India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai

Selective watering the secret to 'ugly' pitch

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 27, 2013

Comments: 214 | Text size: A | A

India's spinners kept the pressure on Australia, India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 4th day, February 25, 2013
India's spinners took all 20 Australian wickets to fall in the match © BCCI
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The curator at the MA Chidambaram stadium has expressed satisfaction with the way the pitch for the Chennai Test, which was termed "ugly", behaved over the duration of the Test. The pitch took turn from the first day, but held together till the fifth.

"I like to see a result in Test cricket, and the fact that the game went five days says to me that it's a pretty good Test match wicket," K Parthasarathy, the curator, told the Indian Express.

"We started by making the entire pitch firm. After that we watered it selectively. The areas on either side of the stumps were kept dry, and so turned out to be loose. The line of the stumps was watered and rolled, so it stayed firm through the Test."

Australia lost all their wickets in the Test to the spinners, with R Ashwin inflicting maximum damage. "Australia need Raffa Nadal here in Chennai on the clay," Shane Warne had tweeted with a picture of the third-day pitch. But James Pattinson, with his extra pace, also managed a five-wicket haul in the first innings. Both the captains also said the pitch played better than expected.

"If I had kept the entire pitch dry, people would have called it under-prepared. But now nobody is complaining," the curator said.

Parthasarathy had used the method of selective watering back in 1998 when Australia lost to India by 179 runs. Warne, who frequently bowled round-the-wicket line during that series, struggled to make an impact as Sachin Tendulkar took the attack to him.

"I kept the square patches outside the leg stump, on either side of the wicket, really hard. It was difficult to get turn from that part as there would be no rough there."

"After that game, Warne came to me and asked why he wasn't getting the turn and others were. I told him it was because of his dodgy shoulder, that was to be operated later in the series."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 1, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

@gpm86: Ref ... "Whilst this pitch turned out better than expected thats not what aussies generally are sayin."...

What are you talking about? Look at Meety and others. They are saying that they had thought the wicket would hold well for 5 days cos it looked pretty firm and so picked 4 bowlers and only 1 spinner whilst they had no idea it would not behave that way as time would progress. It seems that the Aussie fans themselves are confused whether the wicket held up of not or whether it was good for batting or for spinners or for fast bowlers and are making so much noise just to vent out their frustration and have to latch on to any tid bit to come up with a modicum of an argument.

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 1, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

@Meety: The wicket was a fake? That is ridiculous!!!

The wicket was the same for both the sides. The wicket had ample runs. The wicket did not break down too much even on Day 4 and 5. Even your 10th wicket partnership got you so many runs. How come? You have failed to provide a single objective objection to the nature of the wicket and now cling to a statement by cherry picking portions off it. Who is blinkered then? You or me?

Don't blame us if your REASONABLE ASSUMPTIONS were ill-founded. It is your incompetence. Don't tell us you took 4 seamers cos it was firm. You had NO spinner to begin with. The pitch was indeed firm and held up well. Is firmness a problem for you now? Oh come on ... it seems you have problem with any wicket on which Aus can't win.

Posted by Harmony111 on (March 1, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

@Meety: You are admitting now that no law was broken by the selective watering of the wicket. Why are you then making so much noise about something that was perfectly within the laws? Whether it was obscure or far-fetched or convoluted should not matter as long as it broke no law. If no law was broken then why so much fuss? No law says that the wicket should be watered evenly. In fact, some common sense will tell you that too. The curator did not want a dull wicket. He wanted a proper wicket thus he 1st made a firm wicket that was full of runs, helped spinners yet did not break down too much, allowed fast bowlers to do well provided they worked hard. Sounds like an IDEAL test wicket to me. You got the answer? Selective watering to make it an IDEAL wicket. Take that.

2) How is that sneaky? You think the curator should tweet or blog about how he made the wicket? It is the prob of Aussies if they can't read it or can't look at it in detail.

Posted by shinewindies on (March 1, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

I cant undersatnd whats this fuss about the pitch, i think it was hell of a test match which evreyone enjoyed in India and in Australia, anyone who says India delibrately prepare pitches to suit their spinners and hence the pitches are not sporting, are all nuts, honestly this Aus team is no where near the calibre of Steve Waugh's team who toured India in 2004, any pitch which lasts for 5 days and on which a genuine fast bowler takes 5 wickets or on which a Potugese Debutant scores 2 half centuries (who in my undersatnding would have little knowledge of playing spin back home) is a pefectly sporting wicket, so what if it looked on TV a French open tennis court, it played like a test wicket should do for 5 days, Australia lost this match not becuase of the pitch but because of non application of their batsmen other than Clarke and Henriques, it could have been thriller of a match if that poor Cowan did not drop that dolly from Kumar when India was just 30 odd runs ahead,

Posted by Meety on (March 1, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

@Jayaraman Lalgudi - e;sewhere I have preaised Dhoni's knock. I am more of a Dhoni fan than MOST Indians. I have seen him often derided as a "lucky" captain & other things. IMO - if Dhoni was stop playing International cricket today, India would instantly freefall down the rankings, he has played many a lone hand in ODIs of late, & the 1st Test was finally reward at Test level. I have said NUMEROUS times on this & other articles, that India were the better team & deserved to win. I have no complaints about umpire's calls - the worst went Oz's way, whilst most of the line ball calls went India's way but nothing drastic. The pitch itself - I have no problem with. What no Indian fan is understanding - is that there is something very wrong with deliberately waterering sections of a pitch & not others - particularly when there is no grass left on the pitch in the first place. A basic premise is that a pitch is evenly treated, whether that is by shaving all grass or whatever. Not here!

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

Meety, one thing is clear that both teamsplayed on the same pitch. The way you write, one gets the feeling that the Aussies were asked to play on a seperate pitch.

Clearly, the class of Dhoni did it all.

Posted by Meety on (March 1, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

So let me see, should I take the word of some fans who have never played at elite level, or should I take the word of Bishan Bedi when he stats -

"In Australia, you don't doctor those wickets," Bedi told AAP. "Every wicket in Australia has a character to it. "They have their own respective characters and those characters are never destroyed. It's the same in England." Bedi said it was natural for Indian pitches to favour spin on days four and five of a Test match. "But if it turns on the first session of the first day, somewhere along the line the ICC might have to step in. But will they?" he said. "I wasn't embarrassed. I was annoyed. "It's taking home advantage to another extreme. It's not quite cricket. "Cricket is supposed to be a game of integrity." == == ==

"Cricket is supposed to be a game of integrity." - that my Indian friends, is why I have a problem with selective watering - IMO it is dishonest. Hopefully this will lead to full disclosure in the future!

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

Trapper 439. You are absolutely right,, The difference beteen the 2 sides was Dhoni. There is no point in making the pitch a scapegoat.

Just like the WACA pitch is bouncy (not doctored), most of the Indian wickets are rank turners (not necessarily doctored).

Just like Indians must learn to play on bouncy wickets, the Aussies should also learn to play on spinny tracks, if they are to be a number 1 side, England did just that

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

@wellrounded87 "That being said i would like India to produce a pitch or two that offers something for fast bowlers. Otherwise they will forever be a team that's only good at home and can't handle the swinging ball" LOL

How many spin friendly tracks have Aussies prepared while a team from the subcontinent is touring down under? Like someone already mentioned "you won't hear Indians complaining about the Gabba being bouncy and unfriendly, do you?"

Just a while ago, England came here and played a series and won. Why? They had quality spinners who could use the spin friendly Indian pitches to their advantage, and skilled batsmen who could tackle Indian spinners.

So stop whining about the pitches and work on producing quality spinners and batsmen who can survive & score on spin friendly conditions. When you achieve that, you can start dreaming about winning a test series in India again.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 1, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Im pretty sure no AUssie is blaming the pitch for loosing. India were the better side. We are just saying we dont like the cricket that pitches like this produce. When you purposely take a whole class of player out of the game it detracts from the spectacle of the game. Congratulations to India for winning but I suspect you could win on a standard indian pitch because they normally favour spinners anyway and you dont need to purpose build pitches. But unfortunately the BCCi and Dhoni dont have enough faith in there own ability to test this theory. It certainly would make a better spectacle.

Posted by SydneyIndi on (March 1, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

@ Keith Le Roux, Meety, wellrounded87, lillee4PM, etc. Mates U sound like sore losers to me. The reality is every country is preparing pitches to suit their home team strengths, like the Aussies did last year. Even WACA was made in to a green top last year because they had lost India @ WACA on its previous tour in 2008. Also remember SCG was a greentop last year + no spin! Since when did SCG became a consistent pitch?

It is interesting that no Aussie whinges if he fails playing for his IPL team in India! Does not matter what the pitches are in IPL, he would say he didn't play well & that is why he failed and add that he would try to improve! would love to play anyway! I wonder why!

Finally, I love Parthasarathy's response to Warnie's question why he wasn't getting the turn and others were. It's hilarious don't you think!

Posted by gpm86 on (March 1, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

@Timohyj - Whilst this pitch turned out better than expected thats not what aussies generally are sayin.

The Indians do have an extreme unfair advantage and curators deliver pitches asasked to them by mr dhoni, especially rank turners, it was quoted in the media dont try to deny it

In Australia alot fo the pitches are different. Australia dont play on turning wickets all that regularly here, which is why its hard for them to cope moving to pitches which turn on day 1.. No pitch in Australia turns all that much util at least day 3.

The other thing is we in Austalia lack decent spinners, and picked the wrong squad.

But we never prepare pitches like this one LOOKED on day 1, there were craters in the pitch. Australia prepares pitches which are fair to all teams playing. The fact that India have o decent pace bowlers is the reason they lose elsewhere.

Posted by Meety on (March 1, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

@ timohyj on (March 1, 2013, 4:45 GMT) - several things - 1) Please explain how anybody can make a pitch "swing"? 2) Starc bowling around the wicket was nothing to do with "rough". The fact is - most of Oz's top order are LEFT handed, & that rough (Starc around the wicket), was outside their leg stump! Starc regularly bowls around the wicket, in ODIs he sometimes bowls more around then over. "...they would have viewed the conditions on the morning of the match ..." - which would of achieved ZERO! The reason being the selective watering means that the pitch looks perfect to begin with, then has differing deterioration rates. The Ozzys were trying to repeat 2004 by bowling stump to stump - which was the part of the pitch the curator ensured was well maintained!

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Bottom line, as per my previous post, the sides from the SC will not be successful outside of the SC until they address the pitches that they play on. This means they can never really be classified as a true number 1 (if they reach that pinnacle) as they are successful in home conditions only. The Aussies, English and Saffers have been able to win at home and in the SC. Fact of the matter is that a proper technique (batting) will allow the players to adapt better to foreign conditions. The techniques of the Aussies, English and Saffers are streets ahead of those of the SC sides (a few exceptions, as per everything in life), when it comes to technique. Historically this has been the case and it continues in the same vein today. That having been said, there is nothing wrong with turning pitches. Having it turn from day 1 and being "doctored" will not benefit any of the SC sides when they travel.

Posted by timohyj on (March 1, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

As usual all the Aussies are whining about the pitch. Oh yeah we know that it is okay for australia to make bouncy swinging pitches and imagine what would happen if an indian critiscised the aussies for making a fast pitch? However, if india make a turner everyone says it is unfair. I don't really understand this can someone please explain the logic to me? remember that Lyon had the same roughs to bowl into as ashwin did so i don't see how the indian spinners would have gotten an unfair advantage. And the aussies did not make their 11 based on the pitch conditions because they announced it 3 days before the match. If they were thinking of the pitch they would have viewed the conditions on the morning of the match and made their selection. Also they were not helped by CLarke's defensive captaincy. He was so defensive that he had Mitchel Starc bowling round the wicket so asnot to create roughs for bhajji and ashwin

Posted by Meety on (March 1, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

@sportofpain on (February 28, 2013, 23:02 GMT) - "Yes India's batsmen played him brilliantly..." - I acknowledge that Indian batsmen played him brilliantly. I have no reason to believe ALL Indian pitches were modified outside off stump other than Chennai. "...you won't hear indians complaining about the Gabba being bouncy and unfriendly - that is a given..." - LOL!

Posted by wellrounded87 on (March 1, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

As an Australian I don't think anyone should blame the pitch for our loss. I think it's pretty clear the word sportmanship and the BCC are polar opposites. Indian cricket has been producing clay wickets like this forever. We knew what to expect and couldn't perform good enough to win. Regardless of the pitch our bowlers bar Pattinson were poor and our batsmen with the exception of Clarke and Henriques failed. But the real reason Australia lost this match was MS Dhoni, my hats off to him a superb innings that turned a pretty even match into a lopsided affair. That being said i would like India to produce a pitch or two that offers something for fast bowlers. Otherwise they will forever be a team that's only good at home and can't handle the swinging ball.

