Eng v Ind, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day

Test pitch comes gift wrapped

England could not have produced a pitch more suiting India's needs at Trent Bridge if they had gift wrapped it with a note of welcome

George Dobell at Trent Bridge

July 9, 2014

Comments: 116 | Text size: A | A
#politeenquiries: Can either team take 20 wickets on this pitch?

The English can be wonderful hosts.

While many nations would attempt to use home advantage to the benefit of their team, England appear to have accepted that home advantage should simply benefit their bank balance.

Just like the pitches used for the series against Sri Lanka, the surface at Trent Bridge was low, slow and offered England's seamers almost nothing. Instead, it offered the Nottinghamshire chief executive a fine opportunity to gain five days of gate receipts.

Stuart Broad rues a close shave, England v India, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day, July 9, 2014
Stuart Broad was not the only bowler to withstand a day of frustration © PA Photos

In the short term, anyway. While Nottinghamshire, like Leeds and Lord's, may congratulate themselves on a profitable week now, they may reflect in years to come that it was a catastrophic mistake to take for granted the support of the English public. They may put up with high prices for tickets and refreshments, but they may not be so patient with stultifying cricket. Trent Bridge was not full for the first day of this series.

It was not so much that the pitch suited India's batsmen or their bowlers. The lack of pace in this pitch will suit nobody. Not seamers, not spinners, not batsmen and certainly not spectators. Within a few overs, Matt Prior was taking the ball at ankle height.

No, the delight in this pitch, from an Indian perspective, was that it did nothing to exploit their potential weaknesses. With only two of the team having previously played a Test in England, there was an opportunity for England to examine their techniques and temperament.

But, whereas during the 2011 series, some India batsmen struggled to cope with lateral movement or bounce, this time they have had to contend with little of either.

The disappointment from an England perspective was that there were moments which hinted that India's old failings remain. Even with a ball 80 overs old, M Vijay was struck by a short ball from Liam Plunkett that suggested that, on a more lively surface, he would have to work harder for his runs. And even on a day when there was so little lateral movement, Virat Kohli was drawn into poking at one that he could have left and fell to a slip catch.

But when Ajinkya Rahane attempted a loose drive before he had scored, the ball fell short of the slip cordon.

And when, on 32, he was discomfited by a short ball from Plunkett that hit his bat handle, the ball dropped just short of Alastair Cook at silly-point.

And when Vijay, on 102, was drawn into poking at one outside off stump from James Anderson, the ball again fell short of the slip cordon.

It was hard to avoid the conclusion that, had Nottinghamshire gift wrapped this pitch and tied a bow around it, they could hardly have made it more inviting to India. And in doing so, they have done a disservice to the England team.

Groundsman hopes pitch may quicken

  • The Trent Bridge groundsman, Steve Birks, has admitted he was disappointed with his pitch after the first day of the Investec Test against India.
  • England took only four wickets on an attritional day as their seam bowlers struggled to gain any movement or bounce from a sluggish surface. But while Birks accepted that he might "have left a bit more grass on" the pitch, he urged spectators to hold off before judging the pitch as he felt it would quicken on the second and third days.
  • "We wanted to produce a pitch with pace, bounce and carry which hasn't happened unfortunately," Birks said. "There's quite a lot of moisture underneath but it's a hard surface on top which is why it's lacking pace. The moisture readings taken earlier in the week were quite high and we haven't seen enough of the sun to really bake it out.
  • "Our only instruction [from the ECB] is to produce a good cricket wicket and, with hindsight, we may have left a bit more grass on it but this is the first day of five-day Test and while I don't expect spin to come into it, we hope it might quicken up a bit."

In the circumstances, England performed admirably after a first session in which their disappointment for the surface was palpable.

Nine of the 14 overs immediately after lunch were maidens and the seamers gained just enough reverse swing to apply some pressure on the batsmen.

Cook utilised his bowlers in shorter spells and employed some unusual fields, too. Plunkett bowled with six men on the leg side at one stage, while Anderson picked up the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara after posting a straight, short mid-on and pursuing a strategy of bowling resolutely full and straight. It was one of the only tactics available to them in conditions offering so little

And Prior, moving ever closer to the stumps to combat the low bounce, enjoyed a good day in desperately tough conditions. After taking an excellent catch to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan, diving low to his left to take a chance that probably would not have carried to first slip, he managed to avoid conceding a bye throughout the day despite the ball bouncing in front of him on numerous occasions.

It was not perfect, though. Moeen Ali was milked rather too comfortably, conceding 5.55 an over and being replaced in the attack, for a moment, by Joe Root. In mitigation, it might be remembered that Graeme Swann conceded 97 runs in 15 overs without taking a wicket in the corresponding Test here in 2011.

In the longer-term, the ECB needs to grasp the pitch issue. The game is not so popular in the UK that it can afford to produce such pitches so often.

It matters not if there is an exciting finish on the fourth or fifth day. Erosion may cause a dramatic rock fall, but it does not make the previous 10,000 years entertaining.

Such pitches are no longer an occasional variation, they have become the norm. Groundsmen centrally contracted to the ECB might solve the issue of corporate pitches designed to please county chief executives, though they will do little to combat the drainage issues that appear to have dried out squares around the country.

You might also wonder at the role of Paul Downton. While England's new managing director has found time to sack England's record run-scorer in international cricket, break the confidentiality agreement having done so and decided it is his place to sit-in on selection meetings, it seems he has not been able to intervene on one of the key areas of the game: the pitches.

If it is his role to help create a winning England team, it is his role to ensure surfaces that benefit his team. He might do well to focus on such core responsibilities and leave the headline grabbing to the players.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: George Dobell

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 16:17 GMT)

It's shameful how bad the pitches have been just to be benefit the money men. in England we tend to associate it with variable conditions and different pitches rather than slow and low pitches that are useless to any bowler. It won't benefit cricket in the long term if all we get is bad pitches like that.

Posted by crick_wizard on (July 10, 2014, 15:53 GMT)

"Quality matter and not the quantity" is an old cliché, but sadly administrators world over seem to have forgotten that. Here is aother cliché - hope they don't kill he goose that is laying golden eggs

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

I think India should 1st think of posting a target that they can defend because the way the pitch is playing there isn't much for the seamers and India the current Indian pace attack lack in experience. All said it will again come down to the captain Dhoni, how he manages his bowlers and i think the bowling changes will be crucial in this pitch.

