India v West Indies, 3rd Test, Mumbai, 3rd day

A mortuary table for bowlers, and for Test cricket

Why is it that pitches that produce three-day results are scrutinised but ones that lead to dull draws are not?

S Aga

November 24, 2011

Comments: 72 | Text size: A | A

Whose game is it anyway? Three days of play at the Wankhede Stadium have seen just 13 wickets fall. For the bean counters that want to see five days of play, it's the ideal scenario. For anyone who wants to see a semblance of a contest between bat and ball, it's a reminder that Test matches in India these days usually don't offer such indulgences.

The same venue hosted a nail-biting Test match in 2004, when just over 200 overs of play saw India earn a 13-run victory over Australia. In Kanpur in 2008, another seesaw contest against South Africa saw India victorious in three days. Both pitches were severely criticised by match officials, despite producing results and exciting contests.

Needless to say, concrete-like slabs in the Middle East and at venues like Motera - they could double up as mortuary tables for bowlers - escape such harsh scrutiny. If you extend such perverse logic to another sport, it's like saying that a 12-round contest between two lumbering heavyweights who barely touch gloves is preferable to a hell-for-leather Hagler-Hearns fight that ends in four rounds.

Bowlers from both sides, and MS Dhoni, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the surfaces that this series has been played on. When informed of that, Gautam Gambhir suggested that they should just get on with it, that batsmen have to cope with green tops from time to time.

"You don't get five wickets or a century easily in Test cricket," he said.

That cliché has been exposed often enough in recent times, with pitches getting more and more placid around the world. The lowest completed score from a top-order batsman in this game is Virender Sehwag's 37. Everyone else has made at least 50.

Darren Bravo batted beautifully for his 166, but if you were to compare it with Michael Clarke's 151 in impossibly hard conditions at Newlands, you might think you were watching a different sport. Not one innings played so far is worthy of comparison with VVS Laxman's marvellous 69 in that 2004 game. And it's precisely because batsmen don't get tested often enough that you see the collapses that routinely occur when there's a hint of swing, seam movement or sharp turn.

With Sehwag not batting long enough to make a result a strong possibility, there's every likelihood this match will descend into nothing more than a statistical exercise. Something worthwhile will emerge from it only if the harsh sun succeeds in causing the pitch to crack and crumble a little over the final two days.

Gambhir seemed to think that it might happen. "Things change very quickly in India, especially on red soil. If we can make 550, we have two quality spinners to put some pressure on them and get a result."

We can only hope that the soil listens. If not, this match will join an inglorious list of recent no-contests that act as nails in Test cricket's coffin in this part of the world.

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by mars2009 on (November 25, 2011, 11:49 GMT)

@ Henrik Lovén - Agreed 100% - The rise of Indian cricket team and fall of pitches standard at same time. Need some investigator journalist to go through it.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

This match will draw because of sachin . track is made for his hunderd. otherwise this test also ends in 3 days . India lost one test win for sachin 100.

Posted by ultimatewarrior on (November 25, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

Why not ICC go for R&D on artificial pitches with a little bit of bounce and a little bit of turn and develop no. of similar pitches all around the world, so that all test matches can be some interesting ones and more importantly result oriented.....

Posted by mars2009 on (November 25, 2011, 11:44 GMT)

This was tailor made wicket just for SRT ton but in vain.

Posted by indianzen on (November 25, 2011, 11:17 GMT)

A test and a pitch sacrificed just expecting a ton from sachin? Even Sachin will not appreciate it....

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

his pitch was made like this only for sachin to score a hundred.. thats it.. n he missed out... what a shame... not for he missing out on hundred but for such a flat wicket. its just too sad.

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 25, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

Should we consider these flat tracks as a testing pitch for bowlers?

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 9:28 GMT)

it is a paradise for batsman... test cricket is changed now... people watching test cricket is just because results are coming now a days.. making such a batsman friendly wicket that a bowler gets a century .. then it must be horror dream for a bowler....i must say wickets like these are made only make some batting records.. not to entertain the viewer and bowler.... but one must think without a bowler you can't play cricket as you need someone to throw a ball towards you.....

Posted by here2rock on (November 25, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

What is wrong with BCCI, why they can not get professional curators to prepare decent tracks? Their methods go 30 years back. They need fast bouncy tracks like England, Australia and South Africa to challenge to the number 1 position. Tracks like these they will always be bullies at home and sitting ducks aboard. Where is the common sense in this? What kind of preparation is this for a tough Australian Tour? The whole series the tracks have been horrible. God save Indian cricket!