Posted by lillee4PM on (March 1, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

The fact remains, India were crap in England and Australia, and they can only dominate at home with pitches that suite them and no DRS.

Posted by Eight8 on (March 1, 2013, 0:54 GMT)

As an Aussie I'm well aware and would expect nothing else than turning pitches on a tour of India. That's a no brainer and I'm not sure why people whinge when it happens. Specific doctoring through watering of different lines (to limit the impact of seam bowlers and enhance the impact of spinners) takes this a little far, but again I'm all for the challenge of the Aussies taking on different conditions when they tour different countries (swing in England, spin in India, low bounce in WI, seam and bounce in SA, etc). That's the beauty of test cricket.

On the flip side though, I don't know why overseas fans always whinge about green tops in Aus. There has only be one green top in recent memory (Sydney test against the Pakis and they demolished us in the 1st innings). Aus pitches have been prepared consistentlly for years and many massive scores have been run up in batsman favourable conditions (Adelaide, games in the last Ashes, double and triple hundreds in the last couple of years).

Posted by sabee66 on (March 1, 2013, 0:01 GMT)

Ha ha ha..look at da pitch it looks like a clay court Fawad ahmed the second aussie spinner to be

Posted by Meety on (February 28, 2013, 23:09 GMT)

@Harmony111 on (February 28, 2013, 16:28 GMT) - answer me these 2 questions 1) WHY would a curator use "selective watering" in the 1st place? 2) How is not a practise that COULD be regarded as sneaky? Answer those two questions with any degree of intelligence & I would be surprised! The 1st question is an issue, as the simple follow up question is - what is there to be gained from NOT watering outside the stump line? "...But can he cite any law that was broken?" - MAYBE it is such an obscure & ridiculous practise that it has never been thought of to legislate against? If you cannot see where this could all lead - then you have your blinkers on (again)! Whilst Lyon failed to deliver the same good/great results of his Indian counterparts, can you not see that BEFORE a ball is bowled, the pitch is a FAKE! I say that as, it would be a REASONABLE assumption to think the pitch has been treated evenly, the pitch looked firm & was expected to hold, hence ONE spinner! Blinkered response?

Posted by sportofpain on (February 28, 2013, 23:02 GMT)

@Meety - Don't kid yourself mate. Warne came up against batsmen who took the attack to him. He was taken for runs in 1998, in 2001 and in 2004 - Do you remember Eden Gardens in 2001? The curator there prepares pitches based on his own conviction - he refused to give Dhoni the pitch Dhoni wanted against England. He is still a great bowler though. Just don't find ridiculous excuses. Look at your team - if they are good enough they will compete in the rest of the games. If not they will fail. Another analogy - Does Rafael Nadal complain that he does not get clay courts in Melbourne for the Australian Open - no. He tries to master the hard court. Australia should learn to do that when they tour here and India should when they play in Perth or at the Gabba- the difference is you won't hear indians complaining about the Gabba being bouncy and unfriendly - that is a given.

Posted by Nampally on (February 28, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

The Aussie fans should stop blaming the pitch for their loss. Both India & Australian sides are in transition after losing their stalwarts. In Clarke, Watson, Warner & Henrique, the Aussies have a a strong batting base. In Pattinson, Starc, Siddle they have excellent pace bowlers. But what they lack is spinners. You cannot come to India without good spinners. Lyon is a good off spinner but there is no second spinners to bowl in tandem. Clarke could be that second spinner but for his hamstring injury.Watson is also hampered by injury. The Aussies can easily regroup with a second spinner & the team is strong enough to bounce back.India lost the series to England from a similar position. With 3 Tests remaining this series is far from over. India realise this after the pasting they took from England. Dhoni & Ashwin had their "Career Best" matches & are unlikely to repeat it.It is time for the rest of India to play hard if they wish to win the series. Good teams win on all pitches - Lets Go

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

Lolz ...They are expecting green tops in Sub continents like it was provided in Nagpur way back in 2004 ...If you can't play spin in this part of the world, concede defeat well in advance and hand over the border gavaskar trophy to India ....this way Aus can avoid getting humiliated in the hands of amateur spinners .....

Posted by Nampally on (February 28, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

There is too much hoopla about the pitch being unplayable. Fact of the matter is 1243 runs were scored for the loss of 32 wkts - average of about 39 runs/wkt. This included a 10th wkt partnership of 66 & 9th wkt partnership of over 130. When bowlers can play so many balls, why can't the batsmen take a page from them? I was amused @ Siddiqi3456 comments. He decided to trash both Pattinson & Ashwin - one for each side, when they claimed 18 of the 32 wkts. between them. He claimed that even his granny can get Amla & Kallis on this "bad wicket". I sure hope that Mr. Siddiqi's granny can walk, let alone bowl! The real reason is OZ did not expect an onslaught from Dhoni, after Pattinson declared that Indian tail starts from Dhoni. Dhoni demolished the OZ bowling with his double century. Aussie batting failed when Clarke & Watson did not rise in the second innings. Poor Umpiring decision cost India another 90 charitable runs to Clarke in the First innings, to push the Test beyond Day 3.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 28, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

@Bob Young, whilst I see no problem with pitches being prepared to suit the home team, I think a lot of the comments about Australian/SA/England pitches are being misconstrued as criticism. For e.g. in reality Indians are merely pointing out that such tactics do not prepare Australia for the sort of pitches they will find in India, SL & UAE for instance. Unless Australia's batsmen get experience on these types of wickets, and unless they can find some genuine spinners, they will always struggle in these countries. The truth, whether you like it or not, is that Australia had a good run of home games recently. Once they got to India, their deficiencies manifested themselves in some pretty ordinary performances and I've seen nothing in this current Australian team that leads me to believe that things will be any different next time they play in these countries. You can be kings in your own country, but it's away defeats that expose just how unprepared you are for foreign conditions :-).

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 19:35 GMT)

Whilst I see no problem with pitches being prepared to suit the home team, I think a lot of the commenst about Indian pitches are being misconstrued as criticism. In reality the posters are merely pointing out that such tactics do not prepare India for the sort of pitches they will find in SA, England and Oz for instance. Unless India's batsmen get experience on those type of wickets, and unless India can find some genuine pace bowlers, they will always struggle in those countries. The truth, whether you like it or not, is that India got to #1 because they had a good run of home games. Once they got to England and Australia, their deficiencies manifested themselves in some pretty horrendous and embarassing defeats and I've seen nothing in this current Indian team that leads me to believe that things will be any different next time they play in those countries.You can be kings in your own country, but it's away defeats that expose just how unprepared you are for foreign conditions.

Posted by gujratwalla on (February 28, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

The Australians have always been loathe to lose to Asian sides. I wunder why they don't complain when Swann and co or Harmison, Jones and Flintoff whacked them by reverse swing in 2005. Indian pitches require special skill to bat on just as there is needed on green and bouncy pitches. It is not true only English,Australian or South Africans can handle pace or only Asian batsmen can Master spin! A true Test player will adjust to recommend situations whether he is a batsmen OR bowler. Australia have a green side but Henriques showed that the bowling was not unplayable and Dhoni that the Aussies have a limited bowling attack.India picked the right combination for the pitch and used their resources better. Well done.

Posted by siddiqi3456 on (February 28, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

I would like a sporting wicket in hyderabad ,by sporting i mean that will assist fast blowers on day 1 and 2 , good for batting on day third and will turn day 4 and 5.For Pattison taking 5 wickets ,they were all bad shots and for Ashwin taking 12 in a match is not a big deal at all. First out of 11 there were 9 left hand batsman and the wicket was so bad that even my granny can pick the likes of Amla's and Kallis's.Secondly Ashwin is a mediocre spinner and the likes of Ravi shastri and Gavaskar's calling him a great bowler is a insult to word great.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

Some guys are supporting this sort of pitch-preparation violently......they should remember this and should not talk of green top when India visits NZ...if this dustbowl is fair, that green top is even more fair

Posted by pkspvt on (February 28, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

'urgly' is relative word here. i mean, for Indian team australian pitches are ugly and, for Australian indian picthes are ugly. lets respect the paying conditions of every county.. thats how they grow up playing.. don;t expect Australians making 'spin' friandly piches and Indian 'pace' friendly. better get adopted to other conutry conditions and get 'expert' tag.

Posted by Samdanh on (February 28, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

India will not follow same tactics when SA, Eng, Pak, Bangladesh, and SL travel to India. However, they will continue with this kind of pitch preparations when sides from WI, Aus, and NZ travel to India. Can't blame them. India has to win atleast at home. Cheers

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 28, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

I was struck by the fact that the 10th wicket partnerships were: 16, 26 and 66 and that Nathan Lyon, who averages 10.5 in 1st Class cricket (i.e. has no pretentions to any great batting skill) survived a total 105 balls over the two innings. Difficult pitch, yes. Impossible, no. Not after 952 runs were scored in under 10 sessions in the first innings.

Posted by Samdanh on (February 28, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

Cricinfo: Appeal to publish: This is the most honest and bold confession. Congratulations Curator!

Posted by Harmony111 on (February 28, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Some Aussie fans here have a problem with what the curator is saying. Meety for eg thinks it is unheard of that the pitch is watered selectively. But can he cite any law that was broken? If no law was broken then why are the Aussie fans whining? If the Aussie team was not able to read the wicket properly are was too lazy to walk a few feet to analyze the whole of the wicket then it is def not India's problem. And come to think of it, if there can be any ideal wicket then this one came quite close to it. The wicket was firm as per the curator. It was full of runs as we saw MSD, MC, VK, SRT and even debutantes like MH & BK getting runs. It held up well for 5 days and did not deteriorate as much as was expected. We saw a fast bowler taking 5 wickets, we saw spinners getting spin from the wicket. So what is the problem? If the Aussies say that it was spinning a lot then what about Lyon? Starc was taking heaps of wicket vs WI/SL, what happened to him here? No Aussie will answer that.

Posted by soorajiyer on (February 28, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

@Trapper439 - Bhuvnesh kumar wasnt bowled because he wasnt a Pattinson to get wickets. Just like Lyon wasnt bowled as much as Ashwin to get wickets..

Its funny that people can call a pitch doctored if it spins from Day 1.. Where as its ok to have bouncier tracks and dont call them Doctored..

And if you want to see bouncy pitches here, there are some in Dharamsala and Mohali - just like Sydney is the only spinning pitch in Australia..

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

how on earth can cricinfo call a turner as ugly pitch?? if green top is sporting, then turner is also a sporting track...even in ur question(What type of pitches should be prepared for ind vs aus matches) ,u hav given stupid options lilke 1)Rank Turners 2)Sporting Wickets..What do u mean?? Rank turners are not sporting wickets???

Posted by PakCricSpin on (February 28, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

Pakistan does not play Home matches.

Posted by Batmanindallas on (February 28, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

This was not a dust bowl or a dangerous pitch. It was just different. A capable player will be able to bowl and bat anywhere. Having said that India will have a hard time performing abroad with the current lot of players. SA tour could end careers of people like Sehwag, Jadeja if the selectors dont start weeding them out now

Posted by Trapper439 on (February 28, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

@Jayaraman Lalgudi: You complain about "the spongy wicket at WACA", with the implication that it's doctored to help the home team. The WACA pitch isn't anywhere near as fast as it was 20+ years ago when the Windies used to routinely annihilate Australia there. There's no home-bias, it's just the nature of the wicket.

The WACA pitch should always be helpful to the seamers, even if the visiting team has the better pace bowlers. Same thing applies to Sabina Park and Trent Bridge.

The pitch wasn't the difference between the two teams in Chennai. Dhoni was.

But it it's a bit ridiculous when two spinners are being given the new ball. 90 out of 93 overs in Australia's second innings in Chennai were bowled by spinners, and B. Kumar wasn't even called upon. That's just weird.

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (February 28, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

@Keith Le Roux: . If SA and AUS are streets ahead, then your young colts should have won the Under 19 WC in Australia. India of all the teams won it. Explain how this happened?. They are supposedly inferior in their technique right?. You stereotype India , that even in FC, teams to get to play on such surfaces. You would be for a shock, that FC pitches are totally different. All FC pitches have grass on day 1, this is leading to death of an art in India. Instead of crying foul, just admit that Aus and SA never have quality spinners to bowl in India.