Posted by JimDavis on (July 10, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

Funny, it looks like the same pitch ordered last year for Australia. With all the changes in backroom staff at team England, did someone just send last years request form back in without reading it first?

Posted by zoot364 on (July 10, 2014, 10:57 GMT)

England's batting is so flakey at the moment they could lose even on this surface so don't be so certain that a draw is inevitable. Too many of the English batsmen have techical issues on the front foot that can be expolited by the Indian seamers if they put the ball in the right place.

Posted by KingOwl on (July 10, 2014, 10:51 GMT)

I am not sure whether the notion that the wickets prepared for SL were low and slow. There was nothing in them for spinners, for sure. But also, there was plenty of short pitched bowling during that series and plenty of wickets from such deliveries too. There were balls that were going straight at the throat and if you remember the last over of each match - at Lords bowled by Broad and at Leeds bowled by Eranga, there was still plenty of bounce. Anderson got out to a ball that went straight at the throat. And that was on a fifth day pitch. Perhaps the author is looking for a totally doctored pitch. But these days, with ICC rules, it is not easy to get such pitches for home teams.

Posted by sray23 on (July 10, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

@chapathishot, learn to read. I said "i lost count of how many times Aus has beaten SIDES 4-0, 5-0". SIDES - not just India, other sides too. And spare me the history lesson, I think I know enough to comment. Just compare India's historical win-loss record (home AND away) to other top teams so you yourself don't become a laughing stock next time.

Posted by RB007 on (July 10, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

Actually, India would have preferred better bowling conditions as that affords them the best chances of taking 20 wickets. In the current condition, Indian seamers become toothless. My feeling is on bowler friendly pitches, India will revert to 6 batsmen while backing their 3 seamers to dismiss England within 70 overs. Anyway it is refreshing to see Dhoni actually try something different by promoting himself at 6, Vijay finally coming good and Cook trying some innovations. Crucial first session coming up. That will determine whether India gets 300 or 450.

Posted by UAETigers on (July 10, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

@Others, Pakistan never had a formidable batting lineup and they don't need any sort of wicket to crumble on!!! If you remember they were bowled out around 50 by AUS team in Dubai twice in same test when they had good players!!! They have other sort of problem then pitches :)!!! My concerned is the hosting captain decides on the kind of wickets home team need. I am surprised why Cook is shocked to see this kind of ptich means it's a surprise for him too!! so it can be easily found out the involvement of Big3 in giving the doctored kind of Test pitches for Indian team even in AUS / ENG / SA / NZ.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (July 10, 2014, 9:10 GMT)

It's a shame to see a good indian batting performance getting hijacked by all this talk about the pitch.

If not anything else it shows England's desperation after string of losses and just 1 good day's worth of performance by india has rattled them.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 10, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

@ Sexysteven: While I enjoy your posts, I've got to say they make my brain cry. I'm an old man. I need a full stop here and there so I can gather my thoughts and catch my breath. .. see what I mean. Please, please take pity on me and throw one in now and then. Cheers, and absolutely no offence intended.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (July 10, 2014, 9:03 GMT)

Mr. Dobell is trying too hard to make his point. There was decent lateral movement through most of the day, especially after the first session and it isn't as if the failings are 'old', since that none of the men who batted yesterday (Dhoni apart) have ever played a test match in England!

Posted by switchmitch on (July 10, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

C'mon. English batters are also going to play on the same pitch. Stop being so critical. Maybe there is another reason why the pitch is so benign? Maybe the English batters do not fancy facing Indian bowlers on a steaming, seaming pitch?...:) quite possible...

Posted by sray23 on (July 10, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

@anoop3301, who told you Aus in 2013 fancied its chances in India? I live in Australia, everyone knew the team was very inexperienced and no-one expected them to win. India 2011 DEFINITELY fancied its chances a lot more. And it's not an invalid assumption - if pitches for this series stay like this and India win, and do not treat Aus as a different challenge for which they'll need to prepare and perform at 150%, 2011 will repeat itself - only this time like I said, an ambulance standby might be needed when Johnson's bowling.

Posted by lingiboy on (July 10, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

"...It was hard to avoid the conclusion that, had Nottinghamshire gift wrapped this pitch and tied a bow around it, they could hardly have made it more inviting to India...."

Only a few sentences earlier, you said that the pitch will not be helpful to Indian batsmen & Indian bowlers either.

Inconsistency? Or, trying to give some good excuses to Cook, if he can not just roll over the Indians. Don't jump the gun; Cook & Co may (repeat, may) still do it!

Posted by chapathishot on (July 10, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

sray23: Your comments make me laugh,you dont know any thing about the India Austrailia series in the past other than the last two.If you are not sure dont make a fool of yourself and become laughing stock by commenting that you have lost count of how many time Aussies beat India 4-0,or 5-0.If you know the history India rarely played 5 test series in Australia ,Only two instances once in Bradman era and in 1992.India lost 4-0 twice in 2010-11 and 1992 and And also lost 5-0 in bradman era but it was a combined India pak team.During the noughties when no one was able to beat aussies at home ,It was India who beat them twice.

Posted by lingiboy on (July 10, 2014, 8:35 GMT)

"Within a few overs, Matt Prior was taking the ball at ankle height"...

Answer to that is simple. The WK and the slip cordon should move forward by a short distance. They don't need a transport service or limousines for that little move! No?

Posted by anoop3301 on (July 10, 2014, 8:34 GMT)

@sray23: When did I say that India is the best in my eyes ? Obviously you are better than me in making assumptions that India have an over inflated view of its chances in Australia later this year. The Indian team is well aware of its weakness in bouncy pitches and if it does not correct them, 2011 will repeat. You cannot deny that Aus team which visited India in 2013 fancied its chances more than the Indian team which visited Down Under in 2011-12 but both the teams were thrashed 4-0 which makes Aus defeat worse. Of course I am aware about the rich history of Aus cricket but I was merely replying to your invalid assumptions.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 8:28 GMT)

I just don't agree with all the fuss about the pitch. Don't they say that one should judge a pitch only after both teams have batted on it? India lost Dhawan early. Immediately after lunch, they lost their two best batsmen inside 3 overs. Just after tea, they lost Rahane and were left with no more specialist batsmen in the pavilion. That is proof enough that if the bowlers were skillful and smart, they could test the batsmen. Let us now wait for the English innings to comment. What if they get bundled out for less than 200?

