India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 1st day

A day of anti-cricket

This was just the sort of pitch that MS Dhoni has said he doesn't want, but it may just have given his side a chance after the slowness helped them contain England's scoring

Sidharth Monga

December 13, 2012

Comments: 59 | Text size: A | A

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates his dismissal of Kevin Pietersen, India v England, 4th Test, Nagpur, 1st day, December 13, 2012
Ravindra Jadeja said there was nothing in the pitch to help any of the bowlers © BCCI
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It is often - rightly - said that a verdict on a pitch should not be delivered until Virender Sehwag has batted on it. We shall reserve the judgement then, but it is clear that this pitch is not made for attractive cricket. Only players like Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen are expected to rise above it. The same goes for bowlers, for if a patient batsman puts his mind to it, it will be difficult to get him out until the pitch starts breaking up.

The WACA Ground in Perth exposes ordinariness brutally. It has no time for those who are not good. However, if you have the right technique and shots, or if you are a good bowler, it rewards you handsomely. Nagpur was opposite.

On Thursday, you could get away by just putting the ball there, and wouldn't be hit for runs. As a batsman, you could be beaten in the flight, you could make a mistake, and yet you could recover by going back in the crease. The converse held true. There was no value for shots because the ball just didn't come on. The fielders had only half the ground to defend - forget about scoring runs behind the wicket - and there was no value for the shots even if you beat the pitch and timed them. As a bowler, debutant Ravindra Jadeja said there was no bounce, pace or turn on offer. All you could do was defend and prevent boundaries. The first day in Nagpur was anti-cricket for any neutral fan.

And you can't say for sure this was done by design. For starters this is not what MS Dhoni has been asking for. In fact this is exactly what he has been saying he doesn't want. Understandably, with the home side going one-down into the series decider, the pitch has received no water over the last three days. It's possible India didn't know this pitch would turn out thus. Jadeja, who took two wickets, spoke of it with as much pain as a fan would.

"The wicket is too flat," he said. "It's slow. There is no turn. It's difficult for fast bowlers too. After pitching it loses all the pace. For spinners also there is no turn. All we could do was bowl stump to stump, and try to restrict their runs and boundaries."

Jadeja even said Ranji Trophy pitches are better. When asked about the jump he had to make from Ranji to Tests he said: "In the field I saw the huge difference," he said. "Ranji wickets are a little result-oriented. They favour either fast bowlers or spinners. You can call this a flat wicket. Neither did it turn nor did it go off after pitching for the fast bowlers. The quality of batsmen is high too."

If you listen to Jadeja, there is every chance this is not what India asked for, and also that they misread it. They played four spinners on it, including Jadeja, and only one seamer. Surely they were expecting more turn and bounce? Jadeja hasn't ruled out turn later in the match, though, which makes their losing the toss worse.

"I don't think we made a mistake," Jadeja said. "It's helping neither fast bowlers nor spinners. As the game progresses, it will start helping spinners. There will be footmarks in the second innings, we can work with them"

Whether by design or accident, this pitch did provide India some control over the proceedings. Dhoni likes to be in control of the game as a captain, he doesn't want to concede runs, he wants his bowlers to bowl one side of the wicket so he can concentrate on defending that half. His bowlers haven't been doing that, so the pitch did the job for him.

For major chunks of the day, Dhoni operated with the slip as the only man behind square. Yes, there was an improvement in the fielding with Jadeja joining Virat Kolhi, but it was also an illusion created by having more men covering a smaller part of the field. Many a bad ball went unpunished because there was no pace to work with.

In the last hour, though, India seemed to have run out of the energy to work with the pitch. They didn't try to bowl as much as they could, which is a little ridiculous when you think of the 97 overs they bowled in six hours, but they did slow down in the last hour. The intensity was a little low, and they were happy to just protect the boundaries.