Posted by Offdrive on (February 28, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

Stop calling this pitch ugly. It's a spinning wicket. It's not India's problem if Aussies don't faith in their spinners. Siddle has played a lot on this ground for CSK. He was getting serious reverse swing but the batsmen played him well. So Indian Batters played well against excellent reverse swing bowling and spinners pitched well to get wickets. Had Aussies used an extra spinner who knows it could have been a lot closer. So Stop blaming the curator or the track. I cannot recall Indians going to Australia and crying the pitch is a green top and unfair. Just get on with it. In England its usually the rain that decides the one day outcomes.

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (February 28, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

@Meety: "Looking at the pitch , Australia decided to go for 4 quicks". Well, you are right, in the fact that they were totally taken off guard. This is where I believe, the experience of playing in the sub continent comes in. Still does not justify 3 pacers. In India, you can never win matches with 3 seamers. You atleast need 2 good quality spinners. In Hindsight, isnt it nice, to have a team with 2 quality seamers and 2 quality spinners. That makes the game balanced. I Iterate again, but thats exactly the combination England have at the moment to play in India or any sub continent side. Here is an interesting fact, During my playing days, we used to start at 6 AM, on uncovered pitches!. Sometimes we used to get skittled for less than 100.But, it absolutely tested our technique and Patience. Thats why, India compared to other SC teams, have produced better batsmen ( Dravid, Laxman, Azhar , Gavaskar etc ). I do admit, that real victory is achieved, only when you can overseas.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

Bottom line, as per my previous post, the sides from the SC will not be successful outside of the SC until they address the pitches that they play on. This means they can never really be classified as a true number 1 (if they reach that pinnacle) as they are successful in home conditions only. The Aussies, English and Saffers have been able to win at home and in the SC. Fact of the matter is that a proper technique (batting) will allow the players to adapt better to foreign conditions. The techniques of the Aussies, English and Saffers are streets ahead of those of the SC sides (a few exceptions, as per everything in life), when it comes to technique. Historically this has been the case and it continues in the same vein today. That having been said, there is nothing wrong with turning pitches. Having it turn from day 1 and being "doctored" will not benefit any of the SC sides when they travel.

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (February 28, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

@Meety: Its all these plots and sub plots that make the game interesting. Well, I doubt even Dhoni would have been aware of the technique( He always demands pitches that turn with bounce, ), maybe he might have been. I was watching the highlights of the 1998 test Vs australia the same venue ( I was there at the venue as a kid! ), I see the surface back then too was similar to this. However, this still does not hide the fact that apart from English spinners, the rest do not have a clue of how to bowl in India. I guess the reality is, it is not that all spinners would get wickets in India, the secret is knowing how to exploit the conditions ( rip, optimal pace, shoulders etc ). As long, as the preparation technique is not Illegal , I am fine for it.This is why the English series victory is rated high, that depsite all these odds they won!.On the lighter side , The curator has given a nice cue for curators in other countries on how to prepare turning tracks or pitches that aid spin.

Posted by nafzak on (February 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

That's why they play home and away series. Home team has the right to prepare pitches to suit their bowlers & batsmen. The Aussies do it all the time and so too does Eng. As long as its competitive, its okay.

Posted by Marsh_aussie on (February 28, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

All those who are saying that India is right in preparing such pitches as Aus/ENG is doing it at their home must understand one thing. When you go to AUS/ENG, you dont hear anything about the pitches because all of them have a standard behaviour and they are not altered in any way to suit the home country. When India Toured to Australia, they were offered 2 pitches in SCG & Adelaide where both teams had equal chance of winning and India just failed to turn up there. Whereas in India, almost every test is preceded by debates & discussions about the pitch and special treatment being administered to the pitches to help India win. Even in Chennai, I think Aus was in the game until MSD played an life time innings to change the game. But for that innings, I think the result could have been different. I'm not sure whether AUS has the team even to draw a test in this series but delighted with the way ENG taught a hard lesson to the Indians which will take sometime for them to forget.

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (February 28, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

On (February 28, 2013, 6:06 GMT), Chad Withyman wrote:

"I like to see a pitch break down over 5 days not start crumbling from ball 1. Quicks for 2 days and then mix in the spin day 3&4 and then spin dominant day5. The way test cricket is meant to be played".

Response: Do the laws of cricket / the MCC state that your description of a test match is in fact "the way test cricket is meant to be played"?

We in India are perfectly happy with the way test matches are played in Asia and see no reason why we should follow 'western standards' of 'cricket morality' which do not suit us. We're quite satisfied with our own flavour of cricket, thank you very much.

Posted by cricmatters on (February 28, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

You can not win a Test match unless you have quality players who can perform. There was much talk about unleashing Tait on a bouncy Perth surface on unsuspecting Indians. India won that match comfortably and Tait retired prematurely from Test Cricket. South Africa made a seaming pitch which was well exploited by Srisanth and India won the Test match in SA. Similary India made spinning tracks last summer which backfired on them as Swann and Panesar bowled better than their Indian counterparts and won the series convincingly. No matter what pitch you are given, you still have to make the best use of it.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

In all this talk about doctored pitches let's not forget this....MS Dhoni openly talked about pitch preparation during England's tour... Clearly he wasn't advocating pitches prepared to suit England's bowlers..but that didn't stop England winning the series.. Like Australia have just done, England did lose the first test. However they learned from it then played and beat the Indians at their own game. So pitch preparation only enters the equation if you don't have the quality of players to adapt to the situation. Luckily, England did.. It remains to be seen if the Aussies have.

Posted by Abdurrazaaq on (February 28, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Criticise india and their ground staff as much as u like, but look at what the south africans done to the pakistanis, they played on seam friendly pitches. Moral of the story - Groundsman the world over prepare pitches that suit the homeside.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Aussies will call wickets sporting only when they win. The spongy wicket at WACA, where the cricket ball flies like a tennis ball is called sporting.

They need to think how Clarke scored a century and Hendriques had a memorable debut with the bat on the very same ugly pitch. How did Dhoni play a masterly knock here.

Stop criticising and look for corrections

Posted by trumpoz on (February 28, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

The best pitches in my opinion offer something for everyone..... the GABBA - First morning/day it will be difficult to bat on and it is seaming. Days 2/3 it will bat well. Days 4/5 it will start to spin. I think the MCG pitch for the last India/Australia was great - not easy to bat on but kept everyone in the game. A traditional Perth pitch is great (the one against SA was brilliant) something for the quicks, true bounce for batting if you get in and good spinner can make use of the bounce. The Chennai pitch really didn't give much for the quicks - no seam, no movement. To take a particular type of player out of the game reduces the contest.

I have no issue with rank turners in India - that is what their conditions lend themselves to. I have got issue with a pitch being inconsistently prepared or "selectively watered" as that disgrace of a groundsman put it.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

It is precisely for this reason that the SC (sub continent) teams will always find it difficult playing outside the SC. Why have the SC sides, historically, performed so poor away from the SC? Aus, SA and Eng have beaten the SC sides at home and away (series, not one game here or there) . Why have the SC sides not been able to do this? It ain't coincidence. It is also not rocket science. Pacy, bouncier wickets provide a proper batting technique as opposed to those from the SC. It is easier to adapt from a bouncy pacy pitch to a turner, than it is the other way around. If the SC teams prefer to be beaten on their travels and only win at home, then continue with these tracks. If they want to compete away from home then they need to change the pitches back home.

Posted by JBSA on (February 28, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

If the Australians and England are making a seaming track and South Africans going for bounchy pitches, then it is rewarded as sporting pitches whereas Indian and SL pitches suiting spin is low credited??? Why isn't a spin a part of the game. Since you people don't know to play the spin, it is not so. Those who as India to prepare seaming, bouncing and greentops... Are the australians, english and South africans ready to prepare turing tracks. It was a decent pitch at chepauk. It was not a rank turner and it had good bounce too. Pace bowling is not the only boeling, spin is a part. If pitches are said to be sportive if it assists pace, then the pitch assists spin also shoud be said to sportive. All the teams enjoy home advantage. There is no truth denying in that. If it is flat pitch we have to accept that its unsportive. As Dhoni asked when there is no problem if the ball swings/bounces/seams from the first ball, then why should it be a probem when the ball spins from the first ball?

Posted by andrew-schulz on (February 28, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

No phunny game, you are absolutely wrong, and you must have your head stuck somewhere it shouldn't be if you really believe what you wrote. When India were yung in Test cricket, they could be forgiven fo

Posted by pat_one_back on (February 28, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

I'm proud Australian curators have far more opportunity to take pride in their work, rolling & watering lifeless dirt is hardly an art form, disappointed for them. Surely Steve Waugh is finally vindicated for those who remember...

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

Being a host team u have the advantage of making the pitch to suit ur bowlers/opponent weak point. Being an Indian fan I am not too satisfied with the way the BCCB r Indian cricket team doing. They should not depend toooo much on the pitch behavior. The pitch behavior is one/main factor, my point here is they should concentrate on other things like producing quality test player (pace/spin bowler or quality batsmen) rather than concentrating too much on the pitch behavior

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

@wezwaz What makes you think that pitches which assist pacers are the best ones? If Australians are good enough, they should play well in these conditions. England did that recently. So did Gichrist's men in 2004. Spinner friendly tracks are specialties of the subcontinent and a team has to play well in all given conditions to be ranked at the top. Stop whining.

Posted by sidh78 on (February 28, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

Pitch is Doctrated!!! Come on aus dont give funny excuses.if pitch is doct. then how clarke made centurey and henrichue made 2 fifties in his debue match.how aus made 380 runs in first inni.if pitch is doctr. then why bhajji and jadeja not get so sucessess having lot of experiance.how can match go to 5 th day.1200 runs made.the fact is that aus not bat good against spin(like always) and ashwin bowlled very good and dhoni kohali srt bat good.so now it is clear to aus fan.If still not clear plz read clarke statement about pitch.

Posted by ram5160 on (February 28, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

@Meety, not all spinners are Warne are they? I think most fans would agree that there is nothing worse in cricket than watching Paul Harris / Ashley Giles bowl negative lines & the batsmen padding away entire sessions. Again in the Chennai Test look at the runs scored by lefties as compared to the right-handed batsmen. The rough created by the Right-arm paceman can be a real problem.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

How can one agree that he deliberately prepared Ugly Pitch ????? Ridiculous.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

Better spare Punter's record in India! There is a 'superstar' whose average in Oz drops from above Bradman to below, say, Hussein as you go from Sydney to the rest of Oz. That happens. Spin has always been a supporting factor rather than the major force for any outfit that ruled cricket. History attests that. Your success abroad is largely determined by your adaptability to different conditions; flattered wins at home would only fetch you further ridicule.

Posted by TrueLankan on (February 28, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

Typical Australians always crying when they lose and make excuses. The last Hobart Test pitch couldn't even last 5 days and there were no complaints by the Australians. I wonder why?

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 28, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

So a curator going on record saying that he deliberately manipulated the pitch to suit the home team's makeup is considered to be okay? ICC, where are you? This kind of thing is supposed to get grounds banned from being used as test venue. Does the ICC have any power anymore?

Posted by Dashgar on (February 28, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

Wasn't a pad pitch in the greater scheme of things but seriously I'd hate to be an Indian kid trying to bowl fast. National management is sending a strong message to potential speedsters. Either learn to bat or bowl spin. Otherwise like Kumar, your skills won't be required at home.

Posted by Protears on (February 28, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

there is selective cherry picking, when people talk of pitches in England and South Africa they make the assumption they are assisting to fast bowlers yet in every game every team has ample helping to the wicket, the skill factors involved are largely on display when it comes to seamers and hence why non-continental teams tour better and are almost unbeatable at home. India on the otherhand set spinner friendly tracks which help a spinner from the onset yet nobody criticizes them for sporting tracks.

Its a sad sight in test cricket to see a team bowl 85% of the overs with spin and feature a solitary quick bowler, that is indicative enough that the wickets in India are deliberately being doctored. Chennai as a venue is often a bore draw, no doubt selective Watering is doctoring conditions uncondusive to test cricket.

Posted by Cantbat.Cantbowl.CantField. on (February 28, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

I must say I agree with the Chad.

Posted by wezwaz on (February 28, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

India will never truly compete on the international stage, simply because they refuse to make pitches that help fast bowlers. If you make pitches that suit spinners and batsmen, you will be in trouble as soon as you leave your own country. In Australia, India have mostly been destroyed.