Posted by OutCast on (November 25, 2011, 8:53 GMT)

This whole series is set up for Indians pile of all the records... India is there to kill cricket and increasingly the empty seats are witnessing crickets nowadays... It is obvious that neither team is playing w/out a motive other than for their own fame and $$$... I can't swallow that someone like Ashwin score a century in a test match... man this is ridiculous...

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (November 25, 2011, 8:09 GMT)

Amidst this hoopla by Sachin fanatics and the absurd wicket by the curator to aid his century, team interest became secondary and it so happened that the young and talented visitors piled on nearly 600 runs on this batting paradise and India was staring down the barrel of follow-on. Thanks to Ashwin's batting heroics that we are saved from those blushes. How shameful the cricketing culture of our country can get? Sachin will be perceived as more and more repulsive, courtesy the raucous nature of his fanatics and the myopic approach of his fanatic curator. Shame! Also, one can clearly see the way he is turning down singles to his partners (VVS once again). This is poor cricket. How India is so secondary to so many Indians, especially to the ones like the curator, is just beyond me!

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 7:21 GMT)

The issue shouldn't be between having a pitch that favours entirely batsmen, or a pitch that favours entirely bowlers. Every test pitch should offer reward for quality play, some assistance for quick bowlers, especially early on, good bounce so that decent batting is rewarded, and some disintegration later in the test, to encourage spin bowlers.

Any pitch that fails to offers a bit to everyone should be seen as a slight failure. And pitches like this one, that give little reward to skillful bowling and therefore little challenge to batsmen, should not be acceptable.

Posted by dsig3 on (November 25, 2011, 7:16 GMT)

With the sort of tracks India has been producing over the last few years I would expect the roads in India must be very well maintained. You a certainly very good at making them.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 25, 2011, 7:07 GMT)

@Addy_pak. Do you know that green pitches will not survive in hot and humid indian conditions? It will dry up and will turn on last day...thus the team bowling first will get benefit of the pitch. You cannot bring the weather conditions from England or Australia here in India or Pak or SL or BAN!! I am not a fan of flat pitches like Vankhade but spinning pitches are not that bad and you must show guts to play on those wickets.:P

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 7:06 GMT)

This pitch was tailor made for Sachin to score his 100th international hundred.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 25, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

@1st_april. Why not? A youngster who picked 18+ wickets in debut and another one with 55 wickets in 13 matches are below par, isn't it? I just wonder about your cricket knowledge!!! shame!

Posted by SamRoy on (November 25, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

@SASANK360 Rank turners also test a batsman's mettle. A Kanpur dust bowl is as important for cricket as Perth/Barbados/Edbaston/Durban. Otherwise where is the challenge of batsmanship to combat spin? Every spinner is no Warne/Murali who can get lots of turn on hard wickets.

Posted by only_sehwag on (November 25, 2011, 6:16 GMT)

LOL...sachin misses out much for preparing a flat track...

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 4:47 GMT)

This is like a slower one. If a batsman knew it was coming, he would play the best shot on it. I don't see a problem with batting beauties once in a while. All the time would be a bore.

Posted by SASANK360 on (November 25, 2011, 4:06 GMT)

@The_Freakster. I agree with you.Because seaming and bouncing wickets test a batsman's mettle.But unsupportive wickets test the bowler's skill as he needs to depend on his variations and pace rather than relying on the wicket for help.

Posted by 1st_april on (November 25, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

Gautum Gambhir..."we have two quality spinners"...LOL....:-P..

Posted by SASANK360 on (November 25, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

Test Cricket is primarily a bowlers game. Bowlers can rule the game even if there is slightest support from the wicket. But an unproductive pitch like this will probably take 10-15 days for a result.This is why the wickets need to be bowler friendly. All the wickets,flat like this,should be banned. If the curators can't prepare bouncy pitches,they should prepare dusty and turning tracks which assist spinners and pace men who can use reverse swing late in the day. The bottom-line is that you can't get wickets on flat surfaces like this.Juicy and Turning wickets must be prepared to challenge any batsman.

Posted by 360review on (November 25, 2011, 3:47 GMT)

@Gary Williams, you sound more like green-pitch bully. I can easily counter argue that green and bouncy pitches (especially in England) should be banned not because of bowlers but because it ruins young batsman's careers.