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

Like I said, the Notts groundsman said, 'you don't want to see teams getting bowled for 180.'

Errrrr, actually, we do. I'd certainly prefer it to seeing teams tediously accrue 600 without effort.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

Are there stats that show the distance keepers stand behind the stumps? I would love to see the comparison on all the WKs distances. Also, the slip fielders always take their stance based on the keeper's location. Was Prior afraid to move forward and grab the take at waist high? Or he needed more time to catch as his reflexes has slowed down bitterly?

Posted by ste13 on (July 10, 2014, 8:12 GMT)

Before putting the judgement, we should see England batting on this flat pitch. My impression is the England wanted to have a flat pitch to cover batting failures, while England bowling is also at a low point now. This is not good for cricket - still we should wait till India bowls - if weather permits.

Posted by sray23 on (July 10, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

@anoop3301: the aus team that lost 4-0 in India was not over-inflated - it was one of the weakest & most inexperienced in their history. And we took a side with 3-4 all time greats to Aus in 2011-12 & lost 4-0. THAT's the difference. And listen to you - one 4-0 test victory and India's the best in your eyes? If i recall that's the first time India had won 4-0 in history. And I've lost track of the times Aus have beaten sides 4-0 and 5-0... Compare the no. of Tests Aus has won in their history vs no. of Tests India's won. And the no. of Tests Aus has won/lost in India vs no. of Tests India has won/lost in Aus for the ENTIRE picture. Instead of clutching at lame straws like that one 4-0 victory.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 8:05 GMT)

Funny how everyone blaming the pitch would been a different story if england was batting first . It was funny after the first session when england took couple of wickets no one mentioned about the pitch

Posted by VijaySh on (July 10, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

Everybody should calm down a little. We have seen just one day of cricket. Wait till at least both sides have batted for one inning each. English fans (and even Mr. Dobell) wanted to see the ball and the pitch doing a lot and Indian batting falling to pieces. It did not happen. So what? And calling one ball hitting Vijay's elbow guard Indian batsmen's "old failing" is wrong. I have a message for the English team - if the ball is falling short stand closer. Try it. Its not rocket science.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

It is always about having good competition between bat and ball in test cricket but such negative strategy and frame of mind by authorities make the game dull and out for most of the audiences who still want to see good test matches.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (July 10, 2014, 7:50 GMT)

Same happened in South Africa. 2 Test matches and both pitches were totally Sub-continent. Money talks.

Posted by Rupert147 on (July 10, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

Watch what happens when England bat, 60 for 3 and then the media will suggest that the pitch has changed and is now doing a bit. This England attack is toothless, samey and impotent. Time to look for a spinner and a paceman. The days of shouting down a coal mine for a quickie has gone. The mines have closed down and our pace men now cry on live television.

Posted by Narkovian on (July 10, 2014, 7:27 GMT)

Absolutely right Mr. Dobell. Its hard enough to sell Test crciket in the modern age. Making it last 5 days by manipulating the pitch to the point of boredom will make people turn away even more. Short term gain... seems to be the norm in life these days in most spheres of our society. Cricket has got the same disease. So what do we have ? Far too much International Cricket to the point of irrelevence, played on turgid pitches. Nice work ECB, Groundsmen, County executives etc. You are killing the game. OK so ENG took a few wickets. But by and large bowlers and batsmen, and watchers were frustrated and bored.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (July 10, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

This resembles typical Indian flat pitch designed for batsmen to fill boots.Looks tough to take 20 W on for a result,tame draw beckons.But Eng bats,most of all Cook will be happiest lot as it'll enable them to take full toll of mediocre Ind bowlers.

Posted by SLSup on (July 10, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

@ Adnan1610: You say you rate Tendulkar and Dravid higher because they faced better bowlers on more bowler friendly wickets... BASED ON WHAT? What you BELIEVE in or because of what you KNOW? I have looked at every 5 year period for the past 35 years in Tests played in EVERY COUNTRY and it seems to me what you say is NOT factual. May we have some STATS to back the argument to say Tendulkar and Dravid faced better bowlers on worse batting conditions than others?

Posted by Ibanezfan on (July 10, 2014, 7:00 GMT)

So will the Chennai pitch now travel with the Indian team wherever our guys tour? Even Ganguly called the pitch "a chennai wicket". LOL! Other than Pujara's innings, and Vijay's to an extent, day one was boring to watch. Doctored pitch, sub-par risk averse teams. Bleh. After the last Ashes, this was so enervating. To make things worse, I was stuck listening to the terribly shiftless commentary on Sky Sports. [watching online at work. :)] Luckily the football semifinals saved the day after the boredom of this 'test' match. Another draw in the making. C'mon fellas, fight for a win please!

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 6:59 GMT)

I have this feeling that our bowlers are going to run through the English batting line-up. The pitch is gonna change, cloud cover will come on and the ball will swing as if its a football kicked by Beckham... Cookie and Co. will be tripping on their feet in an attempt to make bat and ball connect. :) On a more serious note : Go India. Lets see our bowlers complain about the pitch when we come on to bowl.

Posted by STRIKETHUNDER on (July 10, 2014, 6:50 GMT)

Stop following Indian test cricket . It is boring. At least India can compete somewhat.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

very very disappointed with the pitch. very poor for all types of players, the bowlers, batsman. such kinds of pitches will end the test cricket. every country should have their uniqueness and that makes intresting to watch and play

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 6:46 GMT)

Really dull cricket. At one point with the ball quite new Plunkett bowled a ball close to 90 MPH and it bounced twice never higher than two feet off the ground. the groundsman should be sacked for this.

Posted by Adnan1610 on (July 10, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

For me as an avid watcher of cricket and all its forms, I really haven't enjoyed Test cricket in England as a whole for a while, and this has to do with the pitches, I remember the "Controversial" tour Pakistan had against England, and the ball was nipping around all over the place, and Batsmen from both teams were struggling and it made for compelling viewing, I always prefer watching Test Cricket when the bowler is on top, because that's when a Batsman's character is tested, which is the whole point of Test Cricket. Flat Pitches shouldn't be used for Test Cricket, and the fact batsman are getting preferential treatment today confuses me, because we are now in an era where there are barely any real quality imposingly quick Pace-men (Johnson and Steyn), and you are seeing players who may not be great, having superior averages. Its one of the reasons I rate Tendulkar, Dravid and all the others that played in the 90s so highly cause they faced difficult bowlers in tough conditions.