Dhoni can't make a run in Australia. As soon as he gets back to India where the ball bounces about knee high, he's a champion. When the ball is bouncing around their ears, Indian batsmen are hit or miss - sometimes individuals will succeed, but as a team, they are likely to lose.

The key to India improving their status is to prepare better pitches. However, I'm not confident anything will ever change.

Posted by ARJUN217 on (February 28, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

I don't think this is quality batsman unit from ausis.indian spinners 2 gud for them.its time for payback sitback and Njoy ausis.

Posted by yogikanna on (February 28, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

Wow...the curator is letting all the secrets out, I am learning a lot about cricket pitches here. Wonder how Warne would react to this :) He is not going to be amused with the fact that the area around leg stump were watered to prevent him from getting dangerous turn...LOL. I am going to monitor Warne's tweets on this, someone send him this article please.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

I like to see a pitch break down over 5 days not start crumbling from ball 1. Quicks for 2 days and then mix in the spin day 3&4 and then spin dominant day5. The way test cricket is meant to be played.

Posted by Doogius on (February 28, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

Oops, missed something at the ICC. Apparently, umpires have to fill out a form after the game. Apparently they have to comment whether the 'grass was uniform' - will be interesting to see what comes from that - as apparently the penalty is loss of test match status. Chennai too - it would be funny - but not holding my breathe....

Posted by Doogius on (February 28, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Just had a nice little read of the ICC test playing conditions. Apparently, theres nothing illegal in doing this, except if its in the umpires opinion its not fit for play or dangerous. So - I hope greenkeepers around the world are taking notice. To all the people who think the ozzies are whinging, there'd be no issue if the pitch was completely crumbled or completely flat. What this is actually saying is India aren't good enough to beat Oz at home without doctoring the pitch. What the Ozzies should have done is bowl a quicky and get him to follow through wide and lose his footing in the 'crumble' - then the pitch is 'dangerous', the game gets called and this garbage stops. I'm at least pleased that there are some cricket fans that recognise this for what it is...

Posted by Meety on (February 28, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

@ sportofpain on (February 28, 2013, 5:07 GMT) - "... why did Warne another all time great average 45?" - maybe because of selective watering outside legstump?????

Posted by KeepitHonest on (February 28, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

A greentop looks uglier to me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Posted by SamRoy on (February 28, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

On a side note, this pitch was much better than the rank turner in the first test in Galle (vs Australia) in 2011 or even the Mumbai pitch against England (2012) or even Mumbai pitch vs Australia in 2004. Except for the Hughes dismissal in the second innings for no other dismissal ball jumped wickedly. For Clarke's second innings dismissal the ball spun a mile like a Murali delivery but you expect that on a turning wicket on 4th day after tea (and that too from a rough patch). It wasn't an ideal Indian pitch (there should be more bounce for pacemen on first day and ball needs to carry to the slips of fast bowlers on first day) but for spinners it was a good pitch. Not a pitch which made bad spin bowling look good. Harbhajan and Jadeja hardly looked threatening and when Lyon bowled with control he did look threatening.

Posted by trex1981 on (February 28, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

Indian spinners took all 20 Australian wickets, not that surprising when they bowled 196 overs out of 226

Posted by sportofpain on (February 28, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

@Peter_Jones2012: Well at least we are good enough to beat the Aussies. If these are flat pitches why did Punter your all time great average about 25 in India. Well you might then say it is a spinners paradise - then why did Warne another all time great average 45?

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (February 28, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

Why not 4 quarters ? Aussies have too many left handers.

Posted by Para_SF on (February 28, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

@Peter_Jones2012 check your facts bud. Some notable Indian sportspersons in the world rankings, No.1 Chess player, No. 2 in Women's Badminton, No. 9 in Men's Badminton, 2 Golfers in Top 100 ((5 in Top 50 on Asian Tour), 3 players in Top 11 Tennis doubles rankings, not to mention world No. 1 in Kabaddi an Asian Games sport ;-) So yeah, we are developing country where majority of people have easy access to a cricket bat & ball and love it to death, but we are far from a pushover elsewhere. India will define its own path terms of sports success on the world stage as China has done, it wont need certification from prejudiced ex-powers who can't get used to Asians dictating terms.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 4:16 GMT)

@ Karthik Pk There you got it very much wrong mate..... Aussie wickets were not like Wimbledon...... even last time around only WACA was in too much favour of Fast Bowling. Sydney and Adelaide were closer to subcontinent conditions than Aussie... At Sydney India won the toss & batted & Aussies exploited the early juice of the wicket (which is common for any test match as we always hear people say you need to survive first session of a test match as a batsman as the rest of the day would be yours) with the new ball and once that 1st session was over Indians were down & out. So it was India who decided to bat first. And Aussies had the best of batting conditions as they had the chance to bat on 2nd & 3rd days because Indian batters didn't last for even 2 1/2 days. So it's their fault. And in 2nd innings India managed to score 400, but the game was already gone. At Adelaide Kholi scored a century as he batted well. Pitch was more like an Indian wicket not an Aussie one.

Posted by bipulkumar on (February 28, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

Leaving grass on the pitch doesn't make it a better pitch. It just makes it a different pitch. Of course, in Aus and Eng, India need Roger Federer to win matches. English team is one of the best test side today because they have quality seamers as well as spinners.

Posted by vivekk83 on (February 28, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

I would rather see a wicket that produces result in 4-5 days than a batting paradise with absolutely no result to show after 5 long days. IMHO, this wicket was a good "test wicket" if you were a good bat, you could play on , while a decent spin bowler found something in it.... If you were geniuely quick, the breeze and surface aided some reverse.... It wasn't underprepared by any means... Have you seen pitches at SL, or the ones at UAE.... It's riveting and gripping when bowlers are on top and makes every ball interesting, rather than watching batsmen score tons of runs, for which you formats like T20 and ODI's.. TO name a few. Pitches like Durban, Perth, Headingly, Chennai, Wankhede, Gabba, Kingston than Batting wonders like Colombo, Motera....

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

" I think Ashwin said that pitch ugly . It's a shame to heard too much from Indian players about the pitches and all.I never heard any one talking and showing that mutch of concern about the pitches as Indian player and their captain Dhoni do.I still remember Dhoni's press confrence after Ahmedabad test where he demanded for the rank turners. His too mutch concern for the pitches has cost the series..Dhoni's pitch interest is not new either I still remember how publicaly he awarded a pitch Querator for preparing A Math winning wicket.And even more funnier is Ashwin"s reaction on this pitch even after taking considerable wickets.Just few nights ยต the game what a big mouth he is?? .He should rather concentrate on his bowling this is not his buisness.I never remember any greats of the game talking too mutch about the pitches more often as we do" For me it's just Shameless stuff from our Indian side nothing else! "

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

"I am from Dhoni's hometown Rachi but no offence to admitt that I still have a fair doubt on his ability as a batsman in Test Matches.All of his centuries were scored on Indian subcontinent....To watch on the Indian Media channels his comparison with the greats of the game was too much funny..And as far as Australian team combination is concerned they must include Johnson in and Hughes to make way for spinner otherwise 4-0 wasn't that far away! ""

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

I agree with Warne Chennai pitch looked like Roland garros!! But he fails to understand Aussie pitches looks like Wimbledon!! Probably Indians need to hire Roger federer next time they tour Australia!

Posted by Tama_Pokai66 on (February 28, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

Indians know that they can't bat, bowl or field on non-flat pitches. They have always struggled and that's why, they have yet to win a test series in Aussie. Bunch of mediocre players, who needs selective pitches to do well. Entire country playing only a single sport and they still can't be good, huh.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

I'm no fan of such pitches. Perhaps Dhoni got all he wanted this time around, including an opposition that struggled to spoil his plans. If I'm told this is an answer to what he got down under, I'd however have to disagree. That said, his was an excellent innings. Still it was no match for, say, KP's at Bombay. Until his helicopters start flying at Perth or Durban, he can't hope to emulate such heroics. But then for a WK, it is worth celebrating. How well his promotion to No 6 would work outside SC, well, is something I'm not too optimistic about.

Posted by Meety on (February 28, 2013, 0:04 GMT)

@Venkat_Gowrishankar on (February 27, 2013, 18:41 GMT) - good/interesting comment. I don't think I have explained myself properly, the actual match is fair play to India - they were the better side (on the back of a Dhoni gem). The overall Test was a good one, where there were elements of most of what makes a good test. My issues is with the preparation of the pitch as I believe it would be "invisible" to Clarke/Arthurs when studying the pitch, & I am not convinced that the Ozzys would have the same access to any "scoops" on what the pitch would play like. That I believe cheapens the victory, even though I suspect Oz were wanting to go with 4 pacers anyway. I think the premise of 4 pacers was solidified by looking at essentially a good LOOKING pitch the days before & the morning of the 1st Day of the Test. See my angle? Basically India were the better equiped & performed team over the 4 & a bit days, & deserved to win, but I wonder about HOW they were better EQUIPPED?

Posted by jb633 on (February 27, 2013, 23:54 GMT)

In the modern game there is far too much emphasis on pitches and conditions etc. In the 90's the standard of cricket was higher and there was no such fuss about pitches. I agree with the majority of Indian fans who said this was a decent pitch. It was certianly interesting; allowed the good players to score runs and produced a result on the last day. However what the SC sides are so guilty of is assuming that because a ball bounces or moves in AUS/ENG/SA that the pitches are doctored. This is not true. SC sides are so guilty at present for giving up when they look at a pitch with a tinge of green. India are the worst culprits. It is no disgrace to lose overseas, I think Oz put up a fight but the manner in which IND/SL/PAK/BD are losing overseas is a major concern for the game as a whole. Plain and simply they are not competing in the slightest. Even when Eng were whitewashed in the UAE the games were tight and very interesting. SC sides need to improve against the moving ball.

Posted by fguy on (February 27, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

@andrew-schulz on (February 27, 2013, 5:28 GMT) it'll happen the same time when the penny will drop for Aus that preparing pace-friendly pitches at home means that they wont win in sub-continent. And its a known fact (ask any professional cricketer) that its way easier to adjust from playing on high-bounce/pacy wickets to low-bounce/slow wickets than the other way round.

Posted by Number_5 on (February 27, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

Lets be clear, Aus lost this test because they couldn't bowl the Indian tail out (some could argue as a result of a very poor team selection) and didn't make runs in the second dig. India won as they batted very well and bowled very well in the second dig and went in with a better team balance given the conditions. Any club cricketer worth his salt will tell you playing on different pitches is part of playing cricket, and Test cricket is played on different pitches around the globe, which is on of the attractions of the game, Spin on the subcontinent, pace and bounce in SAF, AUS and Seam and Swing in Eng etc.. The concerning part about this article (IMO) is that the curator has admitted to something plenty of us have been concerned about for years, selective preparation of a pitch (that's doctoring in my books). My question is, Is this in the spirit of the game??

Posted by dharsanti on (February 27, 2013, 19:56 GMT)

BCCI should agree to DRS, this way no one can criticize even if india gets 7 LBW vs 0. I do not understand BCCI position. If it it fear of Ajmal, that is unrealistic. Bring Raina and Gambir back. Sehwag should play good inning next match.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

The debutant makes a fifty in both innings, and their other batsmen (except Clarke and Warner) failed to read the pitch? Aussies shouldn't be complaining.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 27, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

A good natural Indian Pitch is: On first day, some swing in the first session of Day 1 and ball carrying to the slips on day 1. It may or may not turn on day 1. But it should turn after tea on day 2. There should always be bounce for the spinners. And batting should be challenging on day 4 and day 5. From day 2, don't expect ball carrying to slips of fast bowlers for except in Mumbai and may be sometimes in Mohali (which often slows down by second day) for India pitches become lower and slower as the game wears on.

Posted by talkcric.com on (February 27, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

How can anyone have a go at Dhoni. He is a Diamond. There is a lot wrong with Indian cricket and he has to carry this team. If India are to progress they need a lot more physical discipline and a look at their fast bowling production line. If India had an Anderson or Finn they would be looking to rule the roost again.

The second test will be a carbon copy of the last one, The Aussies putting on a brave fight but the spin dictating and Mr Dhoni slapping the ball to the boundaies in the second innings.