Considering the various stages the first day went through neither team will be too displeased with the 199 for 5. England came back from 139 for 5, and they know they will be bowling last. India, on the other hand, had lost the toss, had to counter Pietersen's innings, and then came back through an impatient shot from the best batsman on the day. For similar excitement to be manufactured, you might need more impatient shots throughout the Test. Or Sehwag might prove us completely wrong.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 15, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

@ Adam Gibson, I am not supporting my team blindly. You should read my other comments at other pages. Everyone talking about the bad pitch, but the pitch won't make the big difference. You said I should look at Sehwag's wicket, but I know Sehwag is not a test batsman; moreover, he is tired so easily and lazy. Basically he is not fit for longer version of cricket. Sachin Tendulkar who should have retire when he blasted his 100th ton, but looks like he won't until kicked-out. Gambhir has played his 50th test innings without blasting century and always gives his wicket at sleep cordon or behind the stumps....comes forward 3-4 steps to take run at every shot. Dhoni has no class playing any format of cricket. Dhoni's almost all shots go in mid-on and mid-off area. If opposition put both of the position close to the wicket, Dhoni gets stuck. ODIs experts-Kohli, Raina, and Yuvi never become the test batsmen no matter how many chances they would have. So my team is nowhere near the great.

Posted by ManzurManutd on (December 14, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

After the retirement of the great due(Rahul & VVS) and another one (Sachin ) is about to , these Indians crops are morally robbed. For the last one year or so , they are on a losing trail. They simply don't have the belief that they can win five days matches regularly especially on the home turf. When it comes to test cricket, these juniors are serious under achievers. And board's decision of playing less tests isn't helping the cause either.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

This is the sort of pitch most England fans were expecting all along (and credit to MSD for not asking for four of them at the outset). It suits wristy players over straight batters. It wears down fast bowlers by attrition. It has uneven bounce which favours concentration over shotmaking. And it will turn a bit later. This all points to a pitch India should prefer, if it wasn't for the series situation. But India lost the toss. Now an under-pressure batting line up has to face a rejuvenated England with respectable runs on the board. England did not play slow to engineer a draw. India set fields to nullify run scoring, as they usually do. But England are no longer the skittish insecure batters who let their wickets tumble in batches. And India have to take risks now to get back in the game. This is Test cricket. And this test is a real test - of nerve and concentration. Anyone who wants to see strike rates over 80 can go watch limited overs cricket

Posted by Samar_Singh on (December 14, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

India should play teams like Zimbabwe so that they might look like a good side. Now its time everyone should accept the fact that the Indian team is no more any good team(batters) .. This team needs a big over hauling .. Sack Shewag,SRT and Dhoni first , they are liabilities to the team .. SRT is too slow and gets bowled most often, Shewag a flat track bully and MSD never a test player ..Give some performing young guys some chance.. This English team is too much a heavy weight for team India.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

KiwiRocker needs to chill a bit. He obviously forgets that it took NZ 30 odd years to win a Test match!! Why abandon this game? The pitch isnt dangerous. Lots of people and companies have paid huge amounts of money to be in Nagpur, you would deny them watching a sport they love because the wicket is lifeless?

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

what ever pitch is given neither Sehwag or Sachin can do any wonders this test match. Indian batting became a pathetic affair, do not know the reason. But pitch does not matter anymore because Indian batting is depending a lot on Ashwin rather than the top 5. Why is so much analysis on bowling of Indian team, batting was very pathetic in Mumbai as well Kolkata. So, I won't be surprised if India lose the Nagpur test as well. Team India always depend on batting and right now they have no clue how to play against Swann, Panesar, Anderson and others. All these bowlers are playing for England very long and Team India did not plan how to play against them. So, Team India is not preparing well for tests. India will lose this game and I am very sure abt it.

