Australia in India 2012-13 February 27, 2013

Spin formula India's best bet

A string of injuries to their fast bowlers means spin is India's only chance at victory; a lack of quality spinning options means acutely crumbling tracks are the need of the hour
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An American football coach once had the basic principle of sports writing explained to him by a reporter: "When you lose, we make fun of you. When you win, we make fun of the other guy."

Much fun, therefore, is being made of Australia's bloopers in the Chennai Test and India are spared the pincushion treatment for now. They would hope the respite lasts for another few months at least.

Victory in the Chennai Test has brought relief rather than fist-pumping 'payback' celebration. Three Tests and three months of introspection lay between India's last Test victory in Ahmedabad against England and the Chennai Test. This was a victory they needed as much as they wanted. It was eked out through a fairly simple formula, one that India hopes will keep working through the rest of the series.

Chennai was dusted and done, in that order, 90 minutes into day five. After MS Dhoni's brutal double-century on Sunday, the Indian spinners brought their brand of business into play on day four. R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravinder Jadeja ran through the Australian batting on a track that spat, bit and either leapt with venom or sizzled with zip.

This is the way this series is going to go, in all likelihood. The focus is on pitches that will allow India to successfully play three spinners, including Jadeja. As long as their batsmen can hold out (Dhoni did far more than hold out in Chennai, he led a surge) and the inexperienced Australians keep sweating, India will control the series.

It is, it appears, India's best chance of securing a result that stays true to script and overturns their own overturning by England.

Before Chennai, India's last Test victory had come on a sluggish surface and led to complaints about the man-hours and sweat-buckets required by India's spinners to get 20 wickets. The turner that was demanded, rather openly, backfired on them in Mumbai after England re-grouped, played Monty Panesar ahead of Tim Bresnan and roared back.

The only similarity between Panesar and Australia's Xavier Doherty is that they are quickish left-arm spinners. Doherty is more of a limited-overs specialist and, not surprisingly, Panesar has played over 100 first-class matches more than him. India will be on the lookout for any copycat approaches from Australia which, if unsuccessful, will no doubt be mocked too.

So far so good. Chennai was originally the venue of the fourth and final Test of the series. The venues were switched around to open the series in the south when it was decided that Hyderabad would host the second Test instead of Kanpur (Cricket Australia had expressed dissatisfaction over the facilities in Kanpur). The ideal script for India would be Australia heading into a north Indian spring, in Mohali and Delhi, 0-2 down.

To say that a dry, slow, crumbling, unpredictable pitch equates to what other sides do - play to the home team's 'strength' - is somewhat misleading. If India had more confidence in the spinners they consider their 'strength', the surfaces would not require "selective watering"

VVS Laxman's succinct description on television of what the pitch in his home town for the second Test would be was "hard, firm and crumbling". In the previous Test played in Hyderabad, New Zealand were beaten soon after tea on the fourth day, with Ashwin and Ojha taking 18 of the 20 wickets.

Word from the Indian camp is that injury to one quick bowler after another meant that spin became the only 20-wicket option available to the hosts for this series. One tally even has the number of injured at ten but in real terms the list includes Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Vinay Kumar, Irfan Pathan and a fittish RP Singh (who comes with wishful longing for a 2007 version).

The Chepauk track was called 'decent' by Dhoni and 'typically Indian' by Jadeja, while Clarke said it "looked a lot worse than it played". There were 1243 runs and 32 wickets over four-and-a-bit days, evidence, it was said, of its perfectly respectable nature. What cannot be denied though is that - barring Pattinson's manful effort in the first innings - the pitch largely favoured a type of bowler, rather than give both quicks and slow men their moments over five days.

Ironically, the species of bowler Chennai favoured is the kind that is sadly going out of vogue in India to the point that the national selectors couldn't find a surprise newcomer to throw into the mix. Laxman's estimate of the number of quality spinners - and he knew how to play them - in the country numbered at "seven or eight", rather than the "two or three per domestic team" that he remembered running into in the 1990s.

To say that a dry, slow, crumbling, unpredictable pitch equates to what other sides do - play to the home team's 'strength' - is somewhat misleading. If India had more confidence in the spinners they consider their 'strength', the surfaces would not require, as the Chennai curator delightfully explained in the Indian Express on Wednesday morning, "selective watering". This is more a reflection of India's limited options and the weakness of a new, raw generation of Australian batsmen. And not wanting to be made fun of.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 28, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    I've been shocked to see suggestions from some fans calling for Siddle to be replaced by Doherty to meet an arbitrary two-spinner requirement. Er, sorry, but as the article makes plain, Doherty is a limited-overs specialist, and regardless of some Australian fans' accusations of Siddle being a "mediocre" fast bowler (even though he averages less than 30), he is still far more likely to take wickets - on any surface - than Doherty. Australia should play to their strengths which is in their fast-bowling depth - it would be nice if they had two quality spinners to work with in tandem but apart from O'Keefe I'm not sure who would fit the bill. I was always puzzled by the treatment of Hauritz myself - he was a solid performer. Also, I am puzzled by the complaints regarding the pitch - Michael Clarke himself said it played well as a wicket, and as well as (obviously) offering something for the spinners, there was an absolute ripper of a bouncer from Pattinson late on - bounce was there too.

  • grizzle on February 28, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    There is a difference between preparing pitches that turn and offer something (or even a good deal) to spinners and pitches that offer virtually nothing to pacemen. I have a problem with the latter and not with the former. There was not a blade of grass on this pitch and thus zero seam movement to be had, even in the first session of the Test match. Pattinson bothered the Indians not because of any help from the pitch, but because of his sheer pace. In any case, I don't think the pitch was bad, just not that it was ideal. And Sharda is right: a sporting pitch would probably have meant that the Indians would have lost heavily.

  • green_jelly on March 2, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    When Indian journalists write about the Indian team, the correct quote is: "When you lose, we make fun of you. When you win, we make excuses for the other guy."

  • jay57870 on March 2, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    Sharda - Another American football coach once famously proclaimed: "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing"! An accepted formula is to leverage the home-field advantage to the fullest. Look at astroturf vs grass in field hockey. It's no coincidence that India's supremacy declined primarily with the 1970s introduction of astroturf. It shifted the advantage totally from India's (& Pak's) wristy style of finesse play to the hard-hitting power game of the Germans, Dutch & Aussies. So, why complain about pitches? And integrity? Look, even sledging is considered a competitive advantage down under! Just ask Steve Waugh re: his "mental disintegration" tactics. Now that seems to have gone too - thankfully for cricket - with Ricky Ponting & his 2008 antics. Also it's time CA's John Inverarity stopped dissing the integrity of the doosra (LOL!) & encouraged young Aussies to learn the art & science of spin bowling. What's wrong with Lyon adding it to his repertoire? Just ask Murali!!!

  • pr3m on March 2, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    What about Ashwin's first innings? Did the pitch assist in that as well? Credit where it's due, he had a good game. While he won't be the best spinner India has had, probably even in this decade, he did bowl well to the conditions.

  • Shaggy076 on March 2, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    CricketCoachDb - I agree totally. The prolem I have with the pitch isthat it was made to perform a certain way. Pitches should just be prepared as they are every game of the year and not tailor made for specific opponents.Selective watering means that it was made in a particular way for whatever reason. The normal Indian pitches tend to favour spin anyway and I dont see why Dhoni and the BCCI think they are unlikely to win on the standard Indian pitch and have to prepare pitches to further negate the oppositions strength.

  • CricketCoachDB on March 1, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    To the defensive India fans: the conditions in England are certainly naturally occurring, NOT prepared to be like that. You can't stop the cloud and rain, after all! Same goes for Australia with their conditions that favour fast, pacy bowlers. We couldn't prepare a spinner's paradise if we tried...and with the Aussies coming up and Swann and Panesar in our ranks, it would make sense to do it! Whereas a quick perusal of Ranji Trophy averages will tell you that seam is actually normally slightly more successful than spin in India now-so obviously the Test pitches have been prepared to negate the Indian weakness.

  • Harmony111 on March 1, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    @Meety: Of all the people you could find only Mr. Bedi to quote? Like DG said here, he goes overboard at times, in fact almost every time for eg his statement that Murlai's wickets were mere run outs in his eyes. Even here, I really fail to see why should you or Bedi have any grudge with this wicket. Yes, the bowl was spinning on Day 1 and by implication this help was available on all 5 days but why is that a bad thing on its own? Is it a sin to see the ball spinning? Neither did the wicket break down noticeably. So the Day1 Spin did not mean any monsters in the wicket. The firmness of the central part meant there was ample chance to score runs for batsmen and bounce for the bowlers, so much so that even on Day 5 Patto was able to bowl sharp bouncers (Rem Murali's 1st ball?). But ofc it meant the fast bowlers had to work harder. Are you saying the Aussie bowlers should get ample bounce just like that?

    This was really one kind of an Ideal Wicket. Why are you whining so much?

  • Harmony111 on March 1, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    @Malediction: The curator hasn't "ADMITTED" anything. He has simply told how he prepared the wicket. It your your biased vision that makes you think he admitted any wrong doing or any hanky-panky there. Anything that was done in SL or anywhere else is not relevant to the context anyways, so don't bring it here.

    As for your other comment, if the wicket was firm and did not provide any uneven bounce isn't that great? What is wrong there? In the past ppl make a noise about India wickets getting uneven as play progresses. Chennai wicket did not behave that way. You want to criticize when the wicket gets uneven and you want to criticize when the wicket does not get uneven. Just how confused are you?

    What stopped Aus from picking more spinners if now you say the wicket did not help Aussie fast bowlers? Whose fault is it? Why blame India or the curator for it? Which Aussie bowler took 6 wickets? Why were the others unable to do that? Whose fault is it? Sheepish cat hunting the leaf. Huh.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 1, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    @Meety, mate I completely see your point. I completely understand your reasonable complaint. But don't worry about the process that goes into making either of the tracks. That's my message to you. Next, does Bedi criticise if a pacer gets wickets on day 5? Does he criticise if a pacer is unplayable on day 5? I'm not pinning him down. Just a thought to consider, may be? Bedi is definitely a no nonsense person. But sometimes, he goes over the top. I strongly suggest that various cricket boards have to work together to prepare such pitches, that are alien to them, at the sametime outfoxing the visitors when they visit. That's the suspense I want the visitors to face - Aussies in India and Indians in Australia. And if you followed the recent stories, Dhoni too said that he didn't know how exactly the wicket is going to play. So, it's not a case where one captain was selectively informed about how the pitch is going to play. If one captain was indeed informed, then that would be dishonest.

  • on February 28, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    I've been shocked to see suggestions from some fans calling for Siddle to be replaced by Doherty to meet an arbitrary two-spinner requirement. Er, sorry, but as the article makes plain, Doherty is a limited-overs specialist, and regardless of some Australian fans' accusations of Siddle being a "mediocre" fast bowler (even though he averages less than 30), he is still far more likely to take wickets - on any surface - than Doherty. Australia should play to their strengths which is in their fast-bowling depth - it would be nice if they had two quality spinners to work with in tandem but apart from O'Keefe I'm not sure who would fit the bill. I was always puzzled by the treatment of Hauritz myself - he was a solid performer. Also, I am puzzled by the complaints regarding the pitch - Michael Clarke himself said it played well as a wicket, and as well as (obviously) offering something for the spinners, there was an absolute ripper of a bouncer from Pattinson late on - bounce was there too.

  • grizzle on February 28, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    There is a difference between preparing pitches that turn and offer something (or even a good deal) to spinners and pitches that offer virtually nothing to pacemen. I have a problem with the latter and not with the former. There was not a blade of grass on this pitch and thus zero seam movement to be had, even in the first session of the Test match. Pattinson bothered the Indians not because of any help from the pitch, but because of his sheer pace. In any case, I don't think the pitch was bad, just not that it was ideal. And Sharda is right: a sporting pitch would probably have meant that the Indians would have lost heavily.

  • green_jelly on March 2, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    When Indian journalists write about the Indian team, the correct quote is: "When you lose, we make fun of you. When you win, we make excuses for the other guy."

  • jay57870 on March 2, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    Sharda - Another American football coach once famously proclaimed: "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing"! An accepted formula is to leverage the home-field advantage to the fullest. Look at astroturf vs grass in field hockey. It's no coincidence that India's supremacy declined primarily with the 1970s introduction of astroturf. It shifted the advantage totally from India's (& Pak's) wristy style of finesse play to the hard-hitting power game of the Germans, Dutch & Aussies. So, why complain about pitches? And integrity? Look, even sledging is considered a competitive advantage down under! Just ask Steve Waugh re: his "mental disintegration" tactics. Now that seems to have gone too - thankfully for cricket - with Ricky Ponting & his 2008 antics. Also it's time CA's John Inverarity stopped dissing the integrity of the doosra (LOL!) & encouraged young Aussies to learn the art & science of spin bowling. What's wrong with Lyon adding it to his repertoire? Just ask Murali!!!

  • pr3m on March 2, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    What about Ashwin's first innings? Did the pitch assist in that as well? Credit where it's due, he had a good game. While he won't be the best spinner India has had, probably even in this decade, he did bowl well to the conditions.

  • Shaggy076 on March 2, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    CricketCoachDb - I agree totally. The prolem I have with the pitch isthat it was made to perform a certain way. Pitches should just be prepared as they are every game of the year and not tailor made for specific opponents.Selective watering means that it was made in a particular way for whatever reason. The normal Indian pitches tend to favour spin anyway and I dont see why Dhoni and the BCCI think they are unlikely to win on the standard Indian pitch and have to prepare pitches to further negate the oppositions strength.

  • CricketCoachDB on March 1, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    To the defensive India fans: the conditions in England are certainly naturally occurring, NOT prepared to be like that. You can't stop the cloud and rain, after all! Same goes for Australia with their conditions that favour fast, pacy bowlers. We couldn't prepare a spinner's paradise if we tried...and with the Aussies coming up and Swann and Panesar in our ranks, it would make sense to do it! Whereas a quick perusal of Ranji Trophy averages will tell you that seam is actually normally slightly more successful than spin in India now-so obviously the Test pitches have been prepared to negate the Indian weakness.

