frustration that the series slipped away in three days and the fact that once again they were undone by spin, but it is by no means "cheating" in India's part. Mickey Arthur, the SA coach, took it wonderfully. He said "In England you get swinging pitches, in Australia bouncy ones and in India you get spinning pitches. So no complaints!" The fact that India played last and still won shows that it wasn't a difficult pitch after all.

    In case of the Karachi pitch, the Pakistan coach slammed it but it won't be viewed critically. Such pitches are an insult on viewers like us.

  • Karthik on February 27, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    i agree with sambit, of late some of the renowned test pitches becoming just a placid flat tracks eg chennai.. some one has to do something to correct it ? who is going to? also when the pitch is helping fast bowlers everyone says its sporting pitch but why are the grounds getting reported if its turning from day 1(mumbai and kanpur). wats wrong in this , if fast bowler can get help why not the spinners?

  • Oliver Chettle on February 27, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    I don't think your article was prejudiced, but it did seem ludicrously overstated. Your opinion of the match is still way over the top. It was not a mega bore. I was only a neutral following it on the internet, but to me it was a more interesting match than average, with the excitement of the possibility of the highest score record being broken, and a notable first: the first test with a triple and two doubles. Your claim that the match damaged test cricket is simply wrong. I can only assume that you have an exceptional lack of interest in statistics for a cricket fan, combined with a huge lack of awareness of which aspects of test cricket interest other people.

  • Oliver Chettle on February 27, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    I don't think your article was prejudiced, but it did seem ludicrously overstated. Your opinion of the match is still way over the top. It was not a mega bore. I was only a neutral following it on the internet, but to me it was a more interesting match than average, with the excitement of the possibility of the highest score record being broken, and a notable first: the first test with a triple and two doubles. Your claim that the match damaged test cricket is simply wrong. I can only assume that you have an exceptional lack of interest in statistics for a cricket fan, combined with a huge lack of awareness of which aspects of test cricket interest other people.

  • R. Thirucumaran on February 27, 2009, 11:34 GMT

    Yes, Sambit, you are right! I absolutely deplore these flat tracks which have made triple centuries so easy to get. Younis didn't even struggle a bit to get it, though the circumstances under which he got it make the innings a one to remember. I thoroughly enjoyed Viru's innings against SA, but felt empty after watching the match because it was so useless. However, what I enjoyed about the Australia SA test series was how even it was for both bat and ball. I was literally on the edge of my seats, frayed nerves and all, as Smith came and nearly got the draw for his team in Sydney! That's what test cricket is all about. There should definitely be a system to suspend curators who produce such a rubbish of a pitch as was done in Karachi. There should be more pitches like Kandy, where it swings and seams all the time, yet doesn't make life difficult for the watchful batsman!

  • Amer Hussain on February 27, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    For what its worth - I completely agree with you. It is a sad 100+ score where the opposition are bowling part timers because the frontline attack is tired or bored! This is what happened with Akmal in Karachi. Problem is that when you haven't had a test match for 18 months, you want to err on the side of safety as your own batsmen neeed to get the chance to play. It is a travesty that Pakistan don't get enough cricket - pitches like this will dissuade others from coming!

  • Amer Hussain on February 27, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    For what its worth - I completely agree with you. It is a sad 100+ score where the opposition are bowling part timers because the frontline attack is tired or bored! This is what happened with Akmal in Karachi. Problem is that when you haven't had a test match for 18 months, you want to err on the side of safety as your own batsmen neeed to get the chance to play. It is a travesty that Pakistan don't get enough cricket - pitches like this will dissuade others from coming!

  • PakFanManBat on February 27, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    But the thing is Sambit as a Pakistan Fan I actually sided wholly with India in their use of turning pitches. India are well within their rights to produce such a pitch. A bad pitch is only one which is unplayable, or dangerous, the Karachi, or any of India's turning or flat pitches are all very much playable. I felt after the South Africa tour last year there was too much made of the turning pitches. If you go to England you expect movement and swing, in Australia you expect you bounce and pace, in India there's gonna be turn etc, all these teams play to their strengths.

    Now back on topic, are the pitches "bad", not at all, unsporting, probably yes, but you can't go penalising "unsporting" pitches. What would be the criteria, under what circumstance, by what arcane standard, context as well given the series results as well.

    The Karachi pitch was flat, no one denies that, even Pakistan fans want more bowler friendly pitches, and I agree that next time something needs to change up.

  • Vinay on February 27, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    I guess the whole situation about pitches caters to the fact that cricket has become more of a batsmen's game. It is ok for a batsman to hit any shot he likes any number of times but a bowler cannot bowl more than 2 bouncers an over (though I do agree that on these tracks, it definitely would take an effort producing 2 balls that can be called as bouncers).

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  • Vinay on February 27, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    I guess the whole situation about pitches caters to the fact that cricket has become more of a batsmen's game. It is ok for a batsman to hit any shot he likes any number of times but a bowler cannot bowl more than 2 bouncers an over (though I do agree that on these tracks, it definitely would take an effort producing 2 balls that can be called as bouncers).