Posted by rajatgupta_indianfan on (November 25, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

While I agree that this wicket is totally useless, I wont agree with a generic comment made by the author in the first paragraph that this wicket reminds of placid nature of tracks in India in general these days. Perhaps the author needs to go some decades back and check the outcomes of the numerous India vs Pakistan matches which used to end in lame draws in 80% cases. The wickets in India have become a lot more sporting as compared to what they used to be in 80's and early 90's, which is exactly opposite to what the writer seems to suggest

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 3:41 GMT)

'Wankhede pitch made for Sachin's 100th 100'! A grotesque suggestion, very laughable! Its quite apparent he will have to earn it; he has already made a little heavy weather of it. To gauge the extent of his nerves, yesterday he turned down 3 easily runnable singles to VVS. Shows an extremely obsessive desire to notch up the rarest of milestones. The crowd today is in for a bit of boredom, if not disappointment.

Sehwag is the only batsman capable of gripping the public attention. When he is on song, (which is quite often) the audience is spellbound. These days unfortunately, we have to make do with short sonatas in lieu of an expected Iliad.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

It is straight and simple. BCCI wants Sachin to score his 100th hundred in Mumbai and so this flat pitch for batsmen. No surprises for a normal cricket fan.

Posted by only_sehwag on (November 25, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

@Shwetank Banthia Bowlers have almost nothing on offer, which defeats the sole purpose of test match cricket..

The sole purpose of test match cricket is to let the selfish god get his mortal record

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 2:15 GMT)

Pitches like this should be banned. Not because they help Indian batsmen boost averages or because the ruin young bowlers careers. They should be banned because they will kill interest in TEST CRICKET in India.

Whether we like it or not the ICC is dependant to a large extent on India (perhaps a natural conclusion due to the fact that there are more cricket fans in India than anywhere else.) If these fans continue to see test cricket on pitches like this they will naturally see it as dull, boring and not worth spending their hard earned money on. Test cricket will then decline in this part of the world and this will be a great shame.

The pitch just needs to have enough in it to keep the pubilc interested and 13 wickets in 3 days isn't going to do it.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 1:59 GMT)

@ Kritika. The pitch is a road, nuff said. Bowlers have almost nothing on offer, which defeats the sole purpose of test match cricket, which is not to score 1,000 runs, but to take 20 wickets with batsmen tested to resist against it happening. I'm not saying that every deck around the world need be the same - in fact a variety of decks gives the game intricacy and character. But where do we draw the line? Pitches such as this can only be detrimental to the game, and a batsman's ability to score in conditions with even a hint of assistance for bowlers (case in point Australia's collapse in South Africa).

Posted by DesiCricketfan on (November 25, 2011, 1:00 GMT)

What in the world is going on no article on Rahul Dravid for 13000 runs? Why people hate Rahul Dravid? There was a note saying "Dravid reaches 13000 runs" and I just checked it has been removed too. Isnt being second highest run getter any acheivment? Is it all about Sachin's 100 and nothing about Rahul Dravid.

Posted by durhamd on (November 24, 2011, 23:44 GMT)

@Kritika A spinning pitch surely requires some bounce though? Ashwin said as much after the first day...

Posted by herodotus on (November 24, 2011, 21:17 GMT)

While this may not be an ideal pitch, nobody wants to see 3-day test matches either, which are often seen in pitches in Australia and South Africa. It might be useful to do something about those pitches. Also, pitches in India for a long time now have been producing excellent hard fought 4/5 day results, unlike the disastrous quick results in Australia, South Africa and England.

Take a look at series played in India over the last 2 decades and you will see the results. Frankly several countries have a hard time playing spin, and when they lose, they start complaining about the pitch

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 20:42 GMT)

How very true! There was a time not so very long ago when a score of 250 was about par for a test innings, 350 was a very good score and the best batsmen averaged around forty with only the truly exceptional such as Sunil Gavaskar, Viv Richards or Greg Chappell managing 50. These days every Jaques, Ricky and Kevin seem to average 50 and a team scoring less than 350 an innings is considered insufficient. With all due respect to the modern "greats", I doubt many of them would have reached an average of even 40 during the 1970s or 80s.

Posted by TCooper on (November 24, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

@ S Aga : I think you severly undermine a batting skill to negotiate spin in Indian conditions. About green tops -- no one in the world wants to see a side get bowled out for less than 100. Do prepare fast piched however do not prepare landmines. Remember the series in New zealand we used to play 10-15 years back with both dies in pavillion in a few hours and tests over in less than 3 days. That is not test cricket. A Mcgrath or a Wasim Akram never cares for whether he is bowling in India or in Australia. Bowling is a skill, do not unnecessarily give too much weightage to the pitch. You will drive fans further away from test cricket if sides get bowled out for a score of 80 or so. Be careful in what you wish for.