  • Harmony111 on March 1, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    @Meety: Of all the people you could find only Mr. Bedi to quote? Like DG said here, he goes overboard at times, in fact almost every time for eg his statement that Murlai's wickets were mere run outs in his eyes. Even here, I really fail to see why should you or Bedi have any grudge with this wicket. Yes, the bowl was spinning on Day 1 and by implication this help was available on all 5 days but why is that a bad thing on its own? Is it a sin to see the ball spinning? Neither did the wicket break down noticeably. So the Day1 Spin did not mean any monsters in the wicket. The firmness of the central part meant there was ample chance to score runs for batsmen and bounce for the bowlers, so much so that even on Day 5 Patto was able to bowl sharp bouncers (Rem Murali's 1st ball?). But ofc it meant the fast bowlers had to work harder. Are you saying the Aussie bowlers should get ample bounce just like that?

    This was really one kind of an Ideal Wicket. Why are you whining so much?

  • Harmony111 on March 1, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    @Malediction: The curator hasn't "ADMITTED" anything. He has simply told how he prepared the wicket. It your your biased vision that makes you think he admitted any wrong doing or any hanky-panky there. Anything that was done in SL or anywhere else is not relevant to the context anyways, so don't bring it here.

    As for your other comment, if the wicket was firm and did not provide any uneven bounce isn't that great? What is wrong there? In the past ppl make a noise about India wickets getting uneven as play progresses. Chennai wicket did not behave that way. You want to criticize when the wicket gets uneven and you want to criticize when the wicket does not get uneven. Just how confused are you?

    What stopped Aus from picking more spinners if now you say the wicket did not help Aussie fast bowlers? Whose fault is it? Why blame India or the curator for it? Which Aussie bowler took 6 wickets? Why were the others unable to do that? Whose fault is it? Sheepish cat hunting the leaf. Huh.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 1, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    @Meety, mate I completely see your point. I completely understand your reasonable complaint. But don't worry about the process that goes into making either of the tracks. That's my message to you. Next, does Bedi criticise if a pacer gets wickets on day 5? Does he criticise if a pacer is unplayable on day 5? I'm not pinning him down. Just a thought to consider, may be? Bedi is definitely a no nonsense person. But sometimes, he goes over the top. I strongly suggest that various cricket boards have to work together to prepare such pitches, that are alien to them, at the sametime outfoxing the visitors when they visit. That's the suspense I want the visitors to face - Aussies in India and Indians in Australia. And if you followed the recent stories, Dhoni too said that he didn't know how exactly the wicket is going to play. So, it's not a case where one captain was selectively informed about how the pitch is going to play. If one captain was indeed informed, then that would be dishonest.

  • heathrf1974 on March 1, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    @ramprakash but in countries like Australia there are conditions for spinners on 4th and 5th days for some wickets like Melbourne and Adelaide, whereas in India you can have spinners opening the bowling on day 1. That is way too biased for spin and makes pace bowling almost obsolete. It is no wonder why India historically have such a poor record outside the subcontinent. The home conditions create an Indian team bowling attack that is very one-dimensional.

  • heathrf1974 on March 1, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Hyderabad is supposed to be a truer wicket than Chennai., so whether or not Australia play two spinners is still in question. One thing is for sure, is Lyon needs to bowl more outside off stump and less deliveries ending up down the legside. He needs to improve.

  • AKS286 on March 1, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    SIMPLE definition of a TOUR- THE team has to adapt in that condition. If any don't adapt then simply your survival is off. practice match is provided to learn & expertise to the foreign conditions. If players are soo poor in their class and don't know & to survive simply its Team's fault. Why batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach are there? & what are the roles of this coaches if they don't teach the team how to adapt? It is very easy to blame pitches. pitch is like shield here to hide your failures and players.

  • Meety on March 1, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - the following are comments attributed to Bedi. Honestly - I don't care that we lost, (were beaten by the better suited team to the pitch), but I really think the way that pitch was prepped was sneaky. "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."

  • Meety on March 1, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (March 1, 2013, 5:10 GMT) - mate no question - you are 100% correct in that Oz were beaten by the better side (yes Oz personell < India). I had no dramas about Oz playing spinning pitches - they are able to do well in other spin-friendly places like the WI & SL, we have a blindspot v India. The ONLY problem I have, is the way the pitch was prepared, breaking up in a specific manner, when there would be nothing to suggest the pitch would do so, effects the strategies & team balance BEFORE the match starts. I suspect (although with our selectors not 100% sure), IF they had known the corridor leading to the stumps would remain intact, but the other corridors wouldn't - IMO a 2nd spinner probably would of been selected. That is just heresay - but surely you can see where I am coming from. Tour India expect spin-friendly pitches, get use to it or lose. But do you really approve of selective watering?

  • AKS286 on March 1, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    I'M counting the number of EXCUSES for loss. ENG never came up with excuses. THe only genuine excuse is Club level batting & bowling of Cowan, Warner, Mathew waste. school level bowling by the lyon. Wicket keeping is also poor by mathew waste. Watson is no more all rounder.

  • on March 1, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    When India Bulldozed England in the first test of the last series, everyone was talking about India wiping England out in all the three tests. But then India had to bite the dust. Similar result can very much be expected in the remaining 3 tests. I won't be surprised if India loses this series 2-1 or 3-1 given their consistency level. Sachin is past his prime and to expect him to score in every match is asking for too much. Dhoni, Kholi, Pujara too won't be consistent. Sehwag & Vijay are walking wickets. So Go Oz, you have a very good chance to level and move ahead of Indians.

  • gpm86 on March 1, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Steve Back- I dare say the call for oherty is so he can keep it tight at one end and allow Lyonand Clarke to bowl freelyand hopefully take the wickets.

    Johnson and Doherty in, Siddle and starc out i say

  • Malediction on March 1, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    And again we have the Indian fans conveniently glossing over the fact that a groundsman has come out and admitted to specifically negating an opposition bowler. Even in Sri Lanka when the curators would use wire brushes on the pitch before the match to rough it up for Murali (yes this did happen, there is a wealth of video evidence), they didn't concentrate on only his lengths. Yet a groundsman has admitted to specifically targetting one player and taking them out of the game, and he is congratulated for being clever? This speaks volumes, and none of it good.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 1, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    There are many things that the Aussies could have done in that match which would have saved their fans from bitching tirelessly about the pitch. Lyon - could have bowled a little slower, more flight, drift and grip; One among Cowan, Warner and Hughes should have applied better (as Meety put it); Pattinson and Siddle could have tried more deliveries around the stumps and aiming at the Indian batsmen's rib cages or full length onto the leg-stump/shoes of the batsmen; Starc had no business to bowl around the stumps for so long; Pacers could have bowled more yorkers ala Waqar-Wasim style; Clarke could have bowled more; Wade could have kept like an international keeper (I lost count how many he missed); they could have selected one more spinner if Clarke isn't in the best shape to bowl lot of overs - isn't it clear that it's the personnel that lost you the match but not the pitch?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on March 1, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    @Meety, I have absolutely no problem with WACA pitch or any other pitch as long as it tests the batsmen skills in any which way. I really wouldn't worry about how those pitches are made so fast. Put in a different way, it wouldn't concern me what goes into the making of pitches of that kind. Did my batsmen do well there or not, is what I'm worried about. How such pitches are made - BCCI should talk to CA and Australian curators and make such pitches available for our domestics and regular practice. All hell about our pitches broke loose even before the over-zealous curator spoke out. What all he told us is, how a spinning track is prepared. Curators can also make the middle of the pitch tricky for players. But, then imagine the plight of batsmen if the middle of the pitch starts acting-up - it takes a Dravid, circa 2006 and 2011 in Jamaica, to play on such uneven pitches. Curators can leave more grass outside the off-stump. I wouldn't call that dodgy. I call that a challenging track.

  • Meety on March 1, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    @jagatr on (March 1, 2013, 3:36 GMT) "Why is a pitch that supports pace - and only pace - 'sporting', while a pitch with 'nothing-in-it' for fast bowlers is ridiculed and criticized? - for starters, the answer is NOBODY does! As an Ozzy I would hate to see all the pitches around the world be one or the other. The reality is that for a pitch to START as a spin-friendly pitch, means there will NOT be anything for a PACER. Where as a pitch with SOME juice in it, will eventually favour spin later in the match. At the end of the day it is YOUR viewing pleasure that is robbed by not seeing any reward for a pacer to dig it in short @ 145kph+ & have the ball whizz past the chin of the batsmen. Your loss not mine, in Oz, in the back half our Tests we also get to see good spin bowling rewarded, so we get the best of both worlds.

  • parikshit_Ops on March 1, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    I seriously dont understand one thing. When in SA or elsewhere subcontinent batsmen specially pakistan struggle and get out cheaply under 50-60 you dont blame pitch. You dont say spinners didnt take a single wicket. Its not a sporting wicket. WTH is the problem if pitch turns from day 1. Western sides maybe afraid but its not their game only. If bowl swings and seams at day4-5 yo dont play the pitch. The article by Sharda Ugra and coverage by Cricinfo is highly biased. Well played Indian Team, we support you..

  • NairUSA on March 1, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    A loss is a loss and a win is a win. Australian team's supporters should accept this simple fact and hope that the Australian team puts up a better show next time around. In all fairness, the Australians worked hard to match India's game and all credit to them for lasting 5 days.

    As for the pitches, you have to play in all types of pitches when you are a leading test cricket nation. Australians will have to do their homework to play well in Indian pitches in the future. No pain, no gain. Best luck for an improved performance so that the spectators get to watch a good contest.

  • jagatr on March 1, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    Interestingly, none of the Aussie players have anything nasty to say about the pitch. Even Pup was gracious enough to admit they were outplayed.

    Fact of the matter is, it was Dhoni who took the match aways from Oz. If he'd be out for a 100, India would have struggled to win the match on a crumbling Day-5 pitch. Pattinson was a handful even in the first innings, and also got the early breakthrough in the 2nd innings. Remember India were 2 down for 50....another 150 to chase and it would have been an Oz win to savour!

  • wake_up_india on March 1, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    The defeats by England, especially the ones in India, where they beat us by both thrashing our vaunted spin bowiling and mersmerizing our "master batsmen" with their spin, have been conveniently obliterated from the nation's collective memory as a bad dream. India needs to ask itself what it did differently in Chennai. For a start, at least one Indian batsman decided to take the opposition spin attack to the cleaners. This is how Pannesar and Co. should have been treated, as Indian batsmen have been famous for doing in the past. Instead, as soon as Pannesar got Tendulkar out in Mumbai, the entire team retreated into a shell for the rest of the series. Dhoni (or some of the other so called spin playing master batsman of India) should have done this in Mumbai. At the risk of dating myself, I found myself yearning for Jaishima.

  • jagatr on March 1, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    I've asked this question before - let me pose it yet again. Why is a pitch that supports pace - and only pace - 'sporting', while a pitch with 'nothing-in-it' for fast bowlers is ridiculed and criticized?

    Here's my take: So what if pace-men struggle to strike on some tracks? Haven't we seen - more often than not - quality spinners like Murali, Swan, Warne, reduced to a barely-supporting role on green tops?

    Why should some bowlers (one that bowl fast) be 'more equal' than others (those that spin the ball)?

  • AidanFX on March 1, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    A lot of philosophy going on here between the merit between of "Indian spin friendly" vs Aus "Green top Seam pitches" (hyperbole I think). People are here saying "you have it your way in your country, we have it our way in our here". Personally, I am happy for Indian wickets to favour spin as I want my side to aim to be victorious in all conditions. Let me say this though - I feel as though India have a serious cultural problem. I haven't really heard the Australians publicly bemoan the current pitches - Clarke said it played well. Whereas Dhoni pressures curators to produce such a pitch. Clarke didn't pressure curators in OZ to do same. Let me add when the series was not yet over (India had previously won @ home); India were taunting "just wait tilll you come here". Seriously they had conceded the series before it was over. Now Dhoni says - Yeah give us "rank turner". I think Clarke will have Aus successful in the world long before India is just by virtue of culture.

  • Mitcher on March 1, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Why are Indian fans still directing their anger at opposition fans? This article was written by one of India's leading cricket writers. Fact is, Indian players and fans moaned when their team went to aust/eng. can hardly complain if a little comes back.

  • Prakmca on March 1, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    Again Harabajan is going to play instead of Ohja??????

    Even in turning track in Chennai, he is not able to achieve anything....

    his only achievement is 100 tests.... it's miracle....

  • Meety on February 28, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (February 28, 2013, 15:57 GMT) - India were the better side in this Test. They played the better cricket, Oz have some short comings exposed. Your comment about "all hell breaking loose" - is sort of self inflicted when you have curators admitting to dodgy practises. It takes away from the Indian win. In Oz, my biggest observation was the lack of application - not technique of the Indian side, it did LOOK like they really weren't motivated by the early stages of the 2nd Test. With the exception of the WACA, the other pitches were fairly mid-range on the scale of pacer-friendliness. I do NOT have a problem with the Chennai pitch in terms of how it played, just that IMO it was deceptive. IF it were to come out that the curator said to Oz, (& India) - btw I have NOT watered outside the line of the stumps - I would say fair game, otherwise I am extremely dissappointed. See where I am coming from?

  • on February 28, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    It staggers me sometimes on people's attitude towards spin friendly wickets. No visiting team, especially one from the sub-continent, complains when they have to play on a fast-bowling paradise in Perth which then favours Australia's fast bowling stocks. Every cricket wicket is different, and despite the Chennai wicket assisting India's spin bowlers, let's not forget that the match contained plenty of runs for both teams, quality contests between bat and ball, 32 wickets and fifth day finish- all the ingredients for a quality test match. The fact is every country has it's own conditions, and Australia are not as accustomed to slow turning wickets in hot baking conditions. But then, that's cricket, and that's the challenge of touring - no different to India touring Australia and adjusting to pace and bounce.

  • AnkurSRTGupta on February 28, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    I think you are fast entering the league of a certain Mr Bedi from Delhi. It's the easiest thing to always criticize but then you risk losing credibility - which unlike yourself, at least Mr Bedi has earned it on the field.