Posted by lekhi on (December 14, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

Time for Indian fans to accept that they are not a good enough side anymore. When we did win a few test matches abroad it was because we were lucky to have some top class players all at their peak playing together.We were number one in the rankings but we never dominated the way the Aussies or the Windies did. If India ever want to be a great side then our whole set up has to change.Test cricket has to be the number one priority. Scrap the IPL and play a t20 league along with the Ranji trophy.Or base your IPL salaries on how many test matches a player has played. Its shocking that Ravinder Jadeja/robin uthappa have made more money than Ponting or Laxman. But I dont think the BCCI cares. In a few months the IPL will be on,RAina will score 30 runs of 10 balls and most people here will think he is the best cricketer in the world.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

Unbelieveable, to me, that this article has been published here - there are hol;es right throughout this piece and, funnily enough, they've all been picked up on. Where are the editors?

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

@Jaggadaaku, I understand your bias - you support your team and there is nothing wrong with that - but this is a terrible pitch. you said the english batsman batter slow? well looks whats happened. "you cant judge a pitch until sehwag has batted on it" well ask his middle stump how the pitch is playing. ICC needs to grow a pair. no wonder test cricket is in a bad state, especially in india, if this is the sort of rubbish their poor fans have to watch. a spinning pitch makes for fantastic cricket. the first 3 games were very entertaining this is just boring

Posted by joshofali on (December 14, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

Absolutely agree with KiwiRocker!! ICC = Indian Cricket Council Period.

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 14, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

Cricket is about playing in different pitches and conditions. This is a type of pitch and it should be treated with the same respect as the Perth pitch. You said that Perth pitch has no place for who are not good. What is good shot? Somebody who can play hook shots? Somebody who can bowl at 150KPH balls? There are ways by which you can score in these flat pitches and there are ways by which you can take wickets as well. The players got to try to achieve that. Kevin Pieterson had the right thought about this. He said it was one of the most difficult pitches he ever played in. He didn't mention that it was one of the worst pitch. Now, it is the turn of the Indian batsmen to show their experience in playing in such a wicket. Surely, they have more experience than the Englishmen.

Posted by kingcobra85 on (December 14, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

why are you jumping to conclusion too early ? Sidharth Monga has a problem with everyone and everything thing. Is it fashionable to blame something these days ?

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (December 14, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

This has to stop. Where is ICC? Why ICC is not taking notice of all these negative tactics by BCCI. SL was recently penalized for a negative pitch and so should be the case with this Nagpur test. I do not recall any team in recent history that has been so desperate and gone to such great lengths to win a test match. India used similar extremely negative tactics during world cup by having all their matches scheduled nicely,using special cricket balls, 65M grounds and then using DRS when it helped them. Same was done for Indian team in recent T20 WC, where India was based at one single venue. The biggest irony is that India still lost. ICC has to stand up and show some leadership instead of acting as a servent. Two things needs to happen,BCCI should be questioned about this pitch and match should be abondoned.Secondly,ICC needs to review India's test status urgently as a team that has lost 10 of 12 test matches is not good enough to play test cricket!India was gona white wash England eh!

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

Sehwag goes first over. Indians talking about the pitch. Face the facts, you provided the worst pitch test cricket has seen since "covers" have been invented. For the richest nation in world cricket, you sure do provide some absolute shockers. And no... England aren't batting slow as they want to win the match that way. They are batting slow because the ball isn't bouncing and isn't coming on. Thought you guys knew your cricket... A 10 year old could of told you that.

Posted by buntyj on (December 14, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

i should think this is what india asked for; the wickets came to bowlers bowling lil short of length as favoured by all indian bowlers hius making them look good; 2nd innings there should be uneven bounce helping ishant n ashwin; eng bowlers slightly fuller length (more effective on most surfaces around the world) may not work here n no finn to exploit uneven bounce; of course if anderson gets reverse it may help them, or the wicket to wicket line of panesar. but adv india and i'd say this is almost precisely what msd wanted; india would be unlikely to win on any other; though eng may just pull of a surprise having 330 on board; but adv india