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (February 27, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

@Meety:Fact is, believe it or not, India dont play thier domestic first class matches on such tracks The same chennai pitch come Raji trophy, would turn but I am pretty sure there would be a layer of grass on Day 1. If you saw the recent ODI series against Pakistan, especially the 1st ODI played at the same venue. India were put into bat on a green damp pitch, ( due to heavy overnihght rain) were 30/5. The seam and the bounce even rivalled most Australian and south african pitches. Indian pitches do slow down, which is unavoidable ( my experience of playing) due to tje oppressive heat, but generally in FC, you get the first hour especialy with grass and dampness. Bounce is always an issue . Only a few venues have good consistent bounce. The curator got flak a couple of years back when the Ranji trophy final produced a pitch wth low bounce, though a result. So to summarize, I would say these pitches belong to bygone era of FC cricket in india ( 10 -15 yrs back), when spinners ruled

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 18:35 GMT)

When both captains could score centuries how can the pitch called Ugly!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

@womenlovecricket....we're discussing test cricket where good bowlers can bowl how much they wish....not odi's where there are restrictions 10 overs and fields....the run rates, wickets made flat to make the matches a run scoring fest...dhoni didn't do too well against the test side and if i remember he scored some runs in teh test series oly when the bowlers were tired or waiting for the new ball or trying to get the batsmen at the other end (reads: tailedenders out)...he's not worth that much as a good bat outside the subcontinent....can't imagine a single innings that has shown his mettle against good bowling with difficult conditions...

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

When Dhoni loses, he is too aggressive for Test Cricket and fit to play only for CSK! When Dhoni settles, for a draw to win a series he is less aggressive! When Dhoni wins, he is only lucky! When Dhoni scores slowly with responsibility, he has lost his batting form! When Dhoni scores quickly, he is scoring only in spinner friendly pitches! When Dhoni backs Ashwin and Raina, he is against seniors and experienced stars! When Dhoni plays with guys like Yuvaraj, he is ignoring youth! When Dhoni wins World Cup final with a six, he is selfish by batting higher up!

Posted by StraightBat99 on (February 27, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

As mentioned earlier in the thread, the idea of selective preparation on certain areas of the pitch is very concerning. This is not within the spirit of the game. Preparing a turner, or a fast bouncy wicket is fine, but deliberately preparing a wicket that has areas that behave completely differently is not acceptable. One end bouncey, one end low bounce, big spin for the offspinner outside off stump, none for the legspinner on leg stump or straight???? Madness. The spirit of cricket must prevail as it is more important than any result.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 27, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

I thinks people are getting a bit over excited with Dhonis recent great knock. I think coming in at 7 is the key to his success. The bowlers relax because they think they are in the tail but Dhoni is still good enough. On these turning tracks India dont need an extra bowler so they should have 6 specialists + Dhoni at 7.

Posted by creekeetman on (February 27, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

good test wicket, the kind you would expect in india... good bowlers took wickets, and proper batsmen scored runs.

Posted by womenlovecricket on (February 27, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

What's with the Dhoni cannot bat outside India comments? Have you forgotten that Dhoni was the only man England couldn't get out the whole time India was in England?

Posted by alarky on (February 27, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Dhoni at No.6 in India, but No.7 anywhere else in the world.

Posted by AjaySridharan on (February 27, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

Good job Parthasarathy! It was a testing wicket and the ones that held the nerve and showed application came out tops. If Australia had managed another 75-100 runs in the 2nd innings this game could have gone either way

Posted by A.Ak on (February 27, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

Players who applied themselves well got runs in this game. Clarke, Henriques, Sachin, Kholi, Dhoni, even BKumar. Surely a good test track. Thats why Dravid was so good all conditions.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (February 27, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

I am happy to see spinning pitches in India. When my team can post 400+, you know there's something wrong. Every time (except the most recent) we visit India, we are given flat tracks.

As a kid, when you think of going to India, you think of facing spin. You imagine yourself having to be a good player of spin. The same goes for young Indian players dreaming of being a cricketer. They want to be able to score runs in places like Brisbane, Perth, Cape Town and Headingley.

I am in favour of spinning characteristics in sub-continent countries. Just like watching batting would be a bore if everyone had the same technique, it would become a pain if pitches were identical.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 27, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

One more thing Aussies, yes that was a pace unfriendly pitch. Not for no reason, my respect for Patto has increased by several notches. Not for no reason, I respect Marshall, Waqar, Wasim and Steyn. They took pitches out of the equation with their skill. I'm sure Indians wouldn't complain if our batsmen and our bowlers had the skill levels needed for pacy tracks. Likewise, Aussies would be happy if they had Clarke, VVS, Dravid, Statchin, Hussey in their batting order with Warne, Kumble, Murali and Qadir in the bowling department on these pitches. Let's make the personnel great as opposed to constant whining. Aussie Players are not complaining and they are saying they like these TESTS and CHALLENGES. What's probably our (fans) problem? We don't want to see our teams going down! That's the problem. I get it. If that's the case, let us try to improve our teams' skill levels rather than pointing fingers at pitches - spinning or pacy.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (February 27, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Dhoni does seam have skill bat at number six but who to leave out or add lower in order to team. I think providing India keep playing well and not get complacent like they did against England they should win. As Australian spin bowling not as good as swann and panesar combined

Posted by couchpundit on (February 27, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

Dhoni needs to score runs everywhere and not just in these spinner friendly tracks.

Except for Pujara. to an extent Kohli....i dont see anybody who could score in all conditions...yes Tendulkar is way beyond sell by date and he should retire sooner than later, before he can further damage young indian chances...ofcourse if he wants to play for indian with his son....he needs to do a lot more than what he is doing now.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 27, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

I can understand the complaints of the Aussie fans. But pause for a minute and think. The rough on either side of the wicket was available for Lyon, Clarke and Warner. Why aren't they effective? It's because those three Aussie bowlers are decent and bowling to excellent batsmen of spin. So, IF Aussies have better personnel with regards to spin bowling as well as batting against spin, the pitch wouldn't even come into the equation. Just like how India needs to improve on their pace personnel - bowling and batting alike. Keeping SA aside, I think the non-Asian countries can learn a lot from the English team - they beat us at our own game. That's what impressed me about them. So, yes, you will not get pitches that you might consider sporting - whichever way you might want to put it - should water it here, there and there, shouldn't have done that, this is not what I know or heard of - so better to start developing your personnel back home by providing them with spiteful, spinning tracks.

Posted by Dutch_Bowler on (February 27, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

I'm a bit concerned that a pitch has been "selectively" prepared in places. What's next? One end hard and bouncy, other end soft, low and turning? "Hotspots" that are rock hard to create steep bounce in places? Think a pitch should be "true" if possible the same in all places. This doesn't mean a flat track. Still want a result.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

Test match is suppose to be played like that. The conditions r different all arund the world. These 2 teams r one of the most inexperienced teams in the world with so many retirements in last 2-3 years. Try to adapt ur bowling n batting skills according to the given conditions. India team is unfortunately going through the worst phase where they r finding it difficult to win even at home conditions. Both the teams r using all rounders (who r neither gud enough to bat nor gud enough to bowl) thanks to inconsistency and absence of world class bowlers n batsmen !

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 27, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

he maybe a number 6 in india and similar Asian countries but aus i eng conditions i dont think so

Posted by yaa_right on (February 27, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

People (esp. australians) should not cry for this chennai pitch. Australians knew all along that pitches in india favor spinners so they should have selected good spinners for this tour. Apart from Lyon who is a 'decent' spinner, they don't have anyone else. So, it's Australia's problem not the chennai pitch curator's!! You can't whine about aussie quicks not getting assistance b'coz that's same problem for indian (semi) quicks. That's why indian spinners (more in number than aussie spinners) bowled most no. of overs and took all 20 wickets - As simple as that! Australia should have 2 specialist spinners in their playing 11 for the rest of the tests! England realized this, worked hard and got 2-1 series victory over india!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

Slowly slowly India will climb no.one spot under captainship of Mahendra singh Dhoni.

Posted by ultrasnow on (February 27, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

If both teams play on the same surface, the pitch should not even be an issue. Australia even batted first (huge advantage). England started the same way but after Swann-Panesar clicked there was no mention of the pitch and they switched to praising (rightly) their spinners. Show respect for your slow bowlers Aussies. Lyon and Doherty can be your men, they need your confidence and support!!!!

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (February 27, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

This news has certainly taking the shine of what I thought was an improved bowling performance from Ashwin and Jadeja. I'm even more sorry to say it has taking the gloss of what uptil now was a faultless innings by MSD. The only positive is that Harbarjan couldn't even make an impact on a pitch so blatantly manufactured for spinners. On a pitch designed to crumble in the areas for spinners, Harbarjan took 3 wickets in 52 overs over 2 full innings whereas Lyon has has taken a lot of flak from a lot of Aussies took 4 wickets out of 12 in 52.3 overs. If Harbarjan's performance in the light of the curator's comments doesn't prove to the selectors or his fans that he is belongs in zonal cricket, nothing will.

Posted by mjshaheed on (February 27, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

Rally_Windies - 25 years of age is not that old...

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (February 27, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

I strongly suggest that teams no longer be announced before the toss.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

It was a very good wicket. There was two tons and a double ton as well as few half centuries this match. Also got 5 wickets for few bowlers - fast bowler and spinners.

Posted by Rohanbandekar on (February 27, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

One thing that I really like about this young Aussie team is that they fought really hard in Chennai. I remember when India went to Australia in 2003 and 2007, they did really well. They fought hard. I remember watching that series and enjoying the cricket coz India fought hard. Last series when India toured Australia, there wasnt any fight at all. As an Indian fan I dont mind my team losing but they should put up a fight.

Posted by brusselslion on (February 27, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

I agree entriely with @Jose Puliampatta on (February 27, 2013, 6:36 GMT).

The Oval used to be one of the 'fairest' pitches around. Help for the quicks/ seamers on Day 1/ early Day 2; fairly good batting surface Day 3/ early Day 4; spinners track on Day 5. With 2 relatively evenly matched sides, a target of 200- 250 on Day 5 made for an interesting game and this used to happen quite a bit. However, I cant remember the last time I saw this type of Test match pitch at the Oval. Wetter English summers might be a contributory factor but I imagine that the main reason is home (England) captain's instructions. Basically, it appears to me that every country 'prepares' pitches as a matter of course nowdays and India is no better or worse than anyone else. Might just as well learn to live with it.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (February 27, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

This pitch was more suitable for home team and it is right in every perspective, home team needs to have some benift when they are playing at home not Like England and Australia who preapred flat pitches vs South Africa to protect themselves from white wash at home, still SA mange to win the series. About Indian team i think the new guys will find this first round of tour on foreign pitches quite diffiicult bu once they got sufficent exp they will again form one af the best batting line--up and same will happen with Australain team, but some personnel should be change in both teams to be world beater. In next 5 years again India and Australia will be more good teams with experience players which England and South Africa have now. But after the Crop of Trott, Pietersen, bell, Anderson and Swann goes out of the side than England will have to wait for same team combination for atleast 2-3 decades LOL.

Posted by sonicattack on (February 27, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

@spin_king4 - well said, completely agree with your comments, have posted similar comments before myself. Some of the comments about the pitch for the first test from Australian fans have been rather sad, goodness, Cricket would be in a very sorry state if we had similar 'drop-in' pitches across the world....whatever next, Aus fans will be demanding sunshine in Manchester and Leeds next!

Posted by Rally_Windies on (February 27, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

hahaha,,, the Oz spinners would have gotten wickets if they were any good .....

Arshwin is not even that good either .....

there are at least 3-4 WI spinners better than him.....

Arshwin is lucky to have the backing of the BBCI .....

In time he will get better ...

Lyon....ugh

Oz selectors, if you have to pick someone that is THAT low on quality.....

then pick a 20 year old.... he will get better with time ....

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 27, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

it was sportive pitch..one hundred in first innings , one doiuble and anohter hundred in next innings...so what proof need for a good pitch.. difference is that dhonis 200 made huge difference and mathc was not reachable for australia.. if dhoni not scored 200 ..hten defiently it s an australian easy mathc or if dhoni sores only 100..they it will bee a belter of match...