  • Malediction on February 28, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Ah yes, another "selectively watered" pitch for India, which crumbles from day one outside the line of the stumps but it watered to stay firm and prevent uneven bounce in the middle of the wicket so that Australia's quicks cannot exploit the same phenomena as the spinners? Pathetic. How can you even take pride in such wins?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 28, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    I can't believe that there is so much of air-time for a non-issue. Dear fans from all countries - stop whining and hold the boards and players accountable. International cricketers need to play everywhere. Cricket is played in different countries with differences ranging from pitches to humidity to temperature to culture. Let's enjoy these differences and take our hats-off for superlative performances across the globe and move-on. But, fans have become so jingoistic. Just because their team starts losing, instead of bashing their players and boards, they start bashing the opponent country's pitches and conditions. Nauseous! Obnoxious! This kind of denial will lead you nowhere. For now, Aussie fans need to tell their players to tighten-up their allround game. I know, it's too late to improve now. So, start changing some pitches at your domestic level so that in the future you guys don't have to whine ad nauseum.

  • sagayaraj on February 28, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    In a country like Australia.Were there are former World No 1.Cant they have good spinner like Warne.It shows that their are not encouraging the spin bowling in their country.They should have a combination according to the situation were they play.Because when India toured australia we suffered a lot their.Because they have strong in their pace bowling.Even last year England take a step to include Month Panesar for the rest of the series.That made a big change in their approach.

  • Jnyanaranjan91 on February 28, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    Harbhajan can play the big role in upcoming tests.............

  • Nampally on February 28, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    The Selectors can find plenty of " surprise newcomers" in spinners category, if they open their eyes. Rasool, the off spinner, got 7 wkts. vs. the Aussies in one of the practice matches. Why was he excluded from the squad whilst Harbhajan included with No performance. Dhurv the LH spinner got 5 Wkts. & Saxena the off spinner got 4 wkts. against the Aussies. Nadeem the leading LH spinner was not even considered for the practice games against the Aussies. When the team is preselected without any selection criteria, it is impossible for the newcomers to break into "Old Boys" network. India might build spinners wkts. But does India have the right bowlers in XI to succeed on such wkts.? Ojha got 20 wkts. vs. England in 4 Tests, yet he was unceremoniously "dumped" by Dhoni in favour of Jadeja & Harbhajan in the 1st test.Ashwin & ojha got 18 of the 20 Wkts. vs. NZ on the Hyderabad pitch.Will Ojha be dumped again for not being in the "Old Boys" network? Right actors needed for PLAY to succeed!

  • B.Moizuddin.Gouhar on February 28, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    hi everyone - well lets not forget what england did to india... england too lost 1st test then they came back and won the series... can aust. do the same.. may be why not.. lets wait and see coz aust are more dangerous then england...

  • on February 28, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    There's a valid point made in the article however about the dearth of quality spinners in India.The recently concluded Ranji trophy was well fought for the most part and Cricinfo's live blog was a nice addition,but what was quite painful and sad to see,was the lack of quality spin on show during the tournament.There were only five-six decent blokes who looked any good to be termed future prospects.The famed Indian spin factory is undergoing a recession of its' own kind. The situation looked especially grim in the context of the English captain doggedly stonewalling the Indian top tier spinners in the test match series. For an Indian fan it was an excruciatingly painful period. The Aussies might not be as stern an examination as Cook et al,and we might win against 'em,maybe e'en convincingly;but let that not delude us into believing that all is well on the home spin front.

  • knan on February 28, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    When Aus defeated SL in the 2011 Galle test on a dustbowl of a pitch , there was a standout performance by Hussey in the 1st innings and great bowling performances by Lyon and Harris. It showed that Aus could win on dustbowls if their batsmen and bowlers perform. In the Chennai test , the match was quite in balance until Dhoni took the game away with his assault on Lyon's bowling. Instead if Dhoni had got out early , Aus may well have gone on to win this match with the Indian team chasing on the last day. And if that had happened there would have been a flood of comments about how sporting the wicket was and how it was a great advert for test cricket etc... The Aus supporters should understand that their team played better cricket to win in Galle but the Indian team outplayed them in Chennai. I expect them to play better cricket in the other 3 test matches and it would be interesting to see how they cope when Ashwin and Ojha bowl in tandem.

  • SnowSnake on February 28, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    Where are India's fast bowlers like Shreesanth, Praveen, and other two new ones-- one of which played in Australia series who was very successful?

  • on February 28, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    I dont understand the nonsense about pitches that aid spin. We just need to look at tennis and see how the Slams are organized. Wimbledon - grassy, French - clay and the other 2 hard courts and there are specialists and Grand Slam winners there. A No.1 ranked player needs to do well in almost all Slams even though he doesn't have to win all. The same applies to cricket. Indian[Asian] pitches aid spin, England and NZ ones swing while Aus and SA pitches are hard and bouncy. Teams need to do well on all sorts of pitches to be No.1 and a top class batsman the same.

  • Srini_Indian on February 28, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    @ Rally_Windies: You ain't got a clue, do you? What about Pakistan spinning out England for less than 100 or Australia's less than 100 all out to crash to an embarrassing defeat in 2004? Oh please come out of the good old days, its not 1970s anymore and Windies doesn't have a quality seamer anymore. The legacy which Sammy talked before the Australian series started with 0-5 humiliation, ain't it?

  • on February 28, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    @Ozwally "The surface is very flat and NORMALLY covered with extremely short grass though this grass is soon removed by wear at the ends of the pitch." Does that dictionary have the definition of the word normally? Also regarding the SA vs Pak series Ajmal took only 1 wicket in the 1st and 3rd match combined while he took 10 in the 2nd match. Can you explain how he became 20 times more effective in the 2nd match if it was not because of the pitch?

  • bumsonseats on February 28, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    south africa v pakistan was mentioned, the saffers are as bad as india but to them its their pace bowlers. every wicket i feel in saffaland is weighted so much in favour to their quicks, its always got to much grass with ( not green top ) but not far off. the test were aus were bowled out for little was in my opinion started 2 days early and if you have good bowlers you always have a chance, that the reason they can be caught when they loose the toss,and the reason teams have drawn in SA.eng, aus, and even ind. have come away with that.but in saying that the saffas are good in most conditions.

  • moBlue on February 28, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    to the AUS fans who whine about india's spin-assisting pitches: you don't hear us IND fans whine about a melbourne pitch where we always lose, nor about perth - fast and bouncy - which is totally unfamiliar to our batters, do you?!? i mean, if runs are scored by the truckload and batters on both sides score hundreds (even nearly in the AUS second inning!) *and* the test extends into day 5, what more do you want from a pitch, if you knew how to be fair?!? the problem with the whiners among AUS fans is that they only want fast pitches because that is what they are used to seeing their batters score on! but we IND fans are used to seeing ganguly score a hundred in adelaide, sehwag blast 195 before tea in melbourne, and lax, dravid and sachin score hundreds in perth and sydney, with perth and melbourne being alien to most IND batters in terms of bounce. a truly talented clarke has always been good in IND while ponting struggled! it ain't IND's fault, oz fans, get your batters to shape up!!

  • AKS286 on February 28, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Lyon's performance 244/4 (Declared by Ind). with a promising average. Great consistent performance. Kreja was criticizes by all after 8 wicket performance and thrown out of the team. But look at the clarke how he is encouraging him. WHY? Kreja's batting is also good. At least Kreja bowl tightly & picking up the wickets. Lyon fails in everything-- gone for runs, no tight bowling, no wickets, no pressure.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on February 28, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    How India didn't pick Ojha for the last test is beyond me, he's better than Ashwin, who took 12 wickets by himself last game. Australia may have looked tragically bad last game, they'll look even worse batting second and fourth against Ojha and Ashwin.

  • geminianrahul on February 28, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    @Albert_cambell: lol lol lol lol...Aussie talking about sportsmanship rather let me put it this way: questioning sportsmanship of other teams. Where were you when Clarkey bat pad was turned down and he stayed at the wicket. The match was done and dusted there itself. History tells a lot about Aussie sportsmanship starting right from the under-arm incident against NZ. Keep coming. You made my day.

  • on February 28, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    @ OzWally. Regarding your dictionary definition of Cricket. Please answer me; who prepared those dictionaries? And from where did they pick up those meanings? Please do understand, that English language is rapidly changing. It is gradually becoming truly international in character, capturing international realities, albeit slowly.

  • SilentVoyager on February 28, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    I am frustrated to see comments about the Chennai track not being a sporting pitch. One of the comments mentioned that India would've lost heavily had it been a sporting pitch. Do you mean a pitch that would assist only fast bowlers or both fast men and spinners? It's really hard for a pitch to assist both types of bowers for all the 5 days. Grassy pitches don't offer turn, may offer bounce for spinners. If you leave the pitch slightly moistened, it'll initially assist fast bowlers and later spinners. Show us a pitch which assisted both types of bowlers for all the 5 days? So I disagree that India would've lost heavily had it been a sporting pitch because India had a batting lineup equal or better in quality to that of Aus in sporting conditions. And in the event of the pitch assisting spinners at a later stage, India definitely had far better spinners than AUS. Different countries have different types of pitches and there's no shame of preparing spin pitches in India.

  • sk12 on February 28, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    @OzWally - How to you explain Pattinson getting 6 wickets if the pitch had nothign for fast bowlers? and Lyon getting 4 @ 80 runs if this is indeed a 'terrible' pitch? There was a double and a century from both sides. The uneven bounce started only in the 2nd half of the 4th day. It all boils down to skill level. But that said I think oz will come back hard in the next games..

  • AKS286 on February 28, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Doherty, SO'K, Agar all will produce similar result as shown by Lyon. because these all players are school campus players & except Clarke & watson all are club level batsmans. So, If oz lost then why to blame pitch? if your team is not upto the international level.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 28, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    I noticed onething, whenever India wins at home, all the hell about pitches breaks loose. When Australia wins in Australia, all the hell about our technique breaks loose, with the talk about pitch being nothing louder than a whisper, and rightly so. But where's the consistency in those two scenarios? When teams lose, it should always be about technique and technique only that is being tested in Test Matches. Aussies have to improve their skill levels wrt spin and India should improve their skill levels wrt pace. How hard is this discussion that we waste hours, days, months and years bitching about pitches? Let Aussies or non-Asians keep living under the denial that real cricket is only on pacy wickets and stuff like that. But let's be wise and prepare green pitches for domestics and for practice and let's dish-out spinning tracks for visiting teams that continue to live in denial. Not that the visiting players are in such denial. It's their fans and boards.

  • AKS286 on February 28, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Why Eng Does't criticizes the PITCH ? Double hundred, Centuries, half centuries, bhuvaneshwar kumar scored promising 38, wickets for fast bowlers, wicket for spinners, two half centuries by debutant, result came in the 5th day. can anyone tell me what else cricket want ? if two persons ruining the party (lyon & wade) then it does't mean pitch is bad. and these two persons are flops in home & away. anyone will be in serious trouble if we look at the Hughes dismissal.

  • Rally_Windies on February 28, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    spin eh ?

    to win with spin, you need to have 400+ runs on the board regularly ... and minimum 340 runs to defend ...

    no spinners can route a side for 150 runs ......

    SA, Aus, WI pace formula only required 275 to defend and 300+ regularly ....

    hope India's batting is up to the task of giving the spinners a chance ...

  • Protears on February 28, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    I have not seen a green top in South Africa for a long time, its like this assertion that if its grean you will swing and seam it around forgoing the other facets to the art of seam bowling, if it was so easy as that then any muppet will be doing it. The skill level of Eng/SA/Aus seamers far exceed Indian seam quality so they have hid behind the veil of their abjectness setting turners and crumblers gambling on the spin game and irregular bounce and turn to either win or in the case of the English lose.

    The author talks of Indian injuries to seamers, do they not have more than Srisanth, Sharma, Khan and Kumar? are these all India has or is it just lack of faith in seamers which has led to India being rather inept off the sub continent.

  • MaheshVenkat on February 28, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    If Aus had got Dhoni out earlier, then probably Aus would have won even on this pitch (see Lyon's 2nd innings spell to Pujara). In that case, would the pitch be considered as sporting? Also, home teams use these to their advantage - why do Aussies traditionally start at the Gabba? Why SA have done away with Durban (at least for now)? As Clarke himself summed it up, the pitch looked a lot worse than it actually played. So, may be this was a tactic to intimidate, nothing more.

  • Temuzin on February 28, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    Sharda, Why couldn't other seamers be as manful as Pattinson? is it because they need a very supportive pitch just like spinners do? Or they are not as skilled as they should be to play international cricket? Its a very confused piece of writing by a confused author.

  • Gupta.Ankur on February 28, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    I am quite surprised why Indian journalists aren't even half as proud of their home conditions and results then their counterparts in Aus,Eng,SA.

    It almost looks like that indian media gets embarrassed every time India team wins on "home team" suiting pitches and they offer criticism/excuses to hide from it.

    When you come to India, you will get spinning tracks which are suitable for the home team as green pitches are for Aus/Eng/Sa.....Whats the fun of touring then?

    If people have any issues then they must look not to tour India and play only with countries which have pitches suitable for them

  • on February 28, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    I don't quite understand all the complaints about producing a pitch that is suited to spinners. There are many more test matches played where pitches are cultivated and suited to pace bowlers and spinners have no chance of getting turn or spin. The mark of a test match batsman should be an ability to excel against all types of bowling on all types of pitches so being able to play against spin in a dustbowl is every bit as important and skillful as playing against pacemen on fast green tracks like Nottingham and hard bouncy tracks like the WACA...

  • OzWally on February 28, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    Thought our Indian friends would like to see the dictionary definition of a cricket pitch. Notice the word "grass".

    "In the game of cricket, the cricket pitch consists of the central strip of the cricket field between the wickets - 1 chain or 22 yards (20.12 m) long and 10 feet (3.05 m) wide. The surface is very flat and normally covered with extremely short grass though this grass is soon removed by wear at the ends of the pitch."

  • OzWally on February 28, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    @28041991 - The SA v. Pak series had nothing to do with the pitches, but everything to do with the difference in skill between the 2 teams. Ajmal took plenty of wickets and received help from the pitches on offer, problem is he was the only bowler worth a damn and Pakistan's batting was pathetic.