Posted by SLSup on (July 10, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

Response to Murali Krishna: You say Murali causes SL to appear at the lower rungs on batting friendly countries based on a comparative study done or just because you THINK so - as you evidently cannot stomach FACTS that now seem to go AGAINST what you previously BELIEVE in? : ) Based on your OWN argument is it not apparent that AUS has had an exception attack YET they end up being the BIGGEST "DUST BOWL" around? How is it that ONLY SL is singled out because of only ONE of its bowlers? : )

All I am saying is this idea of sub-continent wickets being dust-bowls is A MYTH! As a matter of fact, if you look at the entire list there is only a 102 runs difference between AUS and SA overall. My point is: Why single out certain countries to villify certain players when the sub-continent factor is perhaps NOT a factor at all? That's all.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 6:33 GMT)

@archere3- He will go into hiding or he will again blame the pitch or he will thrash England batting order but he will never say that Indian bowlers bowled well, I can bet my life on that..

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 6:30 GMT)

imagine a situation where England won the toss and they piled up 300 for 2 or 3 with cook hitting 150 ... and this article would have been.much different... praising cook, praising pitch, defaming India bowlers and fans, what yo say about them, their.duty is defame Indian players.... lol

Posted by highveldhillbilly on (July 10, 2014, 6:13 GMT)

@GRVJPR - seriously? Do you actually believe that Steyn isn't one of the best fast bowlers in the past 20 years? Are you putting him on par with Z Khan? If so I think you are some what blinded by your patriotism.

Posted by klsau on (July 10, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

GRVJPR Check Steyn's stats in the subcontinent and then reconsider what you said.Ridiculous to suggest a guy like Steyn bowls with no heart regardless of pitches.The guy gives his everything especially when things aren't going smoothly

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

@ SLSup Big difference is that u have Muralidharan that's why average will come down what u have shown u should have taken home bowling abilities where as AUS r exception

Posted by GRVJPR on (July 10, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

Well Indian seamers bowls everytime on such wickets. But haven't seen them cry like this. Always maintained Anderson and Steyn would have made early retirements if they were bowlers in Subcontinent. Need big heart.

Posted by social_monster09 on (July 10, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

In my opinion the main concern for both sides are their bowling units. Although India have still to bowl but I know the result will be the same as English bowlers. Main problem from both sides is their pace bowling. If Aussies or SA bowlers are in the place of Poms or Indians the storyline may be different. This pitch needs variation in line & length for a pacer. If India will cross 450 run mark then India should be safe. But still match is open for Poms if they able to wrap up India delow 350 then Indian bowlers do the job for English boys.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (July 10, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

This is Ahmedabad masquerading as Trent Bridge. From a spectator's viewpoint, on the ground or on tele, this is torture. Lords is going to be even worse. It is better for Tests to be rained off than watch it to be played on such surfaces. Test cricket won't survive too long this way.

Posted by kr_kinshuk on (July 10, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

Btw, I used to think that we Indian fans were brilliant at coming up with excuses. And that we were always convinced that we will lose the game no matter what the actual situation of the game may be.

But coming to this forum has made me realize that this is universal. Or at least common amongst the england fans as well. :-)

Believe me, u guys r still the favourites to win this game.

And btw, to all those making predictions of a dull, boring draw. I wouldn't make such predictions this early. Reverse swing, batsmen errors, scoreboard pressure, etc. can turn the game around in a matter of one session. So, let's just wait and watch.

Posted by archere3 on (July 10, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

I would like to see an article from this guy if England's batting lineup collapse. what I am trying to say is its a five day match and at least wait until 3rd day to comment. For me there should be all types of wickets, and like to see batsman and bowlers outsmart each other when there is nothing from pitch.

Posted by SLSup on (July 10, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

Since there'd been much talk for years on Sub-Continent dust bowls and how certain players from sub-continent have outstanding records because they play in dust-bowls (example: Sri Lanka and Sangakkara) - especially by Indian fans who dislike Sanga being compared to SRT - I thought to check out how BATTING FRIENDLY each Test playing country in the past 20 years. Here are the results (in order of most to least batting friendly wickets):

AUS w/113 Tests @ 1103 runs per Test

IND w/88 Tests @ 1081 runs per Test

ENG w/128 Tests @ 1051 runs per Test

PAK w/51 Tests @ 1047 runs per Test

BNG w/44 Tests @ 1024 runs per Test

SL w/87 Tests @ 1012 runs per Test

NZ w/81 Tests @ 999 runs per Test

WI w/92 Tests @ 987 runs per Test

ZIM w/45 Tests @ 987 runs per Test

SA w/101 Tests @ 971 runs per Test

Posted by kr_kinshuk on (July 10, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

Wow!!! people are so eager to jump to conclusions. India are 250 odd for 4, not 300 for 2. It includes a 5th wicket partnership of 70 odd, with Dhoni getting 50 of those. There's a very good chance that India will get bowled out for less than 350.

England can then go on to score big in its first innings, and then India could buckle under the scoreboard pressure and gift the game away on the 4th or 5th day.

The fact is, India's bowling is extremely vulnerable. And their batting is inexperienced (which is why, pujara and rahane couldn't kick on from those starts). But the combination of a slow pitch, inexperienced Indian batting and weak Indian bowling is probably what the England side is counting on.

Again, all of this is conjecture. India could also end up doing a Sri Lanka and win the game and surprise everyone.

My point is, there's too little evidence on day one to suggest that the English side has played into India's hands by preparing this pitch. :-)

Posted by ammiel on (July 10, 2014, 5:07 GMT)

funny headline! as if to say english players and management dont have any say in what type of pitch is prepared for the test series...thats odd how things changed since last years ashes series was played on pitches designed by the....