Posted by dinosaurus on (February 27, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

The most honest comment was from the groundsman who boasted of his "smart" reply to Shane Warne's enquiry why he couldn't get spin. The pitch was specifically prepared to assist the Indian spinners (like this one) but not the Australian spinner - who just happened to be one of the immortals of the game.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 27, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Nerk - I watched the England series and no pitch looked like this one. The majority of games India bowled about 25% of there overs of pace, this game they bowled 33 of 226 overs of pace - less than 15%. This was a different natured pitch to what England faced. We acclimitized by winning in Sri Lanka but then this was a lot different to that experience. Now they are a little more accustomed to the conditions I expect a big improvement in the next test.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 27, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

vumpirerepublic - Your kidding right, the Australians doctored the Adelaide oval to make it benign. Australia scored 4/600 against India thats how placid it was. Im a South Australian and the reason South Australians dont get picked for Australia is because they claim anyone can make runs on that pitch. SA barely get enough points to make the shield final because all games are first innings games only. Yet you say we were scared of South Africas pace but we played them on the liveliest bounciest pitch in Australia. The pitches are the same year in year out, just the quality of the batsman for those conditions vary. The pitches have started to get more seam friendly for shield cricket only because Qld and Tasmania realised they can make finals by having all there home games 6 point results. Test match pitches are straight back to the norm. The only variance is if there is rain around before a test.

Posted by kuasa on (February 27, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

And that's how you roar in your own backyard by manufacturing pitches like these. Well good luck to you for your future tours to SA, AUS, ENG.

Posted by Anoop Srinivas on (February 27, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

MS Dhoni gave a psychological blow to the Aussies with his terrific batting just like Sachin Tendulkar, who won the series for India in 1998 at the same ground by taking the World's best bowlers to the cleaners. With the Middle order in fine form, and spinners doing well, I can clearly root for India's series victory. It will take a lot for the Aussies to overcome the deficit and the series result might have a huge bearing in the Ashes series in England later this year.

Posted by senthil25 on (February 27, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Guys Pls Stop Criticize the Pitch, Not only Ashwin & Harbajan are off spinners, Nathan Lyon is also the Off Spinner for Aus, he too bowls on this wks only, why cant he use the pitch condition which is helpful for him, So Accept the truth, Australians thought that they can play to their strength(Pace Attack) & win the match easily, but the pitch is not Australia...its India, England learned soon from their mistake & they win the series in India, but dont think Australia will try that, because they not believed Lyon & Dhortey are good spinners.........Tough for U guys.

Posted by vumpire-republic on (February 27, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

For me, this was a very entertaining Test match, with class players from each side (including Clarke, Pattinson and Henriques for Australia) producing quality performances. The game lasted over 4 days, and most importantly, we had a result. So well done to the curator, and well done to India for winning the game after losing the toss and having to bat last. And well done to the Aussie players for not whingeing about the conditions and instead focusing on trying to improve their performances goinf forward in the series.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 27, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Im not sure selective watering makes much sense why wouldnt they water the parts where the bowler footmarks are? Surely that would make the pitch look aesthetically a lot better.

Posted by vumpire-republic on (February 27, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

It is a little naive to claim that Australia, or any team in world cricket, doesn't adjust the nature of a pitch (to varying degrees) taking into consideration the strengths of the home and opposition teams. Just recently, in the SA-Aus series, the Brisbane (especially) as well as the Adelaide pitch were prepared to be far more benign than those seen in series involving sub-continent sides (which don't have the seam and pace firepower of SA). Not surprisingly, we had 2 draws in those 2 Tests. Further, even Australian writers and former players have noted the marginalization of spinners in Australia due to preparation of seamer-friendly pitches in most states (even in NSW, where the Sydney pitch is no longer the turning track of old)... is it a co-incidence that this has happened during the post-Warne-&-Mcgill era when Australian seam & pace stocks are at a high point, but the spin cupboard is almost empty?

Posted by ramanan.ch on (February 27, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

I am happy to see more and more people realize and appreciate the Chennai pitches. Chennai pitch was a great pitch and it was a great test match to watch. I don't agree people saying "fast and bouncy" which was a "fancy" created by some bowlers who had no accuracy to hit the stumps. Good stick attach bowlers(Pak bowlers, Malinga, Steyn) may have got the sticks rolling on any pitches. After all the cricket stumps are 28 inches heigh and what is the point of "way above high bounces" really? Cricket is not all about bowling a kilo meter above the stumps or bouncing above Everest! Hope people with "some sense" realize and appreciate spin friendly tracks and good spin bowling atleast equally. It was a great match and great to watch Ashwin's bowling skills especially on the first innings. Dhoni was skillful and brialliant in phasing his attack on opposition. Realize, Appreciate and move on guys..

Posted by Nerk on (February 27, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

The Aussie batsmen just need to learn how to play on a pitch like this. England learnt, the hard way, by playing two series in the U.A.E. and Sri Lanka. Then they came to India with the Indian press boasting how they were going to spin England out, and Dhoni ordering groundsmen to make "rank turners." Boy did that backfire big time! Now Australia have to do the same thing. And our players have the skill, most of them got starts in the last test. They just need to make the big runs.

Posted by spiritwithin on (February 27, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

any pitch which produces a score of 572,380,241 and produce a result in day5 is a good pitch,cant understand the whining by Aus fans here,even Warne,Clarke said that Pitch behaved way better than it looked..u r in india so expect a spinning pitch which is a challenge for non-subcontinent teams,dont expect pacers paradise in india,if ur team cant cope with an alien pitch then they r not good enough to be called as world class,its just like subcontinent teams struggling away from subcontinent...same pitch England routed India last series,so dont give excuses bcoz thats what we r hearing since aus landed in india,if ur team cant play in spinning pitches its not our fault..with such attitude i m sure aus wont win a single match in india or in UAE(against pak) and also against Eng in ashes bcoz believe me u wont have any excuses left by the time Ashes comes

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

I love Australians for realizing the lack of spin experience in the team. This is what players like Shane can do to a team. But they fought till the end 'Bravo' I would say as Indian.

Posted by SlipsGlance on (February 27, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

@Clem Human, in what way do you think the WACA pitch was 'prepared for SA'? Or either of the other two, for that matter.

Posted by Captain_Crick on (February 27, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

The pitch was a good test match wicket with plenty of runs and wickets on offer for both the sides. The main difference between the 2 sides was the 100+ match winning partnership between Dhoni and Bhuvi which turned the game around for India. Had Ed Cowan held on to that catch of Bhuvi early on, who knows Indians might well have faltered chasing 175+ runs on this 5th day pitch. Quoting Clarke " Look at the amount of wickets fast bowling got compared to spin for the Australian team. We are not India. We are a different team, we have different fast bowlers to the Indian fast bowlers and we have different spinners to the Indian spinners." Had yet another bowler supported Pattinson from the other end by building pressure, Aussies could have well won this match.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (February 27, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

I'm happy to see that the Australian team is concentrating on dealing with pitches like this. If they started griping about them then the series would be lost. I suggest we all here do the same. Rather than complaining about the pitch, accept it as a given. Instead, we would have better luck discussing the best Aussie line up to deal with it. Thoughts?

Posted by MakersName on (February 27, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

So the selective pitch watering appears to be based on bowling areas. "The areas on either side of the stumps were kept dry" to aid spin and would certainly be areas where Ashwin would pitch deliveries trying to coming into a right-hander and beneficial to spin performance. "The line of the stumps was watered and rolled, so it stayed firm through the Test", would be areas paceman pitched the ball (necessary in the sub-continent) in effort to attack the stumps and keep things tight, but not be overly beneficial to them making an impact.

Posted by anver777 on (February 27, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

Dhoni's match turning innings was no doubt one of the best by a full time wkt keeper & was treat to watch. His crucial partnership with Kumar, completely changed the complexion of the match.... up to that point i think IND was under some pressure & even conceding a slender lead to Aussies would have made a big difference !!!! Once again a great knock from MSD !!!!!

Posted by Rooboy on (February 27, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

@Clem Human - it's really tiresome to hear people write about Aus pitches being doctored. It borders on the absurd and simply ignores reality. Perth has ALWAYS been fast and bouncy, though not as much lately as in the 80s. If it is doctored, why the hell would Aus prepare a pitch like Perth to face the WI attack of the 80s?!? And yet they did exactly that. The nature of this pitch, and the GABBA, and the SCG, and the MCG, and the Adelaide Oval, are pretty constant year in, year out. They don't change their nature depending on who Aus are competing against. And yet people still make the argument Aus doctor pitches. Laughable. @phunny_game - comparing a series where an accurate throw could have made the result 1-1, with a 4-0 series which included two innings victories and another match score of 12/771 vs 20/473 ... do you really think that's a valid comparison? Seriously?! And 2-0 is as close to a whitewash in a four test series as getting a 50 is to scoring a 100 .. ie a long way off

Posted by Marcio on (February 27, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

Can't believe people saying that India got anything other than middling pitches last time they went to Australia. They were a hell of a lot less green than the season before, when England played there. There certainly was not the kind of meddling we saw in this track in Chenai. I have been watching cricket for 30 years, and never seen a pitch that disintegrated around a core area like this. It is just taking doctoring to extremes, and is not in the spirit of the game. Regardless of what Clarke or officials say publicly, everyone can see for themselves what has gone on here. I'm afraid India's reputation for manipulation of conditions and rules in its favour has only been further damaged by this.

Posted by Fijicricket on (February 27, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

@Posted by silly_pt on (February 27, 2013, 8:39 GMT) - Both teams play on the same pitch so your argument holds no water. Also your claim "essentially it's the pitch which beat Aussies" is silly . Indias performance beat the Aussies. as once again- both teams played on the same pitch. Grow up

Posted by vatsap on (February 27, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

I see less Aussies complaining about the pitches. Even the cricketers were graceful enough to admit they had to adapt to the pitch. Contrast to what happened during last year's 4-0 blankers in Eng and Australia and the likes of Gambhir, Kohli were moaning about swing and grass.

Let India win the series and then talk.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

Becos it is India winning, you will look for some reason or the other to call it fluke or orchestrated or doctored. Think of the situation had Clarke been given out genuinely when he was clearly out and he went on to make a 100. Come on folks, try to be realistic in your judgement, validation and be fair not to the country but to the game, of course if you are unbiased

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

Amazing how the Aussies are complaining about a prepared pitch - look at what they prepared for SA, unfortunately for them, they thought they were better than the SA team and the third pitch backfired on them. Remember England beat India on these tracks. The current problem in Test Cricket is the limited formats as well as pitches being heavily biased towards batsmen - ALL current batsmen must realize that their stats can't be compared to batsmen 30 years ago (I suppose SA batsmen would have been able to cope back then too due to pitches in SA; possibly Michael Clark and a FEW other could have coped as well). I hope India are playing Zimbabwe soon so Tendulkar can get his 100th century and retire)

Posted by silly_pt on (February 27, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

A pitch can't be more doctored than this one. This is not good in any way. Not fair cricket. Pitches should be consistent be it turn, grassy or flat. It takes away everything from India win because essentially it's the pitch which beat Aussies. Takes away a lot from Sachin's 155* knock too. Ganguly never advertised for such pitches. That's why he was lot more successful away. Hats off to Clarke, Dhoni and Pattinson for their masterful efforts.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

India won against England in England in 2007 and the favour was returned in 2012 to India, but exceptions can never be taken as a rule. Therefore, if a home team gets busted on an one off occasion, so be it.. Why all the fuss?

Posted by Jayzuz on (February 27, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

The pitch was absolutely perfect for India. Slow, low and solid in the middle (awful for fast bowlers who have to pitch it there, perfect for Indian batsmen), crumbling on the edges (perfect for the spinners who pitch it there, awful for Australian batsman). Couldn't have made it any better if they'd ordered it like that. Which they did, of course.

Posted by spin_king4 on (February 27, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

I am Australian and while we lost i think this pitch was great. Spin bowling is an art and players should be able to combat it even on a turner as this pitch was. The game went 5 days much longer than the games during the Australia-Sri Lanka series and yet no one was complaining about those pitches. This is what is so beautiful about test cricket, in every country you are tested in different conditions. Green tracks in SA the swinging Duke ball in England, hard bouncy tracks in Aus and spinning tracks in the subcontinent. I would much rather have this pitch which was a result pitch rather than a flat pitch on which both teas score 700. If you apply yourself like Dhoni, Kohli, Clarke and Henriques showed you can score runs. This is not a case of an unfair pitch but simply that the young Australian batsmen must learn to apply themselves and bat against spin in tough conditions like England did recently and just us the Indian batsmen must learn to play in seaming conditions away from home

Posted by phunny_game on (February 27, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

@keralite: apparently we drew the last series in SA as welll...

And by alien i mean Spin compared to pace... In SA, NZ, OZ, conditions might be different but overall its a fast bowlers game there, more often than not... But Subcontinent is a completely different ball game... That is why SA n OZ have neck to neck record against each other at home and away... But the story at this side of the globe is different... I know you wouldn't agree with me now... But thats the truth mate!!!!