  • ProdigyA on February 28, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Marsh_aussie - If it was so easy for the spinners to "just put the ball on a good length consistently and the pitch will do the rest", then why was it so tough for your guy Lyon. Because that requires skill too just like seamers required to consistently pitching the ball up in England and "the pitch will do the rest". These are different kinds of challenges in different conditions that players have to adapt to, to be called greats. As far as Aus defeating India in India goes, I dont think nobody argues that Aus WAS a champion team but fact is that it is not anymore, especially in India.

  • on February 28, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    'acutely crumbling tracks are the need of the hour'- Based on this one might think the analysis is post a game that didn't even stretch into days three and four, and where batsmen were all at sea.This was definitely not the case. Why should the fact that there was turn in the wicket from day one be cause of anguish to anyone,especially if it yielded 1243 runs over 13 sessions of hard fought cricket.Haven't there been wickets in the past that have been seamer/pace friendly throughout,with the spinners registering nought?There have been venues in India itself where pacers have enjoyed unqualified success.True that a wicket ought to assist bowlers of all varieties,but that's not the way it usually goes,does it?SA,England,Australia,New Zealand, have pitches that favor the quicks more and not so much the slower ball bowlers.On the subcontinent the opposite holds true. Also,these wickets are ideal for reverse,which is a weapon meant for quality quicks.Anderson used it effectively recently.

  • majorvardhan on February 28, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    It is a nature of world cricket to say that a pacy track with jaw-cracking bounce is a good test pitch while a pitch that gives something to spinners is a crumbling, dirty pitch. Cricket is played by human and uncertainty in bounce or turn brings out a thrilling test match. Batsmen excelling on these conditions display amazing batsman-ship.

  • on February 28, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    thats what called home team advantage...will australia england or south afrrica provide a turning track for india like wise its home team which shud have the advantage oh making the pitch according to our wish

  • realfan on February 28, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa lets consider your case of pak and SA tour.... was there good competition between spiners and seamers???? no , ( even ajmal got only 11 wickets) and how many centuries were scored by non host team( only 2 ) and how long did the matches lost??? hardly 4 days ( 2 matches 3days and 1 match 4 days)...

    now consider the chennai test.... was there good competition between bat and bowl??? yes we got 2 big score ( both by host and non host team) was there good competition betwen spinners and seamers( ya 3 five wickets haul( 1 by non host player IMO seamer )) did the match last long for 5 days ( yes and there was a result too) was it batting friendly( yes 3 centuries, 1 by non host player)

    so what do you expect from a BEST test pitch???? all these factors were good for test cricket.....

    you are right , test cricket is dying ( RIP test cricket) but not in subcontinent, but in SA, where a match hardly reach fourth day.....

  • AVRAJAN on February 28, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    I am totally unhappy with India's win over Aussies. If BCCI and Dhoni want just win, then they could better arrange a test match in Marina beach than Chepauk and in Juhu beach sand than Wankede. It seems the captain and BCCI do not have faith in our batsmen. Preparing pitches with dust and low bounce may only help our team ICC rankings. They will certainly lower the image of our batsmen and thereby our country.How our batting stalwarts who were experts in tackling pace bowling like Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Amarnath and Vengsarkar etc., keep mum on seeing this attitude.

  • Nampally on February 28, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    Sharda, Indian bowling is weak to start with. Only spinners who have the maximum Test Experience are Ashwin & Ojha.Harbhajan is a well past his best & was given a chance to complete 100 Test apperances. Had Ojha played instead of Bhaji, as by rights he deserved to be the first choice, the Aussies would have been dismissed for a much lower total. India won because all cards clicked beyond expectations, for India. Humility instead of gloating is called for. Indian XI is far from "settled" as Dhoni calls it.It is a rarity for Dhoni to get a Century let alone double Ton. Also Ashwin capturing 12 Wkts. is not that common. Unless India play the "Best" XI, instead of patronage players like Bhaji, the Aussies will still come back like England did. It is true the OZ don't have an experienced second spinner. Never under estimate them. Clarke is a fine spinner who took wkts. against India, as did Watson- both nursing injuries. If they both bowl & bat to their potential, it will be tough to WIN!

  • OzWally on February 28, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa - We don't usually agree on much, but your post on what makes a sporting pitch was spot on. I've even seen some Indian posts complaining about "swinging" pitches, last I checked atmospheric conditions don't have much to do with how a pitch is prepared. All you need to read is "selective watering" to see that Indian pitch preparations have gotten way out of hand.

  • realfan on February 28, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa and another point.... if you are opening with two seamers , why cant we open with with two spinners???? al captains play for win..... now show me where in the cricket rule book that is referred as opening with spinners is end of test cricket....sorry for RIP test cricket if it is played in SA.....

  • on February 28, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    The main problem lies somewhere else for the Indian cricketers-- The ghosts of the mind are taking over and it is quite certain no fast bowler worth his salt would like to bowl here, we need sporting wickets -- meaning to say a good contest between bat and ball is achieved -- however in hindsight even pitches like headingley in leeds, waca in perth and napier can't be considered sporting...they are a fast bowler's dream -- we need to produce pitches like these in the ranji trophy, duleep trophy and irani trophy so that our fast bowlers get adjusted to bowling on these kind of surfaces, also it would help Indian batters to work on their technique and hone their skills to play on sporting tracks but spinners will also be effective if we have wickets with bounce and carry in domestic cricket.

  • realfan on February 28, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa its just as you said..... in that chennai there was everything you mentioned......there were 3 centuries( 1 from non host captain), 3 five wicket hauls( 1 from non host bowler IMO seamer, match lasted till 5 days, and there was a result) so do you need anything else from test cricket???? if you expect more than this, sorry you are mistaken the test cricket.......

    consider the case of african matches against pakisthan, was there good contest between seamer and spinner? no, ( even ajmal got only 11 wickets ) and only two centuries were score by non host players..... and main thing game hardly lasted for 4 days( 2 matches 3 days and 1 match 4 days)

    and as you said there should be good contest right???? i dont see any contest in SA and PAK series.....over and out..... i hope you understand the meaning of test cricket......

  • on February 28, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    How come no one in the world complained when the quartet of Bedi, Chandra, Prasanna, & Venkat were fielded with someone like Rusi Surti ALONE for medium pace & to take shine of the new ball?

    How come no one complained when Clive Lloyd discarded spinners altogether and fielded deadly pace quartet, after pace quartet, (not just trio, which people are complaining about now) and conquered the whole cricketing world?

    Answer is simple. Most of the cricket fans, in those days, appear to be primarily cricket lovers who could appreciate good cricket from any one with any nationality, representing any country. And, not jingoistic braggarts (of any nationality) who hunt for excuses and keep on whining when things don't go their biased ways. Let me make it very clear. Let me repeat, I am not excluding "such" fans from ANY country, including my own!

  • guptahitesh4u on February 28, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    @ommytuckerSaffa...going by your logic, the chennai pitch was far better than pitches prepared by SA. In chennai, Aus was able to score 380 and India scored 500+ on the same pitch...so isn't it better that both teams are able to contest rather than one getting all out for 45 and other scoring 450?

  • bumsonseats on February 28, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    lets pretend that the 1st test pitch was fair. if india had lost ( which without the skippers knock ) was a possibility. we would not have the majority of posters on here telling us it was a good track. India were very lucky. i am giving the game a fair reflection, as i am not Australian or Indian but if pushed would rather see India win. to me a fair pitch is were the fast bowlers take the majority of 1st innings wickets and the 2nd innings the spinning make sway. india talk about green tops neither aus or eng make green tops india just does not have the bowlers who can bowl 80+ that can stay fit if they had they could win tests abroad and their spinners then could come in to their own.

  • Texmex on February 28, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    The pitch was perfectly fine. The stats shows that, a debutant almost scores 2 centuries a tailender plays 70 balls, Clarke himself agreed. Enough said. So what if it favors spinners over pacers? When India travel abroad their spinners dont get pitches good for spinners. Time to stop complaining and start playing...

  • sk12 on February 28, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    @ Marsh_aussie - How mnay deliveries hit the batsmen's shoulder or helmet? esp in the first 3.5 days? If the pitch was as treacherous, how did the match go into the 5th day? I believe this pitch was much better than the Newlands pitch (remember 47 all out ?). Ever heard of challenging playing conditions abroad? btw did you even bother to read what the Aus captain said about the pitch? Aus were given green tops back in 2004, when they duly complteded a comfortable victory (excp for the terrrible Mumbai pitch). But no shame in losing to that great team.

  • m812 on February 28, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    They say real test of subcontinent batter is if they can bat on green swing tracks. The reasoning is because they are not so exposed to playing in such condition's. These are alien condition's for subcontinent batters but are often referred to as SPORTING tracks or HOME ADVANTAGE. Now take reverse case. Non subcontinent players are alien to spinning tracks (These tracks are legal in cricket) . Now when these non Subcontinent players come to subcontinent and see condition alien to them it is referred to as UNSPORTING tracks and HOME ADVANTAGE is akin to not fair play. Would they give spinning tracks on their home ground to subcontinent teams??? If no then how can they expect conditions to their liking when they visit. However a point to note is a batter with true skill should be based on how they can bat in alien conditions .In other words a good batter ( From any part of world) should be able to bat on any kind of track . Same goes for bowlers who shuld not expect tracks favoring them

  • TommytuckerSaffa on February 28, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    What some Subcontinent fans struggle to understand is that the game of cricket is meant to be an even contest between bat and ball. Also an even contest for seamers AND spinners. A good pitch has something in it for the bowlers on day 1 and with the new ball and something for the spinners on day 4 & 5. And runs are available for batsmen with skill. Yes, SA has rolled out teams for 45 runs at home, but then how do you explain them scoring over 400 hundred on the same pitch in the same match ??!! Its not imperialism, its just common sense.

    Opening with two spinners on the first day of a test match = RIP test cricket and fast bowling. There is no need to have seam / fast bowlers. Why would any kids out there wanting to become the next Kapil Dev?? There is no point...

  • Al_Bundy1 on February 28, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    It would be foolish to play the same XI in Hyderabad. Bhajji and Jadeja are not strike bowlers - at best they are containment bowlers. Ideally we should be playing Rasool in place of Bhajji, and Ojha instead of Jadeja. But since Rasool is not in the squad, we should play Ojha instead of Bhajji or Jadeja. India's opening pair has been a flop show for the last 2 years. India should try Dhawan instead of Sehwag or Vijay. Ishant Sharma had been "unlucky" for the last few years. It's time to dump him. Ideally Shami Ahmed should be playing instead of Ishant.

  • AKS286 on February 28, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    @Posted by Jose Puliampatta on (February 28, 2013, 11:33 GMT) as you mention great batsmen get runs anywhere, on any pitch. OK you are right but what about THE AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE (Steyn, morkel, phil, tsotsobe, delange, & now abbott) destroys every fortress at any part of world. as you say cook, clarke, srt, lara and also Kallis, amla, AB, Chanderpaul, sangakara, hayden, just imagine zimbabwe batsman ANDY FLOWER, Jayasurya, Mahela, Hooper, Kirsten, cullinen, hudson having great records. Look at some recent batsmen like Root, Henriques. I mean to say there are infinite no. of excuses to hide your weakness. Remember when Ind come up with 3 specialist spinners against ENG. ENG did't come up with any Excuses. no DRS--COOK is given lbw 3 times all 3 dismissal were not out.

  • UndertheGrill on February 28, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    There's a lot of people being very defensive about pitches on here, but personally I don't mind any pitch that helps the bowler be it spin or seam/bounce/pace, as long as the game goes at least to the 4th day. The only pitches I would object to are the absolute roads, where both teams post 550+ in the 1st innings, and you know it'll end in a draw by the middle of the 3rd day.

  • UndertheGrill on February 28, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    I just hope that England are able to produce turning surfaces for the Ashes this year, as Australia's batting looks uncomfortable on them (except Clarke), and their spin options limited. That said, I should probably see how the rest of the series pans out, as even the English batsman managed to significanty improve on turning surfaces between the Pakistan series and the Indian tour, and they even looked pretty rank in the 1st Test there! A long, hot summer would make a pleasant change either way!

  • Marsh_aussie on February 28, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    You just have to listen to the comments of Mr. Harsha Bhogle during Tea Interval on 4th Day when he said that "This pitch at the politest can be said as Treacherous". When a spinner starts hitting the shoulder of the batsman then you must understand the kind of pitch you are playing in. Any international batsman would agree that it is easier to play in a pitch where there is consistent bounce rather than on a pitch where one ball hits you on the helmet and the next one hits you in the shin. This is a pitch where all a spinner had to do is just put the ball on a good length consistently and the pitch will do the rest. 2 spinners did that and 2 didnt do that. In this kind of pitch you are relying on luck rather than skill as clarke found out in the 2nd innings. The shot he played was a good one until the pitch came into the equation. AUS last won a series in India in 2004. Can someone remind me when was the last time India won a series in AUS.

  • on February 28, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Johnsons agression is a better option than siddles line and length...most batsmen would agree i think...in those conditions hes a better bet

  • on February 28, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Regarding the so-called 'ugly pitch'. With old age my memory is failing me. Does any one remember, an Australian pitch, with full of many poke marks ( black in colour because of the black soil) by third day. And, Warne turning his deliveries square pitching quite far outside the leg stump marks and hitting the offstump ( repeat, off stump). And batsmen, leaving them alone thinking they may be leg-side wides! And the whole world raving about it. To paraphrase an old saying, what is cheese for the goose, is poison for the gander?

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on February 28, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    Aus need to play Left /Orthodox Doherty for Lyon in 2nd test .... Johnson is a must ... they need to play to their strengths - Pace . Also mixing up batting fith a few RHB will do good ..... Hughes needs sitting out !! looks way out of his depth ... Smith or U Khwaja comes in...

  • grizzle on February 28, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    baskar_guha: Your point re: Perth is well taken. I am not defending Australian, English, or South African attitudes regarding spinning pitches here (it may surprise you to know that I am an Indian cricket fan who also happens to live in India). I am merely disappointed at what the cricket establishment will do for a win. But again, not overly so. It was a good test match played on a wicket which had something in it for the bowlers. So, all in all, a good deal.