Posted by CricLover316 on (July 10, 2014, 4:56 GMT)

Point is the pitch wasnt as flat as its been portrayed by the media. The ball was reverse swinging alot after the 30th Over itself. There was swing on offer with the new ball,had England picked Jordan instead of a one Stockes,things would have been better. The batsmen had to work hard to get their runs. Remember alot of games with 280/290-4 scored on day1. Had India lost two more wickets,all this talk of flat pitch wouldn't have come up. Eng bowling barring Anderson/Broad and a good last match for Plunket hasnt been good or their usual best. Just blindly blaming the pitch for everything,is that how fans should react ? Had Eng been 300 odd for 1,it's be poor Indian bowing,not poor pitch. Eng have been conservative. Green tops is what India wants,which would help their bowlers take wickets,as their batting has almost no issues overseas and have scored good runs in NZ/SA. They've done well to recover from 107-3 could have been 240-6 and fans wouldn't be talking so much. Poor to see.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 10, 2014, 4:31 GMT)

I rarely find myself aligned with and sympathetic to the Indian point of view but this time I am. In respect to them not getting any respect for their batting that is. They did pretty well and should be happy with their days work. .. when they lost Pujarra and Kohli in quick succession the alarm bells would have been ringing. England was bowling well just after lunch and there WAS some movement off the seam for Broad as well as some reverse. Anderson was also asking plenty of questions at the other end. However, the Indians resisted and rode it out well. .. They DO deserve a lot of credit for that and they get it from me at least.

It's Day 1. The game has barely begun and most people seem ready to lynch someone or other. .. Chill out people! .. Relax and let the game unfold. There are probably many wondrous things yet to reveal themselves in this game. sheesh, young people today. Always in such a hurry they forget to look at the scenery.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 4:23 GMT)

I Think it a good strategy by England board, in a 5 match series you need to look at what is team lagging at the moment, it is batting for England and becomes important for the batsman to come back to form. This pitch will allow that to happen and with half tracker bowlers of India, Kumar and Binny needs swing to get wickets , that is negated, other 2 India bowlers, less said better. English batsman can come back to form in this match and then usual England pitches for other games ...

Posted by Cric_fann on (July 10, 2014, 4:18 GMT)

Lot of inferences going on regarding the Pitch. In reality this pitch is not made for Indians, though Indian batsmen will also take the advantage. England, in its current form with the bat (with this set of players) are not looking to win the Series 5-0, rather they want to establish their authority from a safer side by winning 4-0 or 3-0. This pitch will help Cook regain his confidence and form with all other batsmen (Bell, Root, Mat, Stokes and even Stuart) sticking around and helping themselves to score big. Even if the first test is drawn with the luxury of bringing back English batsmen to form, there is plenty of time left (5 match series) and hoping English bowlers could do well even with small help from the pitch, they will go for the kill from next match preparing proper ENGLISH TEST WICKETS. Wait and the see the tactics, if it works... please publsh

Posted by CricLover316 on (July 10, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

The similar sort of pitches have been prepared since the last Ashes home series for England in 2013. The flat ones like you called it were prepared in the SL Series. Why so much outrage now by the Media? I have seen so many silly comments from some renowned experts blaming BCCI/BIG3/Financial Angle,when its the Ground staff trying to make the match last 5 days and just may be,a close finish to a borefest of 3-4 Days(See Also - Lords)Vijay,Che,MS deserve some credit maybe ? Also, if the roles were reversed, and Eng were 270-4,Indian bowlers and Captain would've been blown away by the media. Dont you think ? There was reverse swing on offer,new ball movement and maybe Jordan's inclusion might have helped Eng' case. So my Q is had the roles been reversed, would Media be blaming the pitch so much or they'd have taken Indian Bowlers to the cleaners ? India is perfectly capable of piling runs on bowling pitches with relatively inexperienced players. Surprised with Eng 3 Man attack+Stocks.

Posted by landl47 on (July 10, 2014, 3:55 GMT)

I don't think the pitch suited India any more than it suited England. Having won the toss and got off to a good start (106 at lunch was excellent), India would have hoped to have capitalised during the rest of the day. Instead they found themselves unable to play shots because the ball wasn't coming on to the bat. The run rate is under 3 an over and at 259 the score is far from imposing for a full day's cricket in ideal weather conditions. I'd give India the edge on the first day, but unless the pitch either develops some demons or falls to pieces it's already hard to see either side being bowled out twice quickly enough for there to be a result.

Posted by anoop3301 on (July 10, 2014, 3:43 GMT)

@sray23: Similar to the over-inflated view Aus team had when they visited India last year and promptly got blasted 4-0 ?

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 3:36 GMT)

uae tigees @ but if pakistan play in this same dead flat pitch they will all out for 100 with their below average batsmans.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 3:29 GMT)

yeah, while the home team would want to create favorable conditions, it looks like the author is creating excuses - if England wins in India, its tough condition and becoz of their great cricket but if there is even a potential for the reverse to happen, blame it on the pitch. Historically, I see there is a lot of bias in thinking that green pitches (note: suitable for England, Australia, SA) is considered superior to the slow pitches (aka subcontinent pitches). At the end of the day, the results are what counts - let us see if India takes advantage of the 'slow' pitch.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 3:16 GMT)

rahane was dismissed because of the lack of pace on the short ball, not because he has some failings against the short ball!!

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 3:07 GMT)

This is one of the most patriotic article I have read in recent times especially on Cricinfo !! Some validbut little points have been amplified too much.. Though the KP dig on Downtown was nice !!

Posted by Desihungama on (July 10, 2014, 2:50 GMT)

Excellent analysis Mr. Dobell. You don't think this is intentional? To purse the dream of Test Championship, India must be among the Top Four. Sigh!

Posted by sray23 on (July 10, 2014, 2:26 GMT)

It's not just bad for English cricket. If India win the series on these pitches, they will start having an over-inflated view of themselves and arrive in Aust expecting in Dec expecting a similar result, only to be confronted by REAL pacy bouncy pitches and Mitchell Johnson who will either hospitalize Indian batsmen or roll them over (or both!!)

Posted by USAMAAJMAL678 on (July 10, 2014, 2:23 GMT)

i havent seen such an afraid ,cowardly and defensive english side specially at home for a long time..they prepare a flat batting pitch and come out with a team that has only 3 specialist bowlers with 2 mediocre allrounding bowlers and pack their batting side upto no 8...i dont know why they havent played a genuine fast bowler like finn as 4th bowler who could have been devastating against this indian batting line up with his pace and bounce...instead they choose mediocre players like jordan and whoakes...if the likes of jordan and whoakes are 4th bowlers than u can clearly see what a below par bowling attack is this...clearly the english are afraid and they are basing their strategy on the defensive...

