India v Australia, 3rd Test, Nagpur October 22, 2004

Nagpur curator promises a sporting pitch

Wisden Cricinfo staff



Glenn McGrath might have a fairly helpful pitch to bowl on in his 100th Test © AFP

Kishore Pradhan, the curator of the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, where the third Test between India and Australia begins on October 26, has said that he is preparing a sporting pitch for the encounter. Speaking to The Indian Express, Pradhan said that the surface would "offer bowlers and batsmen an even chance".

"There is some grass but we can't remove that as the wicket surface may get spoilt," he continued. "We have stopped watering it since Wednesday." Meanwhile, Shashank Manohar, the president of the Vidarbha Cricket Association, which is hosting the match, affirmed that he would go out of his way to ensure that the nature of the pitch was not dictated by anyone.

"I have got no instructions from either the BCCI or the Indian team management. Even if I do, I am not going to oblige them," he said, speaking to The Times of India. He said that he was acting according to a circular issued by the BCCI earlier in the year, which called for sporting wickets "that would have enough bounce so as to encourage quicker bowlers and also improve strokeplay of batsmen".

Manohar had not approved of the pitches prepared for the first two Tests. "Those were very poor wickets," he said. "A little bit of grass here will help the pitch get some pace and it'll prevent it from breaking up." He emphasised that both teams would benefit from the conditions.

"In addition to the short boundaries," he said, "the wicket has even bounce, something that should suit quality batsmen. If the Indians think of themselves as a good batting unit, they should not worry ... if you are a cricket lover, you want the best team to win, and not your home team at the cost of quality cricket."