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 14, 2012, 6:32 GMT)

Don't blame the pitch. If you have skills you can make runs on any pitch. England played so slow in this match because they want to win the series in India. This is the first time in 27 years England are ahead and they didn't want to lose the game and series. Pietersen played his slowest 50+ runs innings in his entire career with strike rare of 38.82. Last time he played with strike rate of 40.00 against Australia. The pitch doesn't make the big difference as the commentators and other so called experts think. Now if any Indian batsmen blasts the century with healthy strike rate, they will say the wicket got turn, like the pitch is alive and sometimes it sleeps and sometimes wakes up. Come on guys, if you think like that then I would also say that in last test match, the pitch was absolutely fine when England was batting then the pitch turned bad when India batted until Ashwin came. And the pitch got turned back good and that is the reason, Ashwin blasted 91* in 155 balls.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (December 14, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

Anti-Cricket. Yeah that's the right word. And BCCI and Dhoni specialize in it.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 14, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

If the pitch is flat as Jadeja says, then expect Sehwag to thrive coz he's the original flat-pitch bully. Give him some bounce,swing or seam movement and he's rendered clueless. So I dont think that can be used as a yardstick to gauge the quality of a pitch.

Posted by Arrow011 on (December 14, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

PITCH, PITCH, PITCH, enough of this unsporting articles & cricket players. Only Viru seems to be beyond pitches.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

This is the kind of wicket needed for test matches in India, not the ones that make Indian batsmen great. The wickets that Indian batsmen can feast on for days, but which produce boring draws are destructive to the sport. It is better to keep it short and exciting, and have a winner, than have a match only for academic interest.

Posted by rssampat on (December 14, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

Viru. That's the defining wicket for India and based on how he play's, India either win or lose and that has been the truth in the last few years for Indian Test cricket. He is a match winner. He not only scores runs, but scores them at such a pace that it gives the bowlers enough time to bowl at the opponents and wait for mistakes, apply pressure when they lose a wicket or two. Take out Viru, and India can only lose or draw the game. India has won mostly when Viru has fired.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 14, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

You know it's not a great pitch when there are so few men in conventional catching positions. Dhoni was very defensive and waited for the batsmen to make mistakes, which they duly did. To his credit, Dhoni did have men in place to capitalise on the type of mistake likely on this surface, e.g. the short cover who caught Bell. This innings had a bit of the feel of UAE about it, where England batted slowly with a view to not getting out but got out anyway and then had few runs to show for it. It's hard to know what would have been the best approach, given that even KP struggled to get the ball away. One thing I can say with surety is that leaving a ball that is going to hit the stumps is the wrong approach. It's also hard not to wonder what might have been if Cook hadn't been robbed, but them's the breaks.

Posted by Kays789 on (December 13, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

I guess that was the only way the pathetic indian bowlers could get rid of cook this series. worse than mediocre, this bowling 'attack' isn't even fit to make up the numbers. i thought the whinging about the pitches by the indians will only be when they were on tour. guess i overestimated their abilities. hilarious stuff!

Posted by ccrriicc on (December 13, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

There is no need for these stock writings. Pitch reading is not a science at all; if you hear commentatators they keep on chaning their tune as the match progresses. Just because you want to join the chorus and that too the wrong one exposes your "expetise"! - you will never say this for a Lords or MCG pitches - there are pitches with bounce and pitches without bouce - and they are not for only one team - both teams must play on them, the best comes ahead. If Gavaskars and Shastris do not know what the pitch will do or how it will behave you should not froce your neck out and say, "The WACA Ground in Perth exposes ordinariness brutally..", while, " Nagpur was opposite". You are wrong SM, brutally wrong.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 13, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

A lot of bluster in another article from Indian fans complaining about English writers/fans/players talking about the pitch. Will there be similar uproar about an Indian player and writer similarly focusing on the pitch?? It's a stinker... just admit it. The truth sets you free!!!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

oh please u're making god of sehwag. typical problem with any indians. over-rating their players. no wonder they loose that badly and that often and forget earlier then that.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

DRAW and Series to England...!!!