Posted by SANATP22 on (July 10, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

good start for indian but pitch is very good for batting , Middle order fails again , Dispointed the way Pujara and Kaholi get out and set batman Rahane again dispointed , Hope india can post 400+ score.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (July 10, 2014, 1:39 GMT)

Spot on assessment of pitch by Dobell.If a M Vijay who has been largely found wanting o/s of flat home pitches is batting on a 100 and mostly untroubled by a just about above avg. Eng attack,it gives a clear picture of the nature of this pitch.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (July 10, 2014, 1:01 GMT)

The pitch was designed to let the English batsmen score runs against the fearsome Indian pace attack that includes Ishant.

Posted by ruester on (July 10, 2014, 0:13 GMT)

I felt so sorry for the spectators who paid good money to watch cricket on such a disappointing surface, I felt sorry for the four quick bowlers who tried their hearts out. I continually feel sorry for the state of English cricket under guidance of Downton, I could not agree more with George's comments. Downton has made an impact for sure but in my view in negative ways. I will never forgive him for sacking KP after being in Australia for 2 1/2 days. Downton I was in Australia watching far more of my national team than you, KP was not the player that you should of jettisoned. The captain you whole heartedly support that led the team to Ashes disaster was the one that should of gone.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 23:59 GMT)

What is wrong in this pitch. First day assisting the batsman. Tomorrow morning I feel it will have more pace and bounce and it will have some assistance for fast and seam bowler. If it has something for spinner on third day onwards it is a perfect pitch. No one wants a pitch where binny takes wicket with the help of pitch not because of his skill. Give the same pitch to legendry fast bowler of westindies . They'll get wicket. I still don't know why a fast bowler wants help from pitch.. Bowl a yorker at 155 speed.you will get wicket. I understand spinners need at least some help but for raw fast bowling and good swing bowling .pitch has no role. I think media wants India to be out for 180 odd. And game over in 3rd day.

Posted by satchander on (July 9, 2014, 23:50 GMT)

As an Indian fan, I am happy that this is a flat wicket. If India can somehow draw this match, then I am sure they will take a lot of confidence going into 2nd test match where they might get a more seaming/bouncy pitch. Still there are 4 more days to go in this 1st test match and hope India can continue their good work.

Posted by UAETigers on (July 9, 2014, 23:39 GMT)

A Great gift by Eng Cricket board to BCCI!!! Preparing a dead pitch in England during summer season!!! M.Vijay scoring century on first day and Dhoni scoring 50 are enough signs of ENG support to IND to avoid humiliation!! Death of cricket and long live Big3 ad their franchise game Called as Competitive CRICKET!!!

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 23:37 GMT)

Well said George. ECB model of making counties bid up for Tests which results in high ticket costs, low attendances outside London and dull pitches designed for 5 days needs to change. TV revenues dwarf ground revenues so they can afford to be more considerate of the paying spectator. It is also good business as how long TV will pay large sums for a product played to increasingly empty stadia remains to be seen. Without a vibrant live crowd, the players won't feel the atmosphere of performing at the pinnacle of their sport. Urgent action, not platitudes and dishonest briefings, is required and whilst ECB refuse to allow paying spectators any consideration, it is a blessing that some journalists aren't blind to this problem and will put these thoughts into print.

Posted by wapuser on (July 9, 2014, 23:29 GMT)

Great teams and bowling line up find ways to get wickets. Like the almighty Windies and all conquering Aussies did in the 80's and 90 respectively.

Therefore this article is rubbish and is branding the England team as a one dimensional team that can only win if the pitches are in their favor . That wud not get any respect in many people books.

Posted by 2MikeGattings on (July 9, 2014, 23:12 GMT)

"Every time I hear Paul Downton speak, I want to throw him a rubber hoop. He's so far out of his depth."

Thank you George Dobell.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 22:58 GMT)

England are just a green track bully!

Posted by mrpfister on (July 9, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

Insightful as ever. It's a joy read your work George.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (July 9, 2014, 22:37 GMT)

What really irks me is why we now see this for most tours for sub-continent teams travelling abroad. Australia now routinely moves the first test away from the Gabba for touring teams. They have even scrapped the Perth test for the Indians. But what happens when teams tour Ind or SL? I still recall the abominations that were the Chennai and Galle first test wickets last time AUS toured those countries, curators manipulating sections of the pitch to suit one bowler or neutralise an opponent's, Indian curators complaining about being pressured by Dhoni to produce dustbowls...

The most infuriating thing is that it never takes more than a couple of games for the captain or management of sub-continent touring teams to start complaining that they have been hard done by about something. And let's not even begin to mention the fans...

Posted by live_for_cric on (July 9, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

Dis article is an apt example people of the insecurties which have crept into the english heads becoz of there teams dismisal performances of late....ok mr dobell u r correct wen u say that da pitch is not to da english liking buy to derate da performances of da indians especially murali vijays is downright un professional of u... ur team might have humiliated us in 2011 n in our own background but dat doesnt mean we r incapable of a fight back....grow up...n give credit where it is due

Posted by PatrickJM on (July 9, 2014, 22:33 GMT)

England might be able to bowl on lively pitches, but they are very shaky batting on them. The problem England have is not the pitches - it is the fact it is a medium paced bowling unit that relies on swing and lacks of a credible spinner. Throw in a fast bowler like Finn at his best and, say, a Herath or Lyon, and this England attack would look entirely different on exactly the same track.

Posted by jb633 on (July 9, 2014, 22:20 GMT)

This is hilarious. ECB = complete and utter disgrace. Please India come and fill your boots against this popgun attack on an absolute featherbed. To make things better we will have it deteriorate by day 4 and 5 so your spinners have something to work. ECB and everything to do with English cricket is frankly appalling. India to win the series to nil. Pathethic.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 22:19 GMT)

don't be so critical....if pitches were made like 2011 its nt only our batsman might have struggled but tours also.don't rate dis English side so gigh.u cn only bank on Bell.captain cook z in d worst form of his life & others r too young.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 21:51 GMT)

Earlier this season, Trent Bridge produced a juicy pitch with plenty in it for the bowlers. When the bowlers had the cheek to take wickets, many people, including it seemed to me the Cricinfo reporters were up in arms about it. But I couldn't understand why at the time, and I still can't. Surely if you want pitches to be more lively you shouldn't damn the procurators if they produce one where the bowlers have things a bit more their way!