  • SherjilIslam on February 28, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Some Aussie fans needs to learn something from Micheal Clarke.The person who actually qualifies to complain anything about the pitch comes and says"We were outplayed by India, No excuses, no complains" Now that's something called sportsmanship and ultimately sums up the whole pitch story for me.

  • on February 28, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    I am disappointed to see a senior journo like Sharda Ugra,playing up the pitch factor. Let me restate what I had mentioned in an earlier post against another piece of writing.

    Great batsmen get runs anywhere, on any pitch ( e.g. Cook, Clarke et al recently and Sachin, Lara et al, in the past). And great bowlers get wickets any where, on any pitch ( latest example is Pattinson). So all of us will be better of by nurturing good cricketers into great cricketers, instead of indulging in this meaningless/ fruitless / useless arguments, which do not take any one any where!

    If a pitch lasts well for 5 days, it give opportunities to good batsmen to score decent totals, and bowlers of all breed to get wickets, and as a bonus if we can also get a result by the 5th day, I think, we should all be satisfied. How it will be achieved will vary from country to country. That is a fact, no one can change. We should be satisfied with that, enjoy such tests, and move on.

  • Thefakebook on February 28, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Spin formula India's best bet ya right.It is since they got no fast bowler ans Zaheer is in his twilight years.

  • on February 28, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    UGRA, you said, "Ironically, the species of bowler Chennai favoured is the kind that is sadly going out of vogue in India to the point that the national selectors couldn't find a surprise newcomer to throw into the mix."

    The problem was with the selectors, and NOT lack of options. Do you remember how old Bhajji was and how many first class games he had played, before the then selectors "threw him into the mix", as you say?. In what way, Rasool (among many other options) could not have been thrown into the mix? I'm sure, he would have produced MORE wickets and MORE runs than Bhajji's pre-summer harvest! Rasool would also have added some very agile fielding too! How many boundaries we conceded in Chennal. How many of those wuold /could have been cut off with a fast mover like Rasool.

    Can you believe it, the fastest mover in the outfield was Sachin, who is about to hit 40 soon. Shame to most of the semi-fit players we have now in our team. Chasing balls was pathetic by most of them.

  • Shaggy076 on February 28, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    vumpire-republic - The art of a good spinner is to deceive the batsman in flight, drift and get some turn. Its the work of the bowler that should make the ball turn and not the pitch. Brisbane has rarely offered too much turn to spinners yet it is the pitch Shane Warne has got his best record at. Muralitharan has got wickets everywhere but pitches that turn like this is all the bowler needs to do is keep lobbing it in a certain area then something happens. Is that the work of the bowler or the pitch. It should be up to the bowler to get batsman out and spinners of quality should not need a rank turner to produce wickets. Your argument is the pitch should help the spinners in that case we will have 1000's of average spinners getting wickets, like paceman spinners also need to earn there wickets.

  • Moppa on February 28, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Funny how people's perceptions of players are governed by guesstimates and gut feelings, not facts. Take @DirkL's assessment of Johnson getting a lot of lbws and bowleds. Funny for starters as he can hardly land it on the cut stuff, let alone hit the stumps. But anyway, let's see what statsguru tells us: 146 of 205 Test wickets caught (71%), i.e. 29% were bowled or lbw. I won't use Starc's stats for comparison as the sample size is too small. But Siddle, for comparison, has 67% caught and 33% bowled or lbw. I bet the punters don't think of Siddle as the kind of guy who bursts through a batsman's defence and hits the stumps. But he does it more often than Johnson. The only merit in selecting Johnson in India is, in my opinion, that he might hang the ball wide outside off-stump long enough that a batsman gets bored and hits a catch. For me, Doherty in for Starc, and we'll just have to make do with the rest of the team. There are no saviours in the squad, certainly not Johnson.

  • realfan on February 28, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    what is the problem with australian fans.... they seem to think fast bowling is the only and one and only part of cricket...come on guys spinners are the best part of cricket.... whats wrong with opening the bowling with spin.... its just different countries opening batting is either left hand or right hand... just like that either spin or fast.... doesnt make any difference..... and whats wrong with giving spinners more overs....like i said before you had many left handed batsmen, did anyone find any wrong in that..... and we had many right handers............ if nothing is wrong with the left and right handed batting means, whats wrong with fast or spin bowling......you dont have to study rocket science for this.....

  • g.narsimha on February 28, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    LENDALL-47-ENG won in IND nearly after 3 decades & i really mean it by saying a CHANCY , lucky win,other wise who would have dreampt that MONTY , whose erlier performace in terms of per wicket ave- which might have been made a front line batsman proud -60+& SWAAN too never been a threat ,he was here when ENG was white washed by our youngesters in odis immidiatly after our desastrous tour to ENG i am still searching answers how could they manage to achieve this at a place ,where the greats LIKE SHANE WARNE,MURALI failed ,during the last decade we won 2 series in ENG so it is not that we can only win at home i still wonder what went wrong in losing to POMS at home,the answer it must be due to demomolalisation after 2 back to back white washes ,internalfued ,wrong selection of the team combination,retirements,dropping of SAHWAAG who was instrumental in the AHMADABAD TEST win with his dashing century, ENG could cash on those weakneses ,but i dont think such things happen regularly .

  • on February 28, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    why is people giving more importance to this pitch matter... this is the challenge for teams coming to sub continent... play in spinning pitches and play the spinners well.. when indians go to aus,eng, sa ,they get to play in sporting wickets and the challenge their is to face the fast bowlers well..nobody complains about the pitches like in perth where ball turns little... if preparing a sporting wicket and playing 4 fast bowlers is justified, then preparing spinning wickets and playing 3 spinners is completely justified.... the pitch in chennai was in no way a "ugly" pitch..it is the thinking of a few people that is "ugly and one sided"

  • msnsrinivas on February 28, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    All said and done, it is a big match for Hyderabad too. First time a team other than New Zealand is playing test cricket in the city. But it is a nightmare getting past the security and one of the least spectator-friendly stadiums around.

  • SherjilIslam on February 28, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Hey guys, imagine India-Pak playing on the same pitch with Pak offering Rehman-Ajmal Combo against Ashwin-Ojha-Bhajji trio of India.It would have been a lip-licking contest. But coming to the actual Chennai test, the kind of spinners Australia have, this result was very much expected.As an Indian fan, i would like to see India winning but also like to see at-least some assistance to pacers too.It does dent India's chances a bit, but we should back our abilities and play on all kind of tracks to prove our worth.Having said that,I am not making any complains against Chennai pitch, as clearly the match went on to the last day with players from both teams scoring centuries and taking 5-fors.

  • bigvig on February 28, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Well, the indian mentality to the fore here! why was it not suggested when india were in australia or england for those nations to prepare the so called "SPORTY WICKETS" ? how about a turner in Perth and Headingley? Every country plays to its strengths be it australia or england or india. no point in saying a relief for the indian team and all that, also yes we did not play to our potential against england..so that is done why dont we move on? I think the Australian captain who played in the Chennai wicket and made a century definitely knows more than Ms.Ugra on whether the wicket was SPORTY or not!!! come on if it was a real turner i do not think the aussies would have made 380 knowing their current batsmen! so enjoy the game...dont criticise because you have to!

  • Mundrathy on February 28, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    Australia, what a pity, in the past India was their final frontier after conquering the world, then they dint ask for dust bowls or green tops or bouncy, now they crumble every where except flat tracks, and Australian fans say Adelaide and Sydney suit sub continent teams, then why SC teams cant offer bouncy and green tops, first thing is in India due to soil, bouncy wickets are not possible, secondly you have just played at one location which is similar to India playing in perth, wait and watch mates, probably you might get seaming tracks in Mohali or Delhi, then let us see how your batsmen play there, I believe they will crumble there too, Hopefully Bhuvaneshwar Kumar can do a Kulashekara, Do you remember Australia crumbling against him.

  • g.narsimha on February 28, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Jarmy Cole-Same goes to non ASIAN teams , at home on green tops they are unbeatable , once they comes out of thier comfort zone what happens we all have been vitnessing for ages , baring last tour of ENG , they won nothing in IND for 3 decades & baring our last 2 poor tours our team did well in SA AUS WI & NZ in the last decade it is not that we only can play on these type of wickets , it is not justified to brand CHENNAI pitch as dust bowl , if both the teams are able to post near 400& 500+ runs respectivly & one of u r quicky takes 5 + than how can u blame wicket ,agreed after humiliation at home by the POMS we are in a position to take chances.

  • Harmony111 on February 28, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Lol, when BCCI says it can't adopt DRS cos it is not perfect then these ppl come up and say nothing is perfect after all. Well deal with the pitches in a similar manner. Nothing is perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect wicket. All wickets have their own idiosyncrasies and just like we admit our player's problems on some wickets these ppl too should admit the problems their players have on these wickets instead of whining and incessant crying. It really shows them in very poor light.

  • sweetspot on February 28, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Here we go again! Sporting pitches and spinning pitches! To me, Chennai was a sporting pitch. Batsmen on both sides got centuries and bowlers on both sides got 5+ hauls being completely different in nature! How much more sporting can this get? A debutant got two good knocks in! To the whiners, no pitch is ever good enough. If you're a good player you should get runs and wickets on any wicket. All teams groom the kind of players that play well in their home conditions - and conditions are maintained to give them home advantage. What's the fuss all about? You need to overcome a lot to win a Test match in strange conditions. Not all teams can do this consistently enough these days. That's all there is to it. India will probably win handsomely, but that's nothing to feel ashamed about if they have the better players for the conditions. Australia will show some fight and make this interesting, no doubt. Let's wish everyone well and get on with it!

  • on February 28, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @Tom_Bowler its simple mate it goes like this, Any pitch that a sub continent team loses on is a green top. That is how it goes they are straight faced about there own first day dustbowls but anything else is a green top. The rest of the world will have to get used to it but remember team India will never win away they will struggle to find any quality fast bowlers and there batsem will always struggle on a pitch with bounce.

  • The_Red_Cherry on February 28, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    I have a suspicion that Dhoni is going to sacrifice one of the seamers and go with 4 spinners. What such a decision will imply is that not only the Indian pacers are are mediocre but also that the spinners are not good enough. It reminds me of the bleak days of Indian cricket the stock of pacers was so bare that the only job they were expected to do was to take the shine out of the ball. Its okay to prepare rank turners but in that case 2 spinners should be enough to do the job. The correct way to go about it would be to include Ojha instead of Bhajji and get the 2 pacers to bowl more overs esp. with the new ball and when it starts reversing. Dhoni should send a message to his pacers that he is expecting a few wickets from them as well. Also ask them to devise a strategy for the tailenders. The larger picture if taken into account will take Indian cricket forward.

  • Tom_Bowler on February 28, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    With home advantage comes the ability to prepare pitches suited to the home attack, no problem with that. There is also absolutely nothing unfair about preparing pitches that turn early, seems obvious but it needs to be said apparently. However something that has been put about by sections of the Indian media, some Indian fans and even a few players (Hello Gautam, Hi Virat!) is that in England in 2011 they were given green tops to play on. This wasn't the case, the first three Tests were played on typical English pitches; a touch of grass at the start, reasonable carry, getting flatter as the match progresses without breaking up much. For the game at the Oval the wicket began a little flat with very true bounce and offered increasing turn as the game went on. The pitches were never over green, never particularly bouncy, never very fast.

  • brijeshnain on February 28, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    4 players who made a difference to England side (when they toured India) vs. Australia were Cook, Pietersen, Swann and Panesar. Cook for sure can be replaced by Clarke who is as effective against spin, however the other three are a major hole to fill for. No other Australian comes close to the quality of the remaining three. It is why the Indians are able to throw in those dusty tracks and be confident that they are at an advantage. With Englad the stark relaisation was that the England side were better than the Indians on these very crumbling tracks. If only Australia had the quality of Swann and Panesar, the competition would have been interesting.

  • Dirk_L on February 28, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Australia's problem is not that the pitch did not help fast bowlers, it is that only Pattinson of their trio is really fast. If you can bowl inswinging yorkers on middle-and-leg at 145 clicks, you'll get your wickets no matter what the pitch is like. They simply have to switch Mitchells. Starc may be more accurate and better at getting nicks on helpful pitches, but Johnson gets them lbw and clean-bowled, which is what is required on Indian pitches.

  • SouthPaw on February 28, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    "R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravinder Jadeja ran through the Australian batting ..." - Wow Ugra, Singh takes 3 wickets out of 20 (15%) and you include him in the credits? I can understand Jadeja's inclusion (5 out of 20 or 25%). Even after bowling over 50 overs, Singh couldn't take more than 3 wickets on a helpful pitch where others were wreaking havoc. I mean, even Lyon took 3 out of 12 (25%). Is this what is called "objective analysis"?

  • on February 28, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Most test-playing countries have produced pitches to suit their team's strengths since time immemorial. Sometimes to deliberately gain advantage, sometimes because the climate makes it impossible to do otherwise. Ever seen a dustbowl in England in May ? Not unless you flew it in from Mumbai or Chennai. Or a green seamer in Hyderabad ? As several posters have noted, good teams/players are those that can adapt to all conditions. But credit to Oz team, their players/management aren't complaining, it's only some of their less thoughtful fans.

    Oh and: I haven't heard any Oz fans going on about "whingeing Poms" recently ... can't imagine why :-)

  • vumpire-republic on February 28, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    2 can play the game being payed out here, so here goes:-- There is a difference between preparing pitches that bounce and offer something to seamers and pitches that offer virtually nothing to spinners. I have a problem with the latter and not with the former. There was hardly any turn on the pitches at Brisbane or Perth during the Tests vs England in 2010, or SA just recently in 2012, or even against India, Pakistan and SL on their last visits to those venues, even on days 4 and 5 of all those Test matches. Further, even Adelaide and Sydney, which were earlier good batting pitches that started offering help to spinners from day 3, are now only conducive to seam bowling; there was hardly any spin (or meaningful rough creation) for Lyon even late on day 5 of the recent Adelaide test between SA-Aus.