  • PakFanManBat on February 27, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    But the thing is Sambit as a Pakistan Fan I actually sided wholly with India in their use of turning pitches. India are well within their rights to produce such a pitch. A bad pitch is only one which is unplayable, or dangerous, the Karachi, or any of India's turning or flat pitches are all very much playable. I felt after the South Africa tour last year there was too much made of the turning pitches. If you go to England you expect movement and swing, in Australia you expect you bounce and pace, in India there's gonna be turn etc, all these teams play to their strengths.

    Now back on topic, are the pitches "bad", not at all, unsporting, probably yes, but you can't go penalising "unsporting" pitches. What would be the criteria, under what circumstance, by what arcane standard, context as well given the series results as well.

    The Karachi pitch was flat, no one denies that, even Pakistan fans want more bowler friendly pitches, and I agree that next time something needs to change up.

  • Amer Hussain on February 27, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    For what its worth - I completely agree with you. It is a sad 100+ score where the opposition are bowling part timers because the frontline attack is tired or bored! This is what happened with Akmal in Karachi. Problem is that when you haven't had a test match for 18 months, you want to err on the side of safety as your own batsmen neeed to get the chance to play. It is a travesty that Pakistan don't get enough cricket - pitches like this will dissuade others from coming!

  • Amer Hussain on February 27, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    For what its worth - I completely agree with you. It is a sad 100+ score where the opposition are bowling part timers because the frontline attack is tired or bored! This is what happened with Akmal in Karachi. Problem is that when you haven't had a test match for 18 months, you want to err on the side of safety as your own batsmen neeed to get the chance to play. It is a travesty that Pakistan don't get enough cricket - pitches like this will dissuade others from coming!

  • R. Thirucumaran on February 27, 2009, 11:34 GMT

    Yes, Sambit, you are right! I absolutely deplore these flat tracks which have made triple centuries so easy to get. Younis didn't even struggle a bit to get it, though the circumstances under which he got it make the innings a one to remember. I thoroughly enjoyed Viru's innings against SA, but felt empty after watching the match because it was so useless. However, what I enjoyed about the Australia SA test series was how even it was for both bat and ball. I was literally on the edge of my seats, frayed nerves and all, as Smith came and nearly got the draw for his team in Sydney! That's what test cricket is all about. There should definitely be a system to suspend curators who produce such a rubbish of a pitch as was done in Karachi. There should be more pitches like Kandy, where it swings and seams all the time, yet doesn't make life difficult for the watchful batsman!

  • Oliver Chettle on February 27, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    I don't think your article was prejudiced, but it did seem ludicrously overstated. Your opinion of the match is still way over the top. It was not a mega bore. I was only a neutral following it on the internet, but to me it was a more interesting match than average, with the excitement of the possibility of the highest score record being broken, and a notable first: the first test with a triple and two doubles. Your claim that the match damaged test cricket is simply wrong. I can only assume that you have an exceptional lack of interest in statistics for a cricket fan, combined with a huge lack of awareness of which aspects of test cricket interest other people.

  • Oliver Chettle on February 27, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    I don't think your article was prejudiced, but it did seem ludicrously overstated. Your opinion of the match is still way over the top. It was not a mega bore. I was only a neutral following it on the internet, but to me it was a more interesting match than average, with the excitement of the possibility of the highest score record being broken, and a notable first: the first test with a triple and two doubles. Your claim that the match damaged test cricket is simply wrong. I can only assume that you have an exceptional lack of interest in statistics for a cricket fan, combined with a huge lack of awareness of which aspects of test cricket interest other people.

  • Karthik on February 27, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    i agree with sambit, of late some of the renowned test pitches becoming just a placid flat tracks eg chennai.. some one has to do something to correct it ? who is going to? also when the pitch is helping fast bowlers everyone says its sporting pitch but why are the grounds getting reported if its turning from day 1(mumbai and kanpur). wats wrong in this , if fast bowler can get help why not the spinners?

  • Rex on February 27, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    One of the greatest injustices South African fans and their journalists are rendering to India and cricket in general is their unceased whining about the pitch in Kanpur. Everytime they mention that the South African team has had a great time since 2006 by not losing a series till date, they mention that India had indulged in "gamesmanship" (some reputed journalist's own words) to draw the series. It can be the frustration that the series slipped away in three days and the fact that once again they were undone by spin, but it is by no means "cheating" in India's part. Mickey Arthur, the SA coach, took it wonderfully. He said "In England you get swinging pitches, in Australia bouncy ones and in India you get spinning pitches. So no complaints!" The fact that India played last and still won shows that it wasn't a difficult pitch after all.

    In case of the Karachi pitch, the Pakistan coach slammed it but it won't be viewed critically. Such pitches are an insult on viewers like us.

  • Arjun on February 27, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    I agree with you to a point. I prefer to see cricket matches dominated by bowlers. However, the complaint about the Kanpur pitch was because it was more batsman-unfriendly than bowler-friendly. A pitch that is full of cracks from day one can reduce the match to a game of luck. Though to be fair, Ganguly showed with his 87 that it probably wasn't as bad as it was made out to be.