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

No pace - little turn, but you forgot to mention VARIABLE BOUNCE. And that trumps both pace and turn as a wicket taker. Get ready for a string of LBW decisions.

Posted by moBlue on (December 13, 2012, 19:40 GMT)

is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that dhoni - though vilified for making the request he was entitled to make considering the fast-n-bouncy pitches routinely doled out to IND when we tour ENG, oz or SA - that dhoni never got the type pf pitch he asked for?!? dhoni asked for a fast-turning bouncy pitch!!! all he got was low bouncy or a slow-turning track! mumbai came close - and made for some exciting cricket, mind you, even if IND lost - but it was still a slow turner [only panesar's fast-ish speed and turning skills won ENG that game - which was fine with me! the point is for IND to play to its strengths; pace and bounce are not IND's strength!]

what does dhoni have to do to get the pitch he asks for?!? the BCCI will forever be a frustrating enigmatic opaque organization which doesn't even support its own captain! it would be awesome if someone imposed a rule change on the upper brass of the BCCI where they would actually lose some serious money every time IND lost a test!!!

Posted by JustIPL on (December 13, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

Sehwag and KP have differnet styles. Sehwag uses power while KP is wristy. Sehwag needed to bat first up but india did not win the toss. KPs career strike rate is 63.5 while he went for 39 strike rate in the last innings which is 61% of his career strike rate. Therefore, for those who take refuge in numbers I will say that England would have scored around KP a score of 325 which would have been good enough to beat India as pitch will turn more from now on 199 is equivalent to 325. Also, Dharmasena is a pathetic umpire deprived all of us watching another cook classic. Excuse me for being creative.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 13, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

Test cricket died a little on day one...

Posted by Nutcutlet on (December 13, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

Well said, Sid! This is an anti-cricket wicket & as it's clear that it was manufactured under orders & an embargo put on the curator to prevent him saying anything about its nature before the match, we can take it that this inert surface represents the wishes of the BCCI. From this, we may conclude that the pitch-doctoring has the same effect on Test cricket: both are under anaesthetic in Nagpur. This is indeed cricket for insomniacs. And, true to form, we can appreciate that the BCCI has acted in the best interests of their best interest: kill off TC, at least in India. It makes no sense if it doesn't make money. When proceedings in Nagpur finally are laid to rest, I wonder what the obituary from the BCCI will be. We did our best to uphold the high status of TC by providing exciting cricket on a wicket that rewarded high skill? Perhaps not.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 13, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

I think Sid is being a little unfair on the Indian team yet again. Try bowling 97 overs and then come back to writing a Cricinfo article Mr. Monga. We all know it's easy to be an arm chair critic than being out there and doing it. I reckon India have this game under control BUT still the first innings by India will determine which way this game is headed. England need to post at least 300 if they are to have any chance of winning this game. I still feel this game could be a draw because one would expect England to bat much better in their second innings. Let's wait and see.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

Jadeja should be grateful to CSK captain MSD. I am surprised that one match old Jadeja is saying Ranji wicket are result oriented. Most of ranji matches are even not completing complete innings or ending in draw. Triple centurian (302* and 331) on Surat and Rajkot were belter. He wshould consider himself lucky to get into the team by scoring runs on flat wickets. MSD was great today :(. Infact Jadeja was first choice bowler and preferred ver R Ashwin. Feel sorry for Ajinkya Rahane.

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 13, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

Who made Jadeja the expert on pitches and team selection?

Posted by EnglishCricket on (December 13, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

Jadeja is an ordinary all-rounder. If he doesn't score a 100 then his triple 100 will show just how poor India domestic circuit is.