Posted by markatnotts on (July 9, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

@ThyrSaadam, no it is a criticism of a pitch without decent carry. The hard cold fact is 'Green tops' haven't been prepared for Tests in England for years. Indeed if you saw such a pitch anywhere in the world the game would most likely be over inside 2 days - whoever is playing. For the simple reason batsmen are so unused to exaggerated seam movement the world over.

Posted by Cricmot on (July 9, 2014, 21:20 GMT)

This pitch is pathetic. India prepares better pitches which produces exiting cricket on rank turners. This pitch is slow,low .. it assists neither seam nor spin. Contrary to what author says, it blunts the Indian bowling more than the English one's. Its not to say that Indian bowlers are more quicker and effective than the England bowlers,but Indian bowlers need more assistance from the pitch than their counterparts. This dull pitch nullify s whatever little the Indian bowlers possessed. It looks to me a draw on the cards unless the pitch changes its behavior dramatically in the next couple of days.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 9, 2014, 21:04 GMT)

Cricket should be played to the pitches/conditions given - not the other way round. The pitch/toss wont decide this match; whichever team plays the better cricket will deservedly win.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

We have a saying here, A dancer who is inept blames the stage. So instead of blaming the pitch why not adapt yourselves.

Posted by troll_dum on (July 9, 2014, 19:55 GMT)

@ThyrSaadam : Perfectly said. Looking at the conversation, it feels as if its outlawed to have turning pitches. Yes ECB is at fault if they don't provide the 'natural' pitches. Every country has the right and responsibility to provide pitches as per the weather and geography. But hey, isn't it great for cricket to provide some change through pitches!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 9, 2014, 19:54 GMT)

Well done to Murali Vijay on his hundred. He's worked hard for it and has exercised that mixture of concentration and selected aggression allied to a sound technique that should be rewarded with a century and more. India would not be quite so pleased with their day had he not gone big. And having said that, as is right and proper, I am afraid that if the remaining 24 days of Test match cricket do not fill me with a growing sense of anticipation, if this is typical of the pitches we're going to be given. They are likely to be run fests with the bowlers given no encouragement even though the matches are likely to go the distance. For this the finger must point at the ECB, and Giles Clarke in particular. He doesn't care about the quality of cricket on offer, with a nice balance between batsmen and bowlers, he's only interested in bums on seats within the grounds or on sofas at home. When the cricket world realises it's been conned, it's likely to go and dig the garden instead...

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (July 9, 2014, 19:54 GMT)

For a moment, I thought the English cricket fans would appreciate watching good Test cricket as that is their favorite format of the game. It now appears that English cricket fans appreciate watching good Test cricket as long as their team is winning. In other words I don't think they are that different from the rest of the world for the Test format. Also, I will continue to expect complaints about the pitches when they travel to Asian countries as suiting the home team. However, this article shows that they are no different in wanting to milk the home advantage.

Posted by wnwn on (July 9, 2014, 19:48 GMT)

It is shocking to see how flat these pitches have been so far this summer. The bowlers have struggled even in helpful conditions.

Posted by tests_the_best on (July 9, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

I think although the article has some valid points, it comes across as quite one-sided. I feel there are 3 reasons for India's relatively decent performance today (it's far from being a great position yet). One of them, as mentioned in the article, is the pitch not being a typical Trent Bridge pitch which supports bowlers. Second, without Swann England's bowling has become weaker not to mention the team morale being low compared to 2011 due to the Ashes whitewash and the home series loss to SL. Third, India batted reasonably well and the batting lineup despite the inexperience looks better than it was a couple of years ago. Ignoring the other factors and solely blaming the pitch comes across as quite biased and one-sided. The article doesn't do justice to the day's play, the author needs to provide more balanced perspectives going forward.

Posted by Rupert147 on (July 9, 2014, 19:45 GMT)

All summer the commentators have been banging on about the placid pitches, usually when England are toiling in the field. Maybe it's time to recognise that the bowling cupboard is bare, and the attack is spearheaded by a man who broke down in tears on live tv after the Headingley Test. A decent pace bowler or spinner worth his salt would extract something from any pitch. Don't blame groundsmen yet again as the previous 2 Tests ended up thrillers albeit with no worthwhile bowlers on show. Don't listen to the lazy Sky commentators as they have lost all perspective of cricketing reality.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (July 9, 2014, 19:10 GMT)

Lol a few 'quirky' field settings aren't going to make Cook an instant nor credible captain. They obviously weren't his ideas either otherwise we'd have seen them whilst England were getting hammered. He's probably been watching re-runs of Clarke's excellence to give him some ideas. Tomorrow he can watch India pile on a massive total whist waiting for a text from Warnie on what he should do to get a wicket. Excellent approach by India to nullify the nullified bowling and set up for a big one tomorrow.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 19:10 GMT)

Given the way the pitch behaved atleast the 1st test is going to be dull boring draw if there is anything that will happen this pitch in all probability will be a good batting strip and batsmen will make merry.A test match should ideally be a good contest between ball and bat but offlate just to ensure matches are played for 5 full days pitches offer lesser and lesser assistance to bowlers so taking wickets is not possible.Without swing and movement present Indian line up of Bhuvi Binny and guys wont be able to do a thing.Hopefully something is done about it

Posted by Vilander on (July 9, 2014, 19:10 GMT)

I am sure the pitch will suddenly quicken when Shami comes to bowl.

Posted by MianMoosa on (July 9, 2014, 19:08 GMT)

The ECB and county management may rise up their bank balance but only at the cost of their team devastation.....i can,t believe this such low, slow & batting paradise wicket for an asian team on first day of the series,,,this has to be one of craziest decision by ECB to play their cricket...and on top of that there is no specialist spinner,,playing with gentle friendly pace bowlers,,what could indian ask for more ?????

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 19:05 GMT)

Had India reached 300/4 I would have been much more confident. It seems India is always 4 or 5 down when the new ball is due.

Needs a Kumble like marathon bowling spell to pick wickets on this.