Posted by pitch_curator on (February 27, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

This selective watering has happened in England when we toured last series. They used to deliberately water the pitch more so that it remains slightly damp for the first session of the match. This has happened in Nottingham and Birmingham. You can even check cricinfos commentary for the third test where it is clearly mentioned that Andy Flower had Ashley giles had long conversations with the groundsman on the day before the match. I am assuming that these two gentlemen were not talking to the groundsman about his favorite picnic spot or his favorite actress. So, for all the English/Australian fans, dont preach. Infact I remember that the drop in pitches during the last Ashes were criticised as they were not helping Aussies enough. Talk of hypocricy !!

Posted by phunny_game on (February 27, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

@meety: yes i agree that SA havnt recently been whitewashed, infact never lost a test series in recent years, that is why it is called a deserved no.1 team... But cmon mate... OZ... Don't remember too much about any other series, but they were whitewashed by India in their last test series in India.. a two test series that India won2-0... and before that, 2-0 in a four test series, couldn't win a test, not too far from a whitewash...

Anyway, i don't mean to argue and i wasn't talking about whitewashes in particular. I was just saying that every team struggles in alien conditions, and that is true more often than not for every team... Peace!!!

Posted by AravindxD on (February 27, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

@cantfindmyscreenname It is not cheating . It is a fact that Indian team has better spinners than the Aussies !! They are proffesional cricketers so every one in the aussie team would have known that if u pitch the ball in certain areas it would have turned effectively especially Lyon then y didn't then y didn't they pitch the ball in those patches . Ashwin was the only spinner who proved quite effective becuz he bowled the ball in the right areas . So it was a fair game and it was only that the Indian spinner were able to get more from the pitch that the Australians did not !! Indians never got turning pitches in Australia and the Australian pacers got a bit more help from the pitch than the Indian pacers . And what if they have a grass only in the middle of wicket like u pointed out in your question ? i would say that nothing is wrong in that . If the Indian team can bowl well in that wicket then so can all the team !! It depends on the selection !!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

Indians, Sri Lankans and Pakistanis don't complain of a Perth, or a Brisbane, or a Headingly or Cape Town! Why should anybody complain about a Chennai pitch which produced 1243 runs for the loss of thirty two wickets in nine sessions at an average of 38.84 at more than three runs an over? What more do you want of a test wicket? And please Aussies, if you have got your selection wrong, are Indian's to blame for it? If India played with three spinners in Perth and lost like you did, should they blame the pitch? If they did, be sure that the Indian fans would themselves be laughing at them. Nobody is laughing at you though. You are a young side, with little experience of playing spin on a spinning track. If you are screaming bloody murder at Ashwin picking twelve, I cant imagine what you would say if Ajmal got you guys on this track. He would have taken all twenty wickets!!

Posted by highveldhillbilly on (February 27, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

@CantFindMyScreenName - 100%, it's rubbish that the pitch will crumble for the spinner but not for the fast bowlers! Teams can prepare any pitch they want but it must be fair to some degree.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

This things done everywhere... That was happen in england too.

Posted by keralite on (February 27, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

@phunny_game Are you sure every team in equally rubbish in alien conditions? Australia have won their last two test series in Sri Lanka( in 2004 it was a whitewash). How many series did we win in Sri Lanka? Australia drew their last series against SA in SA and won the series before that. How many did we win in SA? I admit this Australian team is not good as it used to be but saying all teams are rubbish in alien condition is not the truth. If you take the last 15 years Australia and South Africa have done well at home as well as overseas. Just because Sub continent teams do not perform well overseas do not team all other teams are like that. and btw I am not an Australian fan, I am an Indian and my favourite team is West Indies.

Posted by analyseabhishek on (February 27, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

The curator has his point. There was a result and the test went on to the 5th day. The middle of the pitch was firm and only the outside area was a dustbowl! As Ian Chappell pointed out, had Dhoni scored 124 instead of 224, the result might well have been different as India were batting last.

Posted by ashok1259 on (February 27, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

This is funny. Most people here commenting that the pitch is ugly and some others say "It's the sort of pitch that should result in disciplinary action against the BCCI by the ICC". It is like you are poor in maths and maths teacher prepared very tough paper (as per your standards) for the exam and you failed in the exam (obviously) and you start complaining that teachers should not prepare a tough paper for the exam and teacher should be terminated from his/her duties. Stop complaining about spin tracks and learn how to play spinners. Fast bowling is not only option in cricket. Some are criticizing about Indian spinners bowling 70 odd overs in the second innings. Any captain wants to win the match. If the pitch is supporting spinners he will use his spinners and it is not wrong at all. It will be foolish to allow fast bowlers to bowl where the batsman is struggling against spinners and the pitch is in favor of spinners. It is just commonsense.

Posted by kabe_ag7 on (February 27, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

@Meety - The argument that lack of rough outside legstump at one venue in India is 'a notable factor as why Warne was not as effective in India' is priceless.

Posted by spinkingKK on (February 27, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

Congratulations to the Indian team for their great effort. However, it is very wrong on the part of the curator to doctor the pitch in such a way that the contest is killed. Unless it is an even play field, there is no contest and sports. May be thing type of things are happening in other places too. But, this curator has been honest to admit that he worked hard for an Indian win. I am totally against the doctoring of the pitch. It should be even playfield and whoever is good enough to win, should win.

Posted by viji69 on (February 27, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

I think we get very critical of the wicket. As international Cricketer one has to play in all sorts of wickets and conditions. You cannot expect a rank turner in Perth when you travel to Australia. As the wicket stood firm till the fifth day. It is high time, The media management of what is communicated out should be classified. there is no need to speak about SOP / best practices of Wicket preparation, by the curator. If the wicket stays for 5 days of the test match, it is a great test wicket. The team which possess the skills and demonstrate will emerge winners. period. ( UGLY wicket is not the right expression for this wicket)

Posted by xsSandy on (February 27, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

This is the worst Indian spin bowling attack. Aussies have gave in to this spin bowling attack in subcontinent conditions reflect their in experience and under-preparedness for the tour. Have there been accuracy of Kumble and Magic of young Bhajji, this Aussie side might have lost by an inning and more. England played the same attack well than Indian players who played English spin bowling attack. So, here it is absurd to point a finger on the pitch or home advantage. In 1998-2006, Australian team played great cricket and bowled really well with their legendary fast bowlers like Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie in these sub continent conditions. Australia neither has that kind of fast bowling attack nor that kind of batsman who can dance on the pitch to make turn ineffective. That is the only difference. In this match, Aussies got the required experience & I am sure they will do well in coming matches. Please Cricinfo post my comment. :(

Posted by Meety on (February 27, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

@Warren Smith "...You havent seen a greentop since the 70s..." - India didn't get a Green Top - as that summer the Green top was in Hobart for the NZ test! Which was almost the perfect pitch for NZ! @phunny_game on (February 27, 2013, 6:16 GMT) - "...So every team is equally rubbish in alien conditions" - sorry mate, but that is patently false. England did get beat 5 nil in Oz a few years back, but when has SA or Oz been whitewashed in Asian conditions? They haven't. Sth Africa have the best personell - so that is why they haven't, Oz don't have the quality in the 1st XI as SA, but Oz have the best pitches in the world, it is why we have the best history in cricket. @ram5160 on (February 27, 2013, 6:25 GMT) - "...would prevent the leg-spinners & left-armers from bowling a negative line to right-hand batsmen.." Mike Gatting probably would of liked that idea when facing Warne - 100% of PURE cricket fans would NOT!

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 27, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

Instead of criticizing pitch, accept the fact that u can't play spin and have very ordinary team

Posted by CantFindMyScreenName on (February 27, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

I don't really have a problem with a side preparing an entire pitch a certain way. Preparing parts of a pitch of a certain way is close to cheating.

Doing this is no different to a side with tall quicks preparing a green, bouncy seamer just short of a good length, while removing all grass and bounce from a length just a bit further up.

Curators should be forced to prepare the entire wicket (from both return creases and level with the wickets) in the same manner.

If the sides of the pitch are going to crumble - the middle should too.

If the middle of the pitch has grass and bounce, so should the ends.

What next? Picking all left arm seamers and just having a strip of grass the width of the wickets running down the middle of the pitch?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

Pitch pitch pitch ..Nothing was wrong with the pitch .I don't know when Aussies gonna stop complaining about the wicket in subcontinent .If they are that good on a pace wicket then why couldn't they win in South Africa ? Why they lost ashes in England.I tell you why because they got below par batting line up and average bowling attack which is good against poor team and worst against good team.This team couldn't even win a home series against SA .Cmon Aussies except the defeat and move on to the next game I think if you guys constrate on your batting and bowling you will compete better in the next game.

Posted by Maratha-Mumbaikar on (February 27, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

what's harm in making pitches as per our strenght. Cant understand why we people talk about this. Do we see this happening in Perth kingsmead Or anywhere in England. Its Simple they cant play spin. Yes England did manage to beat us, credit to them. If anyone recollects when we went to NZ in late 90s we were given under prepared pitches in return we didn't make rank turners.

Posted by Doogius on (February 27, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

So I suppose its ok now to seriously water just short of a good length at say the Gabba against India and leave the rest of the pitch flat with a little grass. Our boys would have a field day. What I find hilarious is the constant complaining about Australias adherence to the 'spirit of cricket'. If I were the Oz team, I'd be asking for a 'please explain' as to why two different parts of a pitch were prepared differently with a fairly obvious bent towards the home team. And apparently its been going on for 15+ years. As a fan of good hard fair cricket, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying....

Posted by Meety on (February 27, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

@pun_eat on (February 27, 2013, 6:03 GMT) - mate - in Sth Africa a lot of the low scores occur because of swing, which has nothing to do with the pitch. As far as the colour of dirt, theoretically it should have NOTHING to do with the look of a pitch because in MOST countries the pitches has grass on it! A thin layer of grass can totally change the colour of a pitch. Please bear in mind that the curator has just admitted to a practise that I believe to be almost unheard of in International cricket. Is it reasonable to expect that both sides had equal knowledge of this practise? I suggest not. Superficially you are right "...aussies also dint apply themselves..." @HURRICANE.Sehwag on (February 27, 2013, 6:10 GMT) - name an Ozzy cricketer that is complaining?

Posted by appoooz on (February 27, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

Nobody can blame the pitch for this particular test match. They had made similar kind of pitches for last England series. So the fact is, a team should be quickly adaptable to any conditions in to make best results. This's not a new thing that the home team make pitches in favor of them. We can find the same situation in Australia & South Africa. Here team Aussies failed in all departments of the game which is not expected as compared to their precedence. They had shown their potentials so many times in every part of the world under the captaincy of Steve Waugh & Ricky Ponting. So instead of cursing the behavior of pitch, they can look forward with much more attention, since same circumstances are waiting them in matches ahead.

Posted by Blokker on (February 27, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

The Aussies aren't complaining about the pitch. Clarke has said that India outplayed them, and that's true. I just wish I could follow the series properly. The ridiculous BBCI selective media bans make it a bit tricky, though.

Posted by Meety on (February 27, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

The curator has admitted to "selective" watering of the pitch. It is evident by the look of the pitch that it was odd. I am by no mean an expert on pitch curating, but I have NEVER heard of this practise! Speaking in terms of the bigger picture &NOT about Oz losing this match, this is a BAD PRACTISE! This is not how Test pitches are normally prepared. The major problem occurs when a visiting team tries to judge what the pitch will do. The NSP probably saw the firmness up the centre & thought there wouldn't be turn (as before play there would be nothing to suggest that other parts of the pitch would deteriorate). Just playing Devil's Advocate here, what IF Indian players new of this practise & Clarke & his team didn't? It is fairly well known that Oz was going to bowl stump to stump, they see a pitch that looks like it is well maintained BEFORE the match, only to find AFTER the match strips were DESIGNED to fail. IMO - this is sneaky, & I would like to know if this is SPIRIT of cricket!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

India has the quality spin pitches like Ozz, SA & Eng seeming pitches, when we tour those countries their board prepares worst seeming pitch which turns from the 1st ball so no wonder india doing when touring team comes to our soil. Indian pitches are good for spin for last 3 or 4 decades where Eng won last time with their spinners but ozz and SA are struggling to win serious in india without quality of spin. So please don't blame the pitch rather create quality spinners and play in sub continent.