  • kabe_ag7 on February 28, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @grizzle - "There was not a blade of grass on this pitch" But if there were grass, it wouldn't be a spinning pitch, would it? The grass would hold the pitch together and keep it firm. "pitches that offer virtually nothing to pacemen." Many pitches in Australia offer virtually nothing to spinners, and it requires sheer skills for any spinners to get wickets on them. "a sporting pitch would..." So if the pitch was not bad, and if it was not ideal, and if it wasn't a sporting pitch either, what was it? Can't choose definitions of a 'sporting pitch' according to your whims.

  • on February 28, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Indian fans can make as much noise as they want about other countries having pitches that suit quick bowling, but ultimately India took 20 wickets in this match with spin, and opened with spin from both innings in the second innings. Take whatever advantages you like to protect your team at home, but understand that producing such one dimensional pitches will limit the development of your players. You're looking at yet another generation of Indian quicks failing to reach their potential, and your batsmen stuggled against Pattinson even on a pitch that offered nothing for fast bowling. If you want to win comfortably at home and get consistently belted away, keep on producing dustbowls.

  • Mitcher on February 28, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    @TrueLankan: 'Typical Australians'?!?! This article is written by an Indian!!! As for your comment re last Hobart pitch: 'couldn't even last 5 days'. You are kidding right? If you're going to make ridiculous statements at least get it right. There were 11 overs left in the last session when that match finished. Don't know Sri Lankan fans can have gripes about pitches with Australia. We've SMASHED you at home and away for 3 decades

  • tickcric on February 28, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    I always find this interesting that when test cricket is played in pitches helpful to fast bowlers and/or swing bowlers, so much so that the games are finished within 3 days, there is no hue or cry about the pitch! These pitches are actually admired for being 'sporting', 'lively'. People conveniently let it slip their mind, what it had to offer to the spinners or that regularly we are getting truncated matches. On the other hand when we get to turning tracks, we (shamelessly , IMO) term them as 'ugly 'or 'graveyard' of fast bowlers. Even if the match gets to 5th day or even if it gets to that stage in the final session of the final day where all three results are possible such a pitch will be looked down upon. The truth is this is bias. The hidden right condition of cricket is the English condition and even if the top 3 wicket takers are spinners 'real' bowling is fast bowling... Come on!!!

  • guptahitesh4u on February 28, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    its high time that ICC should make a rule that "if spinners take 20 wkts against Aus then the ground will be banned from further hosting Test matches as Australian players do not know how to play against spin and as they do not have quality spinners who can take wkts on pitch favoring spinners"

  • sillypoint6 on February 28, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    come on man just win outside of india on foreign soil, today there is no team in the world who can show any kind of dominance or even win easily on foreign. so first win on foreign soil consistently and talk- indians.

  • maddy20 on February 28, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter So you guys hammering us with fast, bouncy wickets with nothing in fopr spinners is fair and us returning the favor is not? What baloney! Previously when India toured Aus, the wickets were very balanced as Kumble and Harbhajan could get fair amount of turn. But this time around, Ashwin and Ojha could hardly get anything out of them, and Aus batsmen kept piling on 600+ runs in every game. Now that we are doing it to them they are whinging.

  • on February 28, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    I'm sorry but when a spinner can turn a brand new ball on the first morning then it is a joke. Soon we will have minefields and 4 spinners per team. ONLY THEN will test cricket be dead.

  • TrueLankan on February 28, 2013, 7:53 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? Thats the difference between playing home and away. Home team advantage.

  • on February 28, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    Never ever would one come across articles which even remotely suggest anything about pitches which are green and moist. South Africa has bowled out oppositions for less than 50 three times in less than 15 months. Surely, the quality of their bowling has to be aided by the quality of those pitches for results like those. But we never ever get to see a word written about those pitches. However, when it comes to India, different rules seem to apply. Indirect references to the quality of the pitches have abounded on this website, and honestly, I find it a little out of line. Please have some consistency. Thats all we readers can ask.

  • cyberflirt on February 28, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    The very reason why the Cricketing Heroes are Produced every generation is "Not all the 11 guys who play gets the status of Superstars..Only who excel in all conditions are given that status. Eg: Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Sachin, Rahul, Kallis, Jayawardene, Murali, Cook, Pietersen, etc....The simple reason is these greats never cribbed or complained about the visiting country's playing conditions rather they were fine tuning their skills to counter the opponent's strengths...I find this Oz team doesn't have any player who comes in that category barring Clarke.

  • Ozcricketwriter on February 28, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    I thought that the ICC were meant to make sure that pitches were fair and not doctored in favour of one team or another? Are the BCCI flaunting this rule? Why aren't the ICC stepping in to stop this kind of thing? I can remember Australia getting in trouble for the SCG, usually a spin bowler's paradise, having something in it for pacers as well when India last toured. So why are India allowed to so obviously go against the ICC over this? Shouldn't they be deliberately preparing fair pitches? Sadly, if they are allowed to do this, only opponents with identical teams to them are going to have a chance.

  • GlobalCricketLover on February 28, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    This kind of banking on pitches will only work when touring teams have 0 quality spinners - Aus, NZ etc. Teams like Eng, Pak, SL will thrive on any pitch that suit BCCI bowlers and Eng showed that recently. With 3 of the fab four Indian legends gone BCCI cannot bank on pitches alone. SA dont have quality spinner but they more than make it up with their pace options while their spinner dry up runs at the other end (Tahir's Adelaide performance is an exception though). If Lyon had done a Paul Harris job for Aus, the match could have taken a different turn - whether or not it would have ended it up in a different result.

  • cyberflirt on February 28, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Why can't the world understand a simple concept of 'PLAYING TO THE HOME SIDE'S ADVANTAGE'!. Why when it comes only to Team India, that other countries have a problem and criticize that India Produces "RANK TURNERS". As a matter of Fact, the same pitch is used for India when they are Batting and they are able to Score Hundreds and Double Hundred.Infact Clarke scored a Ton in the same pitch on which other Leading Oz Batsmen fumbled. So that is called a real test rather than complaining only about India's bias for Spinning Tracks. Ozs don't produce turners. Infact I appreciate Englishmen who changed their strategy of engaging 2 quality spinners to counter the Indian Home advantage. They emerged successful as well. The truth is the Ozs don't have quality spinners and their batsmen don't know how to play quality spinners. This debate will never end, unless the visiting Teams come fully prepared in all departments, as the Englishmen did a couple of months ago.

  • baskar_guha on February 28, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    @Grizzle: Perth doesn't spin on day 5 so why should Chennai seam on day 1? I find it absolutely amazing how self involved some Aussie/RSA/Eng fans like yourself are when they talk about their pitches as the "norm." The world has changed and changed for good -- time you deal with the diversity of pitches. That is what test cricket is about -- to test your skills which may work in your backyard in someone else's.

  • Mervo on February 28, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    What ever is said, that wicket was a disgrace. In Australia we have turning wickets in at least 3 of 5 grounds Warne did very well in australia do to day we have grassy pace only wickets is nonsense. We all need some balance not rolled mud. Former players such as Dev would not have succeeded on those wickets.

  • rosh280 on February 28, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    For australia brad hogg is the good choice for spinners. he is a great bowler. for india mohali and delhi pitches i really feel we need to have changes in indian spin attack. i will pitch for harbhajan singh, vishal joshi, amit mishra and p razool rather than jadeja and aswin. harbhajan singh, vishal joshi and amit mishra would be the great choices. we could also try out p razool also.

  • rosh280 on February 28, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    We can not deny the spin factor. spinners always helped india win matches. dhoni batting also needs equal praise. As vvs pointed out we have only 8 or 9 quality spinners in india right now. They are amit mishra, pragyan ojha, vishal joshi, aswin, rakesh dhruv, jalaj saxena, iqbal abdulla, bhatt,makvana. i still prefer vishal joshi to play some matches in next few tests . he is in great form now. amit mishra, ojha, razool , jalaj, rakesh all can make difference. In fast bowling especially in test bowling we need aggression that aggression we can see in sreeshanth, pankaj singh, sidharth kaul, ishwar pandey they throw bowl at considerable speed and take wickets. murali vijay and sehwag are the good openers at this point dhoni is right in saying. he needs performances he needs more victories. he really judges his team mates. he plays with his hundred percent.

  • NumberXI on February 28, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    "And not wanting to be made fun of" - as someone who wrote "circus without a ringmaster" not too long ago, Ms Ugra would know that brand of writing wouldn't she? But, inevitably, Ms Ugra is soaking up the flavour of the season - it is as one would expect of deadline-harried, opinion-driven-by-business-as-usual compulsions. But if she had gone beyond the mental laziness which makes such pieces easy to produce, she would notice that India has won abroad and not always on spinning, spitting wickets. And India were doing so at a time when other teams were, for instance, scheduling their post-Australia-series shrink visits as soon as the Test squads were announced. Then, as now, India have won at home but victory away has become harder. The latter is not reason to delude oneself into believing that Indian teams know only one route to winning tests.

  • Mitcher on February 28, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    So much half-knowledge being peddled here. Australia very rarely produce green tops. They are fast and bouncy pitches. Not green.. Doesn't change the argument but there is a difference, for those who profess to know what they're talking about. Last real green top in Australia was Hobart against the kiwis. Playing to NZ strength. The WACA is not a green top. It is tough because of pace and bounce. Get it?

  • dariuscorny on February 28, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    i think ICC should ban the art of Spin bowling and batting as everyone seems to get furious when served with spin assisting pitch,no moaning comes out when matches are played on green mamba tops.they think art of spin does not comes out from the cricket books.the cricketing world got so biased.benchmark for sound technique of a batsman solely depends on how he plays fast and swing bowling,no matter he plays spin pathetically....its all about culture.SC teams do hv spin bowling culture,this is what world needs to understand.asian batsmen are masters of playing spin frm their childhood......

  • Meety on February 28, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    @satishchandar on (February 28, 2013, 6:29 GMT) - what I am saying is that Oz DO serve up pitches that can give the hosts every chance of winning. We have done that for as long as I have followed cricket, the WIndies during their reign use to wish they could take the Gabba & WACA everywhere they went. The pitches I named earlier have plenty of spin-opportunities. I have no problem with spin-friendly pitches in India - just the lengths that some curators go to to get that is what dissappoints me!

  • rosh280 on February 28, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Indian team always relied on spinners in test match victories. we should never criticize spinners like kumble, harbhajan, maninder, venkatapati raju. we have quality spinners like amit mishra, pragyan ojha, ashwin,jadeja. for the hyderabad test i really feel indian team should look at how harbhajan bowled at hyderabad wicket and his track record. otherwise we should use pragyan ojha it is his home wicket he know s the home conditions and wicket rather than harbhajan. i will go with ojha, aswin or harbhajan and jadeja. jadeja is a batsman alrounder he needs to be there he is a good fielder too. ashwin bats well and we have take into account his batting also.considering all the factors, i will go with ojha, aswin and jadeja for the next test at hyderabad.

  • on February 28, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    i think we should always prepare spin pitches in india bcos this is our strength dont think of green pitches so that you can have good fast bowlers and good batsmen think Australia will never prepare spin pitches so that they can win in subcontinent play to your strength if we start preparing green pitches we will be lost on both side for fast bowlers u dont need green pitches like kapil dev,wasim akram and batsmen like sachin have come from this kind of piches i wont mind losing 4-0 in australia but i expect 4-0 win in india

  • Samdanh on February 28, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    By far the most honest, bold, confession. Congrats Partha the Man, the Curator!

  • phunny_game on February 28, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    And talking about Indian fast bowling options, this is not the first choice Indian attack... And even then, bhuvneshwar kumar, a debutant.. was bowling well in first innings.. Most of the runs that Warner scored off him were inside edges, i think most of us have forgot that... Spin cupboard seems bare because of the T20 culture where young spinners form the start of their career are forced to bowl containing line and thus their mindset changes. All the good spinners in India right now have played a lot in pre-ipl era and thats why they are succeeding in test cricket.

  • satishchandar on February 28, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    @Meety : Please read my full post. If India need to win overseas, they got improve their fast bowling resources by playing domestic game in lively pitches and not by playing fast tracks against Australia in home games.. Will Australia learn bowling/playing spin by playing in Chennai/Mumbai like pitches against India/Pakistan in Brisbane or Perth or even make MCG, SCG, Adelaide will spin from day 1? NO.. They know India can't play fast bowling and make sure there is absolutely no assistance to spin bowling in first 4 days and slight on fifth day. Ever since Warne is gone, this is the story of pitches in Australia. Look at the sstats there. Only Lyon will have decent record as he plays with a massive pace attack and they make things easy for him.. If you want to be competitive abroad, prepare yourself for that.. But you don't serve the visiting team with their own conditions and try to feed them what they want..

  • on February 28, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    i really cant understand, what people wants from the Indian Cricket team. Any country which is playing cricket is preparing pitches according to their conviction, not according to the opponents. I don't think anyone right now is preparing sporting pitches. Everyone will play only according to their strength not the weakness.

  • on February 28, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Even in d 2nd innings Aus were able to score more than 200 runs and you call it a bad wicket!! We need to prepare Pacer friendly wickets for the Ranji matches Sharada!! Not here.. And India have played great cricket to win this. You know it. But probably just dont WANT to write it.

  • phunny_game on February 28, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Maybe indian players need to play on green pitches to succeed overseas... So then, ranji trophy should be played on green pitches... Why would we play on a green wicket against Australia... The ability of players is improved in domestic cricket... INternational cricket is not a platform to try and test... Its about playing to your strength and winning national pride... So all the grass can be saved for domestic cricket... !!!

  • on February 28, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Yes. Ugra is right. Only some relief; no exhilaration! There are still plenty of holes in the Indian armour.

    As a starter, we need two new openers; both Vijay & Veeru need to be "RESTED". (By the way, I think Pujara can be tried to open. Rahane can also be tried. This is in addition to the designated third opener -- Dhawan. I don't mind giving yet another chance to Gouti. But NOT to Vijay-Veeru combo)

    Ojha need to be brought back in place of Bhajji. We still have to identify two pacers to open the bowling during our forthcoming overseas tours. If we can do that before Mohali, it would be nice. If India wins at Hyderabad, selectors may get the courage to try out a pair of decent opening pace bowlers at Mohali.