Posted by liz1558 on (December 13, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

This is not the kind of pitch where the batsman walks to square leg between deliveries, practicing ducking, swaying, chewing gum, spitting it out between the bars in his grill, before rejoining the fray and wheeling two pull shots through midwicket. There is no character in this pitch, no need to sweat, no need to be pumped-up, no contest, no need of aggression. There is a need of a different mindset and technique. It was on this very type of wicket that the hallmarks of Indian batting were honed: elastic wrists, endless patience, 1100 runs after 5 days/two innings. This is an old style Indian wicket, one that requires indifference to positive results; one in which it is accepted that the game will end in a draw. This is a cricketing representation of the cotton spinner's wheel on the Indian tricolour, which just goes round and round to produce a shirt-front. As long as the Indian batsmen can still bat like Indian batsmen, they should win this Test because England's batsmen can't.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

On the contrary, I would say verdict should not be passed by watching Sehwag bat. He just takes out every other factor out from his game.

Posted by Dhanvanth on (December 13, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

Just India wanted to win so they have demanded such a pitch! A pitch like Mumbai or Eden gardens India would run for cover:) politics full bcci and stubborn dhoni. He is really like a politician waiting for chances!

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 13, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

Out of 11 players , india always relying on Sehwag. That said he has to be the man and make india win. Play defensive for first 50 runs. Thats all. Play every ball like he did in srilanka and scored double century.he can if he wants to play that kinda style.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (December 13, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

I DISAGREE, though his prev articles might be fine, but this is completely BIASED towards ENG.Write cannot simply digest that all the big STEWARTS from ENG are in the hut.Where was he when Mumbai & Kolkatta pitch totally favoured ENG with BOUNCE in it.Ind might have played those games badly,but here they are to show their GRIT.Moreover,I have recently read comments from ENG dressing room that PITCH DOESNT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING WITH THE GAME,then why bother about the pitch.Play your game & try to win, if not then quietly level the series & leave.I'm sure ENG is gonna get bowled below 250 tom & IND are going to hit a massive score IRRESPECTIVE OF THE PITCH.MSD's intentions were clear from the very begin of this match, play aggressive,attack & win.Ind have nothing to loose here, its all ENG who should be bothered as they are presented with a GEM OF A CHANCE to WIN IN IND after MANY YEARS. GL to the cricket & plz stop writing Biased articles,Do it in your local newspapers.

Posted by nik241019 on (December 13, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

I dont think this is the pitch msd said he did not want. He said he didnt want belters were piles of runs could be made and no hep for bowlers meant no result possible.. But this pitch is anything but a belter though it doesnt hep bowlers that mucha s well ... Also based on first days play i think a result is probable.. as players have to be extremely dogged and have good patience and technique to ground out runs on this wicket.. sadly no one in the world has that skill set nowadays..to make tis match a draw..dravid is gone... but maybe,yeah. cook, kallis could do it... but v hav already got cook ,thru bad decision. So the way i see it , the match will be decided on how well the batsmen from both teams fare in the first innings .

Posted by Nampally on (December 13, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

India did a great job till 139 for 5. In the last hour the game seems to have slipped from them a bit. They need to strike early on Day 2 to limit England score to <250. The pitch is not batting friendly but is not too dissimilar to the Ahmadabad pitch where Sehwag & Pujara got their centuries. Hopefully they will play patiently to repeat this feat again. India needs a big score from all their batsmen to avoid playing the fourth innings. Lot has been said of Cook's LBW by the England writers while forgetting that Trott was LBW was disallowed when he was 7. To be honest Cook was unusually uneasy & had difficulty scoring runs. He looked outLBW because the ball was moving in beating his forward defence. India need to play hard on Day 2 & show thet they do have good batting & can score runs. Time for likes of Kohli, Pujara & Tendulkar to contribute big scores & Gambhir & Sehwag to give India a good start. I would even put Ashwin couple of notches up in the batting order! He led the way.