Posted by Qeng_Ho on (February 27, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

I think it is fair to complain that the curator prepared, in essence, two pitches. One pitch from stump to stump so the quicks didn't get too much assistance and another pitch outside the line of the stumps which was intended to crumble so that the spinners got purchase. The 'two pitches' policy was clearly intended to benefit India's spinners without allowing any similar benefit to Australia's quicks

Had the pitch deteriorated uniformly throughout I would have had no complaint. I had no complaint about the pitch until I read this article. I am now of the view that this was dodgy pitch preparation.

Posted by Velekkat on (February 27, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Just making some modifications to Warren Smith's comment:

Its a short term option for Australia to make sure they win home series (by not preparing for turning tracks), but in the long run their cricket is going to get worse and worse. Sad to say that this is probably all Australia are going to get this summer. Well played to Clarke, Henriques and Pattinson on this deplorable surface (and to Dhoni and Kohli too). Its the sort of pitches in Australia that should result in disciplinary action against the CA by the ICC, but we all know why that wont happen. And yes - friends of Australia - you will definitely get more turning tracks in India. Turning tracks WILL TURN, not just grip. You will see more of that in the coming days too.

Posted by Harvey on (February 27, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

Lots of whining by some Australians, but there was nothing wrong with this pitch. It was an excellent one, in fact. My only issues with turning pitches are with those which are either excessively slow (producing dull cricket) or which give the team winning the toss an unfair advantage. I predict that Australia will also be faced with a turning pitch at The Oval during The Ashes. This is not because of "pitch doctoring," but because that's how The Oval has been playing in recent years, including when India played there. In fact, Surrey were able to narrowly avoid relegation last season by packing their team with spinners. Don't say you haven't been warned!

Posted by pun_eat on (February 27, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

If aussies had spinners as good as graeme swann or saqlain mushtaq ( refer chennai history), indians would have been ripped apart. keeping the stump line clean is a good cricket practice. If there are roughs at center , this match might have been called off. Ugly pitches are like the pitch in Nagpur in Enngland series, nothing for anyone.

Posted by Thyagu5432 on (February 27, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Somebody had commented that Roger Federer cannot go to Rolland Garros and ask for grass on the court just because he wins most on Grass courts. Sub-continent pitches will be spinner friendly and if visiting batsmen are also Spinner friendly, they will simply gift their wickets and go back. In my view, spin bowling requires lot more skills and variations than pace bowling. These days fast bowling is all about pace. Go to Gym, add a few pounds of muscle on your arms (have some intimidating tatoos as well) and strengthen your wrist and fingers, you are done. Doosra, Theesra, wrong-un, top spin, carrom ball etc., etc., all require going to the cricket nets rather than the gym. Add to it the ICC norms on how much you can bend your elbow etc., makes it even more difficult.

Posted by ram5160 on (February 27, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

"I kept the square patches outside the leg stump, on either side of the wicket, really hard. It was difficult to get turn from that part as there would be no rough there." I think that's a good move. It would prevent the leg-spinners & left-armers from bowling a negative line to right-hand batsmen. It would also reduce the disadvantage to left-handed batsmen as a result of the bowler's foot marks. Other curators should look to do the same.

Posted by phunny_game on (February 27, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

phewww.... The comments section for every India-Australia article seems like a battleground... Niceee...

@andrew-schulz : Just like australia cant play well in subcontinent teams, we struggle on green tops... So every team is equally rubbish in alien conditions, don't just blame India... The australian media should learn to admit that their team selection and preparation was not up to the mark, instead of blaming the pitches...

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

Agreed andrew-schulz. Its a short term option for India to make sure they win home series, but in the long run their cricket is going to get worse and worse. Sad to say that this is probably all Australia are going to get this summer. Well played to Clarke, Henriques and Pattinson on this deplorable surface (and to Dhoni and Kohli too). Its the sort of pitch that should result in disciplinary action against the BCCI by the ICC, but we all know why that wont happen. And no - friends of India - you didnt get greentops in Australia. Greentops are GRASS GREEN, not brown. You havent seen a greentop since the 70s.

Posted by pun_eat on (February 27, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

Further , I am not among people who criticised wickets in AUS and ENG on whitewashes. Lets just keep favoritism aside here.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 27, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

I guess that different people will look at it in different ways but, while I don't necessarily have an issue with pitches being made to suit a particular type of bowling, the idea that a pitch was prepared to deliberately nullify a specific player on the opposition sounds extremely dodgy to me. It's not against any rule so it's not cheating but it is ethically very questionable if you ask me.

Posted by pun_eat on (February 27, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

Indians lack advantage abroad, Aussies here. But tendulkar, cook and clarke have showed that great players score everywhere. Also, this is by far the worst spin attack for INDIA in years.

Posted by HURRICANE.Sehwag on (February 27, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

I totally agree with @pun_eat. How did England manage to defeat India if these are "ugly" pitches? Because they stopped complaining, accepted the facts and applied themselves. That is precisely what the aussies are not doing in India and what the Indians did not do abroad. It all depends on the mental status of the players. Either they accept defeat and get bogged down or not give up and rise as victors as England did. Tey can look up to Clarke and Henriques for guidelines.

Posted by Shuraim on (February 27, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

"We started by making the entire pitch firm. After that we watered it selectively. The areas on either side of the stumps were kept dry, and so turned out to be loose. The line of the stumps was watered and rolled, so it stayed firm through the Test." Must say very clever and biased move by the curator by keeping outside of the pitch dry n loose and stump area firm to go with no grass on the pitch he made sure that indian spinners will get turn and variable bounce by pitching the ball outside the stumps and while australian quicks in the absence of any assistance other than reverse swing will have to pitch it in the line of stumps to get wickets which was kept firm so scoring could be easy for home batsmen. Gotta say here its the curator who won them the match. In australia curators aren't given instructions by anybody neither they tailored pitches to provide any advantage to the homeside during indian series best examples include MCG, SCG and Adelaide pitches all equally competitive

Posted by pun_eat on (February 27, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

@Meety ...Ugly looking...I apologise.But when someone writes about a pitch on cricinfo, I assume its about how it played and not how it looked. Chennai pitch has always been like this. One cant change the soil color. Indian tracks have always been turners but word's best spinner hasn't done well here. Its not the pitch that does the job. Curators should not make headlines. They dont when three team got out in 40s in SA. They have specific guidelines by BCCI, ICC and local board on how to go about their job. As indian batsmen failed to apply themselves in AUS or ENG .. aussies also dint apply themselves. Also they lost the match in the last two sessions of day 3. Tendulkar's 155 in 1998 and now Dhoni's 206, they did the job for India by playing exceptional. Any pitch playing till day 5 is a good enough pitch for Test Cricket.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

good game with result , 5 day play, three 5 wickets haul , three century with one double this is what you want to see in a test match......

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (February 27, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

As a Saffa fan, I think turning pitches are great, it makes for exciting and interesting cricket. It's perfectly fair to compare them to bouncy seaming wickets in SA.

But selectively preparing different areas of the pitch differently strike me as a little shady. I guess if it ain't against the rules...

On the other hand, now that I think of it the Newlands pitch for the NZ test had two different coloured ends, the end Philander was bowling to (where he took 6/8 or something) was markedly more green. So maybe this is common practice by groundsmen, this is just the first time we've heard of it...

Posted by loveNpeace on (February 27, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

this is not cricket at all, we as subcontinental country's (india , sri lanka and pakistan) will beat any visiting team in our back yards. this is one of the worst subcontinental pitch i ever saw. it is true that this wickets needs to be slow and turning to give the home advantage, but it does not have to be bad like this.it is not good for the game, we should remember when subcontinental teams travel to australia,uk, south africa they dont make so green pitches they used to make. this wicket was like a soft ball pitch. after wining a home game you forget every thing and how you played overseas.

Posted by archnat1112 on (February 27, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

@pun_eat: I so agree with everything you have said. No one raises a stink if a South African or Australian bowler gets 10 wickets on a pitch in these countries. Why this hue and cry about turning tracks? Every country should play to its advantages - that is the whole idea of a home series and away series. And if the Indian team could manage more than 500 runs, it definitely wasn't a "bad" pitch or an "ugly" pitch. I think people like Shane Warne also unnecessarily contribute to this negativity through the kinds of tweets they send and the comments they make.

Posted by Velekkat on (February 27, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

So, when India demolish Australia in India, all those turning tracks become UGLY for you. When Aussies prepare fast pitches to suit their strengths, you call 'em SPORTING wickets. Grow up reporters...! If Aussies can't withstand spin in turning tracks, its their limitation and India should be exploiting that BIG time. Kudos to the curator! :)

Posted by prabukailash.k on (February 27, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

This is the perfect pitch for test matches everybody can perform batsmen can score maximum, spinner can gets more turn and bounce and fast bowler can get wickets. Result in the fifth day of test match is the best match.

Posted by Meety on (February 27, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

@pun_eat on (February 27, 2013, 5:18 GMT) - the term "ugly" in this match is do mainly with the LOOK of the pitch. Have a look at it, it has crumbled around the edges with a big blob in the middle still intact. There are many other pitches around that can be described as UGLY, often Belreive in Oz is called ugly for the blotchy looking nature. The WACA would be called ugly when great big cracks would open up. Stop playing the victim - even the curator more or less admitted it was ugly looking. == == == "I kept the square patches outside the leg stump, on either side of the wicket, really hard. It was difficult to get turn from that part as there would be no rough there". Given that Kumble never turned the ball as much as Warne, this may be a notable factor as why Warne was not as effective in India. Yes India's batsmen played him brilliantly, but this really does appear to be a case of rigging the pitch. Further proof that Indian pitches don't have to be turning dustbowls!

Posted by bored_iam on (February 27, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

Haha! Brilliant stuff! :-)

But ya, have to agree with @pun_eat. A SA pitch which lets a match end in 3 days is "a test of the application of the batsmen" while a Subcontintal pitch with a match lasting 5days is "bad for cricket/ugly." Well, to each his own. A result pitch: turning/bouncing/seaming/swinging-doesnt matter-a result pitch lasting 5days: THATS a good pitch.

Posted by satishchandar on (February 27, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

Come on... Ugly pitch? Have some heart guys before you come up as a analyst.. No one termed the pitch as ugly one.. It is a beautiful test match wicket which produced runs, wickets and good entertainment for everyone.. A ugly pitch will injure batsmen and wont produce runs.. This is not that one guys..

Posted by D.V.C. on (February 27, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

I like the idea of rolling the centre line, but not the edges so that both spin and pace can be used as attacking weapons from the beginning. Selectively preparing each side of the wicket in '98 to favour the home team's spinners however I think crosses a line. A good groundsman should be neutral shouldn't they?

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

that was perfect test match pitch and both team played well , Aussies has inexperience batting line up for such pitches but no complain for international matches

Posted by andrew-schulz on (February 27, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

I wonder if the penny will drop for India one day that such pitch tampering will continue to result in their national team being absolutely rubbish away from home.

Posted by tony122 on (February 27, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

I constantly hear this sort of pitch is a good pitch,this is not, this is fair, this is not etc. But the most important thing is variety. We should have pitches which last 5 days, some where a result is unlikely in 7 days. Some where fast bowlers blow out batsmen within 3 days or even 2. Some where spinners rout batsmen in 4 days or even 3. We need variety, that is the most beautiful aspect of cricket that puts it above all other games in Earth. It is hugely complicated and has huge number of variables.

Posted by ssenthil on (February 27, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

Wow, Indian curator using their brain excellently. He should be made pitch committee chairman to approve all pitches made in to play test matches against the visiting teams ;-)

Posted by pun_eat on (February 27, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

In today's' time if a test match ends on day 5, I would rate that wicket as a good one. A lot of test matches in SA, AUS and ENG wind up in three days. Why is it that turner tracks are termed "ugly"? People should know that no matter how good the wicket is, its not the pitch that does the job. Good bowlers and good batsmen find their ways out on all kinds of surfaces. Not all six batsmen can hit a century in Sydney and not all spinners took a ten for in Chennai. Application part is the real cricket. One needs to stop looking into pitch stuff for the benefit of the game. It will be good for some one either batsmen, spinner or seamers. No one talks about pitch when Steyn takes a ten for? Its sad to see an article over a pitch on which three batsmen scored hundreds . .three fifties , a fast bowler took five, and only one spinner took a ten for. Disappointing headline.

Posted by Number_5 on (February 27, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

"I kept the square patches outside the leg stump, on either side of the wicket, really hard. It was difficult to get turn from that part as there would be no rough there." -"After that game, Warne came to me and asked why he wasn't getting the turn and others were. I told him it was because of his dodgy shoulder, that was to be operated later in the series." gee what can you say to that.

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