  • Samar_Singh on February 28, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    People are only talking about spin spin and spin bowling. But for me the defining factor on India's victory in Chennai was Dhoni's batting and the 9th and 10th wicket partnership which added some 150 odd runs. Oz did not bat that bad.. add that 150 runs and India would have been chasing some 200 odd runs in the fifth day.. Game could have gone either way. So it was dhoni who changed the match complexion not the spinners.

  • suhail1988 on February 28, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    @albert cambell..what right do ur team have to tell that indian team doesnt have sportsmanship?? we all remember what happened in perth 5 years back..

  • WinNZ on February 28, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    It is no secret that Cricket Pitches are prepared to favor the home side. India does not need to be apologetic for these pitches. The pitches should be tailor made keeping in mind the Indian Players. At the same time India should not expect any concessions from the South Africans, Australians or the English. Rather they should expect to play in difficult conditions abroad and have practice pitches replicated, mirroring conditions they expect to play on overseas tours so that they have a chance of winning.

  • Tarun_Taz on February 28, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Does it really matter? I mean I've been reading some ridiculous comments about the pitches being tailor-made. Traditionally the country that hosts a Test match has always had an added 'home advantage' and to work towards that - by preparing wickets that suit the home team's strength is absolutely fine, period! As a touring team, the challenge to tackle such conditions and compete has always been the essence of 'Test cricket'. Congrats Team India for pulling of a much needed win. This series is not over by any means. I expect a resilient fight back from the Aussies and an interesting series ahead.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on February 28, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    With all these dust bowls and doctored turnimg pitches, there are only 2 outcomes. 1. India will never produce quality fast bowlers. 2. India will always have poor away test record out of the subcontinent. Both outcomes equating to a team which will never be able hold the No.1 spot for any significant period of time. What a shame.

  • Only_Vimal on February 28, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    "What cannot be denied though is that - barring Pattinson's manful effort in the first innings - the pitch largely favoured a type of bowler, rather than give both the quicks and the slow men their moments over five days." - I fail to understand why the pitch should favor all types of bowlers. Do we complain when we go to England/Australia/SA and the pitches do not offer anything for the spinners (not even bounce sometimes)? I agree with everything that is said in the article but cannot understand why we should make pitches that help opposition. We have never done it during our heydays - why should it change now? And as a former player pointed out recently, it is this fascination with preparing sporting wickets that have killed off the spinning culture in the last decade. Now we neither have sporting wickets nor do we have quality spinners. To add insult to injury, we cant seem to play good spinners as well.

  • KannanAnanya on February 28, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    I would like to say that we can have the team like this:- Rahane Rohit Pujara Kohli Tiwari (once Tendulkar leaves the scene) Dhoni Jadeja Irfan / Praveen Kumar Ashwin Harbhajan / Ohja B.Kumar / Sreeshanth / Umesh Yadav

    This will make us a good swing bowling unit, spin bowling unit, good batting unit and a brilliant fielding unit.

    this will have us covered of all the bases

  • Number_5 on February 28, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Much will and should be made of the Chennai curators comments. The ICC should launch an immediate investigation into this selective method of preparing pitches. If at least to let the Indian cricket supporting public understand just how unsporting and against the spirit of cricket this is no matter how they try to justify the pitch that was produced for the previous test.

  • on February 28, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Pitches in different countries will be different in nature but what ICC needs to do is to standardise the preparation of the wicket. It should appoint a committee who should take over the preparation of the pitch a week before the match. The amount of watering, rolling and the amount of grass to be left on the pitch should all be decided by this committee and not by the host nation. If we continue to allow India & others to produce such pitches then cricket will hit a new low and it'll become a free for all. The biggest victim will of course be cricket. Can India prevent Australia now from preparing a lush green top which will make their batsmen jump like kangaroos?? It is sheer non-sense and the sooner the ICC takes action the better it'll be. AND 'Bullies' can be handled effectively if one wants to.

  • venkatesh018 on February 28, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    "If India had more confidence in their spinners, this Chepauk Surface wouldn't have required Selective Watering". Only Sharda could have made such an accurate assessment of India's perceived strengths.

  • Meety on February 28, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    @Jai_India on (February 28, 2013, 4:31 GMT) - top class comments. Just to make it known, I believe if you tour India, the pitches should be more favourable to spin then in say Oz. I personally think that Indian fans get ripped off, when they don't see pace bowlers being able to rip in some bouncers to have the batsmen coping with some fear factor. I can guarantee you, when a short ball flies past the grille on a batsmens helmet, there is a gasp all round the ground, massive applause if the ball is hooked for 4! I feel gutted for Ishant Sharma, a bloke who I thought could of been the greatest Indian FAST bowler of all time, he was very good in his 1st tour of Oz. Now I think he is a medium paced trundler that would be lucky to play 1st Grade in Darwin, grounded by unfavourable strips. Such a shame, I really HOPE that Yadav doesn't go the same way - I highly rate him! I have heard Dharmashala is a bouncy pitch with a bit of pace. Ranji should be played there.

  • GopiKothandapani on February 28, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    I wont be surprised if india go with the same playing XI as dhoni already mentioned they identified the correct batting and bowling combination. unfortunate that Ohja cannot be included in Hyderabad test.

  • Albert_cambell on February 28, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    this shows the poor sportsmanship of india. I have never seen any Subcontinent team preparing flat pitch or a wicket that turns from day 1. All the indian fans claim that Aussies prepared bouncy wickets during indias last year tour was utter nonsense. Aussies gave them a flat pitch in Adelaide and a helpful wicket for spinners in sydney. Only Perth was a bouncy wicket they rest are not bad as indian fans trying to portray over here.

  • on February 28, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    As an ardent cricket fan there is nothing much to celebrate this victory at Chennai where India Has won a crumbling pitch, a sight to behold heaps of soil being lifted off the ground when Peter siddle swung his bat and when you see some dismissals especially clean bowled ones ball was hardly rising to the knee level. Real Victory will be those which are earned on sporting tracks where the real class of bowlers and batsmen will be put to test, One soul searching question that we needs to do are we nurturing real fast bowling talents by catering to these Three spinner startegy

  • Cobra0077 on February 28, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    I have one long comment to make & which was sencored many times here. Everyone here takes one or the other side like either spin or green top. Cricket isn't tennis where they have grass, hard court or clay. If its stated in the criteria required by the sports organization in this case ICC then we should have separate tournaments to be played under those condition i.e., dust bowl or green top bowl, but, since its not specially in cricket which is played over 5 days we cannot have 2 foreign teams to play test matches against one another in say Indian conditions. Hence to crown a true champion first of all the playing field should be made EQUAL barring natural cause's (from this article its clearly seen that the pitches are tailor made, which is not what sports is about). It has been proven that there are pitches that can be made to an extent that the playing field is close to even to all players and that's the job of the ICC.

  • Shaggy076 on February 28, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    @ Ramaparasadkiz - "Do Australia make India-friendly pitches? The answer is No we make the pitch the same no matter who the opponent is. Its the inference of making pitches to suit for different opposition that I dont like. Indias normal pitches are quite tricky for Australians to adjust to anyway so why the need to make them even dustier than normal. The Indian pitches are always going to suit spinners and thats fine but the policy should be this is the pitch it doesnt matter who the opponent is.

  • fastrack10 on February 28, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    its about producing result pitches..now whether thats happning through pace n bounce, or through spin hardly matters. no denying the fact indians are more comfortable on low slow spinning tracks..on the flip side the Auz players are comfortable of bouncy fast tracks.as all should agree both are important techniques that the players should have to be sucessful at the test level.unfortunately none of the teams has both set of skills to be the undisputed best team in the world (not even ENG, they have done well in jst one series in the subcontinent) & somehow i dont see such kind of domination (like WI in 70's, AUS in 90's) coming in near future from any of the present teams..

  • guptahitesh4u on February 28, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    @landl47..yes you are right, a team needs to win on all types of pitches...and If I am not wrong, India won against Eng in Eng in 2007 and England's win against India is there solo win in a long peroid on subcontinent pitches(just before this series they were whitewashed by Pakistan and had to draw a series against SL). So please hold on your guns before you consider England a "Top Touring Side"

    The problem for India at present is absence of quality bowlers (be it pace or spin), So rather then debating on pitches, India should focus more on finding quality bowlers

  • nearlyman on February 28, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    As a long time follower of cricket now, I find that Australian situation at Chennai was akin to India's in Perth in 1977.Like India then, Australia chose to play to its strength,irrespective of the pitch,India had opted to play with Bedi, Chandrasekhar and Venkatraghavan and only one fast bowler in Madan Lal.Madan Lal had taken a five for in the previous test in Brisbane.But on the fastest pitch in the world at tWACA, India left out Karshan Ghavri. So too, at Chepauk, Australia left out Doherty and played three quicks.I am not bringing Amarnath or Henriques, Clarke orChauhan into the equation.

  • on February 28, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    "If India had more confidence in the spinners they consider their 'strength', the surfaces would not require "selective watering" " is more a ridiculous line!!

    Well Fast Bowling is South Africa's biggest strength.They have lot of CONFIDENCE on their fast bowlers. DONT THEY REQUIRE GREEN PITCHES????

    "

  • phunny_game on February 28, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Actually i thought the selection of harbhajan over ojha would be the main talking point after the match, but the pitch seems to have hogged all the limelight...

    The pitch looked ugly, but played well except for a few scares... And really, one innings was all the difference between the two teams. Had australia won, there would have been no article about the pitch, n a flurry of articles about how India doesn't have talented players and how brave Australia are...

    SA is Bowling out teams for 50 runs for the past one year, and still they are sporting wickets... !!!

    I also really hope to see Zaheer, Umesh in full flow and someone like Pankaj Singh on the SA tour...

  • AbAdvani on February 28, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    I think we are being too harsh on the Indian pace attack -give them a Mohali pitch and the likes of Bhuvi, Umesh and Aaron can still be able to take 20 wickets. They should also let Zaheer decide how he wants to preserve himself in Tests just like how they let Tendulkar decide which series to play. I am puzzled on how Sharda Ugra mentioned Vinay kumar's name in the list of promising pacers -the guy made his debut on a fast bouncy pitch in Australia and could not take a single wicket in that test match -sorry, there are far better bowlers than Vinay kumar even in Ranji trophy -Pankaj Singh, Awana who have better pace, control and swing than Vinay Kumar and need to be given half the chances that Vinay kumar has got so far

  • Jai_India on February 28, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    @ Meety there are fast options in India also. I wish we could see that when we come to Mohali. It was a genuinely fast wicket few years back. Now we dint know what is the status. Also in Dharmashala it is a very pacer friendly wicket. Lets wait and see. I hope to see some good competitive test matches in pitches friendly to fast bowlers. I am having the opinion that both teams should get equal opportunities. Chennai pitch was not very bad really to be frank. Aus had few tactical errors too to account for the loss. Pattinson was not used well when he was on fire on day 2. Also there should have been a spin option instead of starc or siddle who were hopeless in the last test. From the looks of the pitch before the start of the match, it was a straight forward answer that it was spin friendly. clarke should have done some serious bowling. he is definitely a quality spinner.

  • on February 28, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    What a Joke!! If India loses out in Australia, we shout that India do not know how to play abroad and If Australia loses out in India, its the credit of "Pitch"!!

    Admit that Australia do not know how to play Spin.Its the same for all countries other than Sub continental Teams.England did win in India in last tour, but mind it, they were beaten badly by Pakistan just before that.

    Give due credit to the wining team.

  • Mitcher on February 28, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Incoming! Before the Indian fans get defensive about Australia moaning. Just remember, this article is written by an indian; the Australian captain said he had no complaints with the pitch. A bit different from the churlish response from team India in Australia/England.

  • Jai_India on February 28, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    I wonder why Clarke bowled Pattinson just 6 overs on day 2 when he was in peak form. I think that was the biggest blunder which he made. Also dont agree with the fact that Aus batsmen are inexperienced. 3 of them have played in India. Also Moises Henriques was their most consistent batsman and was good against spin. He has a bright future for sure. Why no one speaks about Siddle and Starc who were considered as "pace spearheads" back in Aus. For them also it is happening same as what happened to Ashwin in Aus. So lets wait and see how the series progresses.

  • landl47 on February 28, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Unfortunately, many (but by no means all) of the Indian fans commenting here don't seem to realize that if a team can only win on one type of wicket then their success is going to be very limited. For years they rightly said that England had to show that they could win on Indian wickets before being taken seriously as a top side. Well, England did that. Now the boot is on the other foot. India have been shown to be not only vulnerable overseas but even in their own country; and the reason is that they are not developing the range of skills needed to succeed in different conditions.

    If India wishes to be considered a top side it had better start thinking about how to develop better technique on every sort of wicket. Otherwise they are going to find that other countries will beat them easily at home and will be getting better in the subcontinent as well. A team that can only perform on one type of wicket will find that more versatile players will leave them, so to speak, in the dust.

  • hnlns on February 28, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    For India to have decent fast bowlers coming through on a consistent basis, the domestic system (Ranji, Irani, Duleep Trophies and so on) must give them all possible help with regard to the playing surfaces. Batsmen also need to learn to play on such surfaces where there is chest-high bounce and enough carry to encourage them to play shots, especially horizontal bat shots well. What we see now is dull and drab pitches where the team batting first scores 500-700 runs in the first 2-3 days, sometimes without even completing their innings. Any sane person would not even dream of becoming a fast bowler in such cruel conditions, no wonder they rather opt to sit out at every opportunity of an injury. Relying on dust bowls, selectively watered or unwatered for months together will not help even the spinners as they just don't learn how to bowl on flat pitches that don't turn or become very unforgiving, as they might find overseas. No wonder then that we lack talent.

  • Jai_India on February 28, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Sharda. You completely forgot or purposefully forgot the difference between how the Indian batsmen played in the last series and this ongoing series. That really made the difference. India never ever relied on its fast bowling line up (except with Zaheer, sreeshanth & RP Singh, Sreenath and Venky period) still they won matches just because their batsmen were too good in any condition. Taking 20 wickets was always a burden for India whether abroad or home. Dont take just this test match. generally speaking the wickets in India has changed a lot after the world cup win which is really good. Earlier it was dead pitches made for batsmen only. Now a days it is a perfect sporting wicket which helps batmen and bowlers. Even with spin friendly pitches see how teams like England and Pak get benefit out of it. It should not be forgotten that Aus also had spinners in Lyon and Clarke. Why did not they use them well or why dint they take wickets? They also bowled in the same pitch right?