Posted by vakkaraju on (December 13, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

I can hear the excuses from the Indian Batsmen. The ball kept low. The ball stopped on me etc. This team we know had problems with swinging seaming conditions in England, hard bouncy wickets in Australia, now spinning tracks at home. Get ready to add slow and low pitches too. If England go past 300 then India will have problems with its impatient T20 batsmen.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

Please Sehwag is over rated based on his current form....I for one think England will win this test

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

I've always been proud of the pitches that have always been in Nagpur. The last test match held here against the Kiwis had an amazing pitch,which assisted everyone,the pacers,the spinners & the batsmen. Same in the one prior to that,Dale Steyn had wrecked fire here in Nagpur. But this is what one can call,the worst pitch ever to be made in India.

Posted by yoogi on (December 13, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

Man, England is going to kill the impatient IPL stars

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

Probably Dhoni has taken the right step to win this series and will be able to save his captaincy. Btw, this time curator heard his (MSD) word.. :-(

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

too bad for cricket - india losing moral grounds

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 13, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

Well said about WACA, Sid - infact all our grounds are exactly like that - something for all . That's the reason why we see cricket that is highly competitive back home !!

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 13, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

The first line of the article_ "It is often - rightly - said that a verdict on a pitch should not be delivered until Virender Sehwag has batted on it." (Where and when and whom says it). May be pitch curator of Kolkata said it. LAST line_ "Or Sehwag might prove us completely wrong." What a contradictory statement made by Monga. What kind of drivel is coming out of Mr. Monga's pen. What a biassed reporting, galmorizing the mediocre team after two whitewashes, and defeats, and many more defeats to come.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 13, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

The Indian bowlers are just moaning about the lack of turn in the pitch because their bowlers don't turn the ball much. England, meanwhile, have in Swann the long-established biggest turner of the ball in world cricket. Even he may find it tough here, though. We will have to see.

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 13, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

Well put Siddarth, as I've said recently, you are on great writing form at the moment. One of the problems India will have is that if they don't get the remaining wickets fast time will ebb away and England may learn from their mistakes for the third innings. At this rate, it'll take another umpiring error to get rid of Cook and it won't be easy taking 15 more wickets from here - unless the pitch deteriorates very, very quickly. Still anyone's game from this point though...

Posted by 2474 on (December 13, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Well handled article!!! So much better than the ones written by the english writers. Yes the pitch isnt the best and not the best advert for test cricket, but still there was a match played on it. Much better to concentrate on that rather than on the pitch and failings of umpire. I hope cricinfo realizes that it is so much better to have a subcontinent writer discuss about these low and slow pitches rather than have an englishman do them.

Posted by renegademike on (December 13, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

Inspite of the pitch being devoid of all the life and moisture Eng did loose 5 wickets. This pitch is going to give a result. which is what one wants from a pitch at the end of the day.

Posted by Hobbart on (December 13, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

That the pitch is too flat or sluggish can't be determined with just the first day of play. While it would be fair to say that it was a dull day of cricket, more interesting day comes up tomorrow with the prospect of a little more spin and the start of Indian first innings, which I feel will be the decider.

Posted by ShortGully on (December 13, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

Add to that, Without sehwag batted , You cant say Eng will bowl the last innnings.. :P

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

As it is there is very little spectator support for test cricket and if u dish out such wickets, the next time around it will only be the players, commentators, journalists and officials connected with organising the match who will be physically present at the venue. Nobody will even read a report of such a match. Terrible

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

The Pitch is not at all looks good.... Engalnd not reached 200 yet after playing 90+ overs... This pitch is very slow and the players like Sehwag and Pujara can be good at playing these conditions... I do not have confidence on others... Ashwin and Jadeja can perform well up to some extent in these conditions.. I feel England can score 300-320 runs till tea. Then it will be difficult for INDIA to bat on.. One session of Sehwag is very costly for Engalnd. If he stick to bat for 40 overs then there are chances that India can win this match...

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