Posted by dabbadubba on (July 9, 2014, 19:05 GMT)

same old sob story... whenever India does well, the credit is always given to the pitch...never to the wonderful talents of the determined players... its getting boring..but it sells though as it generates lots of comments

Posted by Vilander on (July 9, 2014, 19:03 GMT)

Job well down, great way to discredit a young batsman's effort. "Murali Vijay was struck by a short ball from Liam Plunkett that suggested that, on a more lively surface, he would have to work harder for his runs." He bats for 50 overs but the author has decided he got it easy based on one ball. Bravo.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 18:59 GMT)

"The English can be wonderful hosts" wow i still remember england has increased the boundary rope diameter when they played west indies last time in odi keeping west indies hitting capabilities and one of d commentator said there is no wrong and similarly same wickets were served to Australia to nullify Aus bowling ability and now England seeing Indian bowler's inability to pick wicket's on flat tracks and also seeing cook's form prepared batting wicket and so as to deviate from this topics they brought this wonderful theory.Agreed this is slow pitch but has this author never seen bowl not carrying to slip cordon

Posted by neil99 on (July 9, 2014, 18:55 GMT)

Excellent article. I can only suggest the tile is changed to "the death of test cricket". Pitches have been poor in England for the last few years and now we understand it's county administrators trying to rake it to the detriment of quality surfaces. If the ECB has lost the ability to ensure balanced surfaces are provide that have pace, carry that rewards both good batting and good bowling, we might as well start the lament now.

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 9, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

You can put this down to the Aussies. The English are absolutely terrified of bouncy pitches now, their poor technique against the short ball ruthlessly exploited by Mitch J and co.

Posted by Cricfever_PM on (July 9, 2014, 18:43 GMT)

These days people started fighting fault in everything, what is fun in getting the pitch which assist to your bowlers, you have to prepare for everything. When Eng toured India last time they won the serious in the difficult subcontinent pitch which offered nothing to English bowlers in the past. You get the right bowlers and they will take wicket at any pitch.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

England are a rather unfunny joke...preparing a pitch more Nagpur than Nottingham. The ECB have nobody to blame but themselves if England lose this series.

Posted by Leggie on (July 9, 2014, 18:21 GMT)

England may have well prepared such wickets for 2 reasons. a) Catch India off guard, whereby they end up playing with 4 bowlers and effectlively lose the match even without a ball being bowled. b) English batsmen - were awful against Australia in bouncy conditions. Knowing well that India has potentially an unpredictable bowling attack that can oscillate between brilliant and pathetic, the ECB perhaps dreaded even this attack to challenge the English batsmen.

Posted by Nampally on (July 9, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

Indeed it was gift wrapped package for the Indian spinners. Yet Dhoni dropped Ashwin, the star spinner, in favour of an all rounder capable of bowling mild medium pace + some batting. So India did start on the wrong foot with their XI, dropping a match winning bowler. Secondly, Dhawan & Kohli both got out poking at the balls outside the off stump. This mad an easier day for England. Kohli in full flow on this batting strip would have been handful. Dhoni substituted Kohli's batting later in the day. I am sure Kohli was kicking himself! Dhawan & Gambhir are known pokers of the balls outside the off stump. Hence I was not surprised with Dhawan but Kohli making such a fundamental mistake was unbelievable. This is a pitch on which the side batting first needed 500 runs. India will be hard put to get that total. But Binny can still justify his selection by his batting contribution. Jadeja is equally capable of scoring. But Dhoni-Vijay partnership must play out the first session on day 2!

Posted by ThyrSaadam on (July 9, 2014, 18:11 GMT)

If this is an open request to make green top tracks then stop complaining about dust bowls too.

Posted by nainil0683 on (July 9, 2014, 18:10 GMT)

This is exactly what India needs to do. When countries like England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand come to play in India, they should be given their home conditions which they are used to and comfortable playing with and then beat them under their conditions. That's what you call true champions. West Indies of the 70s and 80s did that and Australia in 90s and 2000s.

Posted by IMCG67 on (July 9, 2014, 18:08 GMT)

A superb well written and balanced piece of writing - I wonder if the pitches committee would be called if this were a county match ? whilst obviously points can't be deducted maybe a year away from test cricket might be the encouragement required !

Posted by jackthelad on (July 9, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

Perfectly correct in every respect, Mr. Dobell. Many more of this kind of pitch and Test cricket will be dead in the water. It's what happened in the late 20s and early 30s - pitches deadened with marl and over-preparation to feed batsmen runs - and it led to the only feasible response - extremely fast accurate bowling on or just outside leg stump (tendentiously called 'the line of the body') to a packed legside field. The tactic worked to a large extent, but it produced one of the nastiest Test series ever and almost destroyed international cricket. Pitches need to give scope for the enormous variety of skills available to top class cricket, not preserve gate receipts for Cricket Boards; what's wrong with sides being bowled out for 180? That's what people will pay to see.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

draw is my prediction here on this flat surface

Posted by Suggsy on (July 9, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

While this article is true to an extent... I feel it is incredibly unfair to point out certain balls which have been edged or have beaten the bat, that happens in every innings and every test. There isn't a single paragraph that appreciates the fact that India also batted reasonably well and have won two out of the three sessions. It is not India's fault that this pitch was given to them, a relatively green wicket was offered in Johannesburg to this same batting lineup which managed to pile on the runs. Even on a rather flat wicket like this, it still takes application to make runs, especially 122 of them.. As well as the English bowled on a docile wicket, Vijay's judgement on leaving was up to the task as he rarely chased the wide deliveries (albeit for a couple of edges that were highlighted in the article). The drives that he did end up playing, he also brought his front foot considerably forward which give him the best possible change of timing the ball well.

Posted by Triple_A on (July 9, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

It should be mentioned that the pitch has been prepared strictly to fill the ECB coffers from gate tickets. This has nothing to do with the BCCI, who do not have a say even in their own country - the responsibility of the ground and pitch is solely of the curator ONLY. Nor does it have anything to do with the Big Three.

Dobell has tried to imply that Indian batsmen have some "old failings", but has blatantly ignored that every batsman, irrespective of where he is from, will induce edges on seaming wickets in England. Sounds like he has never even played club-level cricket in England, but is only using his words to incite the minds of the readers.

Posted by ReeceLebanOz on (July 9, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

Poms were made to prepare such pitch due to external pressure. Knowing the Poms, they balk at everything. India getting dust bowls and flat pitches they dearly love so much

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
George DobellClose
Tour Results
England v India at Birmingham - Sep 7, 2014
England won by 3 runs
England v India at Leeds - Sep 5, 2014
England won by 41 runs
England v India at Birmingham - Sep 2, 2014
India won by 9 wickets (with 117 balls remaining)
England v India at Nottingham - Aug 30, 2014
India won by 6 wickets (with 42 balls remaining)
England v India at Cardiff - Aug 27, 2014
India won by 133 runs (D/L method)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days