  • on February 28, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Hmm.. so i wonder how come ENG beat us few months back on these so caaled dust bowls. we had same formula for them as well. May be AUS dont have good spinners like ENG & are overly rely on pace ! But Sharda would like us to play to AUS advantage & make pitches those favour them .. hmm .. what logic!

  • guptahitesh4u on February 28, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    This is called inferiority complex. Why do you want to accept what "Clarke" has to say about the pitch and do not want to accept what "Dhoni" says? If we are worried about our pace bowlers, shouldn't Australia be worried about their spin options? More than that, if we want our batsmen to play better against seam bowlers on swinging conditions in Aus, Eng, SA then shouldn't we expect the australian batsmen to be prepared to face the turners in India? Why do the reporters make a hue and cry when spinners take more wkts and why do none of the reporter says anything about the pitches when SA bowlers took 54 wkts of the 60 wkts against Pakistan?

  • on February 28, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    I think that Sharda has got it wrong. She describes the Chennai pitch as venomous. If it was so bad than how do you explain innings from Bhuvnesh kumar? Also, on same pitch Australians had a pretty long last wicket partnership in 2nd innings. Yes, some ball did misbehave, but it was not unplayable. And please tell me how many Australian wickets went down because ball misbehaved? Probably two. Rest of them lost it because of demons in their minds.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on February 28, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Every team in the world have own strength. They will prepare pitches for home team. nothing new in it. And you cannot wish for a swing condition here in India especially in Jan-May season.If Aus have a player like Shane Warne, they too will be happy with such wickets.

  • on February 28, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    If one pace bowler performs amazingly, it already shows that the pitch is even enough- its more the pace bowlers that need to lift their game. This article is dangerously edging down the path of saying india won because of a dusbowl pitch. if that was the case why did Lyon do as badly as he did. Not sure why, but when India wins- its all about the pitch and what not, and when they dont- its about them being bad players. Cut them some slack- if Pattison could be deadly on this "spin friendly" pitch then why couldnt the others. At some stage- the commentators and media spokespeople of this sport have to let the individual be responsible- for good and for bad. Every team plays to their sths and the home advantage comes in various shapes and sizes- in cricket it also means the pitch. No one blasts the Brisbane pitch for being too seam friendly and tries to implicate that Aus might be somehow trying to get an unfair advantage. Nuff with the excuses- lets focus on who performed and who didnt

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Sharda Ugra, forget about selective watering, You guys do selective writing on india's spin favored pitches. Where were you when the same Aus team had India on greeny tops in Australia and you were blaming India's batting order. Why this selective criticizing? I guess you must talk then about then Australia's and England's poor strength in bowling in respective home

  • sidh78 on February 28, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    When india(or say subcontananr) teams not play good(special batsman) in aus sa eng .that time they called that batsman are not technically sound and not a good batsman becoz they can not play on fast & seaming pitches.but no one complaint about pitches.no one said that pitch should give littile assistanat to spin.they just says pitch is very good and sporting but when aus(&earlier eng) lost in india no one question on the techniq of aus eng batsman for not playing spin good.they just said that turning and spining pitches are not good for cricket or not sporting.plz tell me one thing only bouncy and spitches are good and sporting.why this double standarad.CRICINFO PLZ PUBLISH to know world about that double standarad.thanks

  • Meety on February 28, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    @satishchandar on (February 28, 2013, 3:02 GMT) - that sort of attitude will keep India as overseas losers. "After all, you won't get Chennai like track anywhere in Eng,SA or Australia." - the reality is, in Oz there are sveral Test pitches that offer genuine spin options (MCG, SCG & Adelaide), the only difference is that due to the pace & bounce of the pitch - pacers are encouraged. Only Sth Africa are preparing pitches that do zilch for spinners.

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    If India want to develop a team that can win away from India, they need to stop producing pitches that favour spin so heavily. Australia have long been a powerhouse in cricket because they produced a wide variety of pitches (the decline of the SCG and Adelaide as spinner's wickets has in part led to a decline in batting technique to combat spin). India will likely win this series, but it will be yet another short term result. Good, healthy cricket rewards all kinds of quality play, not just spinners.

  • AidanFX on February 28, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    I am of the opinion if at least a couple of the remaining tests offer anything for quicks and are not so drastically 'spin friendly' - India will struggle with their lack of a genuine pace attack. India's spinners are solid not great. Part of me was happy Aus decided they would see how a three pace/ spinner would go (with all-rounder). In the end it looks like the wrong move but the attack they chose (with Harris/ Cummins injured) was a close to their best attack on most pitches. So yes they may need to drop a quick and include a spinner. I really don't think India should be too quick to be rejoicing here. They had no wickets from pace bowlers.

  • vakkaraju on February 28, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    India has had the same formula for winning at home. This goes back 5-6 decades. Predictably it has worked. Except for brief periods winning abroad we tend to lose also with same degree of consistency outside the sub continent. For the next couple of seasons if the domestic cricket is played on fast bouncy strips, I am sure there will be a crop of batsmen and bowlers who can win anywhere. I do not mind if they play tests next season on customized tailor made pitches. I am very disappointed they need to do this to win.

  • here2rock on February 28, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    I disagree with the writer's comments "Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravinder Jadeja ran through the Australian batting on a track that spat, bit and either leapt with venom or sizzled with zip". The pitch was not as frightful as described, Australians played badly and they deserved to lose. Australian had the huge advantage of batting first on this pitch. Every country in the world makes pitches to suit the home side, look at England and Australia. The series just finished in Australia against South Africa we did not see much grass on the pitches and as soon as Sri Lankan team landed they were all juiced up. We all know what India was served on their last trip to Australia.

  • Webba84 on February 28, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    India should have at least 1 pace friendly pitch so your own pacemen have a place to hone their craft. If the rest of the pitches are like the one played on recently I think that would be fine tbh but it does serve the quality of a countrys cricket to have a variety of test match standards available for first class use.

  • TRAM on February 28, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    "dust-bowl" is a done & dusted topic.

  • MightySun on February 28, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    @Sharda - i would love to thrust the point that Playing spin is an equally competetive trade skill as playing pace, same is the case with bowling spin/pace. We had our share of pace related nightmares over last few years now its flip and see other side of coin. Your concern of unearthing pace batteries in india is truly genuine. Its quite puzzling to see PAK come up with new pace sensations as quick as rohit sharma innings and IND struggle to maketh a good one for ages. ofcourse sreesanth has been one big disappointment especially for me as we grew up playing together and the feel we had amoung players what this guy is really capable of. lest said wish that this wont be a repetition of Eng series - All the best India - Go india GO!

  • Rahulbose on February 28, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    First it was not a bad pitch. 5 days of play, one 5 wicket haul by a seamer, one double hundred, two hundred (one from opposition captain), plenty of runs from visiting tailenders. All proves that. Second selective watering is same as leaving all the grass uncut at lords to help Anderson or preparing trampoline wickets at Perth or Johannesburg. Third Aus showed plenty of signs of being able to win this series, they scored plenty runs. Other grounds will not be as humid and energy sapping and their backup pacemen will dent India. R Aswin is no better than Lyon, form is temp class is permanent. He will soon be bowling his true class.

  • ramaprasadkiz on February 28, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Well said, Satishchandar... Self-criticism is not going to take you anywhere Ugra and team!

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Very well said Satish. Perfect. In simple terms every country when they play in their home ground prepare pitches to suit to their strength. All visiting teams are expected to play in the pitches prepared by the home team. So what is wrong in India preparing spinning tracks as we consider that to be our strength. Even Clark has not commented anything bad about the pitch. Articles such as this are quite a bad publicty.

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Good article from Sharda. I am glad there are people who are not going overboard after the Chennai win.. Nothing much has changed for the win to happen except maybe Dhoni scoring a double hundred..and Ashwin bowling smartly..though neither will happen consistently.. The team selection still leaves a lot to be desired..and poses questions as usual.. I cannot stand Jadeja, Sehwag, Vijay, Bhajji.. It is sad that we have much more promising replacements for all of them, but they are being made to warm the bench... I hope Dhoni's comment about team being "settled" is a mind game played on the Aussies..It would be nice to throw a couple of surprises on the morning of the next Test.. My posts though not too controversial never make it to this site...makes me wonder if BCCI and N.Srinivasan own this site..and no MSD bashing is allowed..

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Ok so where were we when green tops and bouncy tracks were offered abroad to us. Those pitches can be termed sporty and such spinning tracks cannot be. That is ridiculous. Let the visiting teams get the dust bowl only.

  • soumyas on February 28, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    "even Jadeja got wickets on this pitch..." one sentence is enough.

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    its not a good article. when a guy can score a double and other score a single century on the same track, whats so fussy about it. the visitors didn't apply themselves thats all.

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Rather scathing article i would say. Firstly the wicket was not a dust bowl and secondly, India won not because of the dust bowl but despite the dust bowl. India lost the toss, were asked to bat second and had every chance of losing the test match if not for the carnage unleashed by Dhoni. One of the most well timed innings i have ever seen, that ensured we won the match by end of first innings.

  • ramaprasadkiz on February 28, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Do Australia make India-friendly pitches? No. Should India make Australia-friendly pitches? Dustbowl or concrete, both teams are getting equal chance in it. I don't why Ugra, like most others, is whinging about it? There is nothing wrong with pitches that produce wickets and runs. STOP WHINGING...

  • satishchandar on February 28, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Sharda. I guess you guys meet up with wrong idea thinking about the abroad challenge. If we want to go and challenge abroad, we need fast bowlers but when the visitors come here and play here, we should serve them spin. It IS our strength and not only now but even if we manage to unearth some 5 deadly pace batteries, we need to stick with turning tracks. We need not worry about the strength of the opponents. If team like England fielded to good spinners and batting of Cook, KP and Compton won against India here, it is their courage.. If Zaheer with RP and Sreesanth co won games in SA, tour in England, it is our courage. But nowhere, India won on spin bowls abroad. Developing good fast bowlers and serving fast tracks in home for visitors are two entire different things. Prepare fast tracks and allow batsmen and bowlers to nurture their skills there. Play the main games in dust bowls. After all, you won't get Chennai like track anywhere in Eng,SA or Australia.

  • satishchandar on February 28, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Sharda. I guess you guys meet up with wrong idea thinking about the abroad challenge. If we want to go and challenge abroad, we need fast bowlers but when the visitors come here and play here, we should serve them spin. It IS our strength and not only now but even if we manage to unearth some 5 deadly pace batteries, we need to stick with turning tracks. We need not worry about the strength of the opponents. If team like England fielded to good spinners and batting of Cook, KP and Compton won against India here, it is their courage.. If Zaheer with RP and Sreesanth co won games in SA, tour in England, it is our courage. But nowhere, India won on spin bowls abroad. Developing good fast bowlers and serving fast tracks in home for visitors are two entire different things. Prepare fast tracks and allow batsmen and bowlers to nurture their skills there. Play the main games in dust bowls. After all, you won't get Chennai like track anywhere in Eng,SA or Australia.

  • ramaprasadkiz on February 28, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    Do Australia make India-friendly pitches? No. Should India make Australia-friendly pitches? Dustbowl or concrete, both teams are getting equal chance in it. I don't why Ugra, like most others, is whinging about it? There is nothing wrong with pitches that produce wickets and runs. STOP WHINGING...

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    Rather scathing article i would say. Firstly the wicket was not a dust bowl and secondly, India won not because of the dust bowl but despite the dust bowl. India lost the toss, were asked to bat second and had every chance of losing the test match if not for the carnage unleashed by Dhoni. One of the most well timed innings i have ever seen, that ensured we won the match by end of first innings.

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    its not a good article. when a guy can score a double and other score a single century on the same track, whats so fussy about it. the visitors didn't apply themselves thats all.

  • soumyas on February 28, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    "even Jadeja got wickets on this pitch..." one sentence is enough.

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Ok so where were we when green tops and bouncy tracks were offered abroad to us. Those pitches can be termed sporty and such spinning tracks cannot be. That is ridiculous. Let the visiting teams get the dust bowl only.

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Good article from Sharda. I am glad there are people who are not going overboard after the Chennai win.. Nothing much has changed for the win to happen except maybe Dhoni scoring a double hundred..and Ashwin bowling smartly..though neither will happen consistently.. The team selection still leaves a lot to be desired..and poses questions as usual.. I cannot stand Jadeja, Sehwag, Vijay, Bhajji.. It is sad that we have much more promising replacements for all of them, but they are being made to warm the bench... I hope Dhoni's comment about team being "settled" is a mind game played on the Aussies..It would be nice to throw a couple of surprises on the morning of the next Test.. My posts though not too controversial never make it to this site...makes me wonder if BCCI and N.Srinivasan own this site..and no MSD bashing is allowed..

  • on February 28, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Very well said Satish. Perfect. In simple terms every country when they play in their home ground prepare pitches to suit to their strength. All visiting teams are expected to play in the pitches prepared by the home team. So what is wrong in India preparing spinning tracks as we consider that to be our strength. Even Clark has not commented anything bad about the pitch. Articles such as this are quite a bad publicty.

  • ramaprasadkiz on February 28, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Well said, Satishchandar... Self-criticism is not going to take you anywhere Ugra and team!

  • Rahulbose on February 28, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    First it was not a bad pitch. 5 days of play, one 5 wicket haul by a seamer, one double hundred, two hundred (one from opposition captain), plenty of runs from visiting tailenders. All proves that. Second selective watering is same as leaving all the grass uncut at lords to help Anderson or preparing trampoline wickets at Perth or Johannesburg. Third Aus showed plenty of signs of being able to win this series, they scored plenty runs. Other grounds will not be as humid and energy sapping and their backup pacemen will dent India. R Aswin is no better than Lyon, form is temp class is permanent. He will soon be bowling his true class.