Posted by Addy_pak on (November 24, 2011, 19:52 GMT)

Hey guys !!! i have question with Indian Board..... why they always prepare Xtremly Flat deck for 5 day game even for one dayers... pitches like wankhede stadium.... '''At 80 years of age, he [the Eden Gardens curator] has got more life than this pitch.''' quoting Jeff Dunjon words yea at least they have to prepare deck which support a lil bit to bowling side... its make more excited most prominent form of cricket. test matches in SA, England and New Zealand are absolutely nail bitter....

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 19:15 GMT)

It is of course not an interesting wicket for those who loves exciting matches. Need not go far, just look at the last Eden Test- above 1200 runs with 4 centuries, and 27 wickets also. But here is an important point to note that, on this very flat pitch Ashwin took 5, including two openers, which will help the Indian selectors, who are not likely to take Harbhajan into the team back.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 24, 2011, 18:42 GMT)


Posted by maddy1986 on (November 24, 2011, 18:39 GMT)

well if test match cant able to get some crowd during this season then its purely fault of the BCCI for poor quality of pitches they made during the last newzealand tour of india even harbhajan can get twoo hundreds back to back to test match !!!! so BCCI need to insert some quality pitches for some quality cricket

Posted by 360review on (November 24, 2011, 18:04 GMT)

@S Aga, I have no clue on why you always had bias against Motera? There are several pitches around the world that bowlers heaven and batsmen have difficulty reaching even 50. It sounds like you are suggesting that test cricket should be all about bowlers getting 5+ wickets. Why is everyone writing about flat pitches but when Austraila were our for a low total against SA, cricinfo quickly changed the article from pitch problem to something else. It sounds like more BCCI bashers are getting they say.

Posted by Tigg on (November 24, 2011, 18:01 GMT)

@Gupta.Ankar Yes, other countries do produce high scoring draws. Lords frequently produces high scores, as do a lot of Aussie pitches. However, there is still always something for the bowlers be it in overhead conditions or grass in England or fast pace and bounce in Australia. In these cases the draws are simply two good batting performances/poor bowling performances rather than anyone and everyone scoring runs with only batting mistakes getting wickets. Look at the recent 23 in a day test. That was clearly a case of poor batting in helpful conditions. It wasn't a minefield. there was something in the air, something off the pitch and a host of poor shots. Amla and Smith showed that with a little application runs were there.

Posted by Tigg on (November 24, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

It's pitches like this that mislead people into thinking that India have the best batting line up in the world.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not picking on India, Sri Lanka also benefit from a flat-deck average boost. As did pakistan (although they were able to produce bowlers capable of taking the pitch out of the equation).

Pitches like this must be penalised.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

The ongoing Mumbai test is bad advertisement for test cricket. the need of the hour is sporting pitches either a turning one or the one with little bit of grass. I hope sachin scores his 100 ton tomorrow.but would be happier if it comes against a better opponent in demanding conditions

Posted by davetheclarinet on (November 24, 2011, 17:45 GMT)

Fully agree with the author, but one point of order...

The war that was Hagler v Hearns only lasted three rounds.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (November 24, 2011, 17:41 GMT)

People don't make a fool of yourself my making silly statements like Wankhede's pitch was made for sachin's 100th 100............or sachin is flat track bully.......

Posted by r1m2 on (November 24, 2011, 17:38 GMT)

Gautam Gambhir's comments totally makes sense. Because he has a poor record on faster, seaming and bouncier pitches. These are the pitches he enjoys batting on and he would have none of the bowler's complaints. Everyone looks out for their own advantages.

A match lasting all 5 days works better for the advertisers, and that's what ICC, BCCI and other boards rely on. So, it's tough that we as fans would prefer something exciting. Actually ideal situation is a match played on an exciting pitch with turning fortunes for all 5 days. But this is impossible to design that way. So many variables including weather and capabilities of the teams. So, best option from advertiser, ICC and board perspective is make flat pitches to increase chances of match lasting longer.

But I must point out one thing though, most pitches in Australia have been very flat in the last 10 years. However results come forth on those pitches by quality of the bowlers. Pakistan also falls in the same category.

Posted by cricchic on (November 24, 2011, 17:34 GMT)

For all the over optimistic Indian fans...get real.......... it is highly unlikely for India to win this test.........tomorrow is day 4..the have play catch up clear off the put up a reasonable total for W.I to chase.India already trails by 309 runs..even if they make 400 tomorrow providing that all wickets are will be a task..As I see it W.I are more n favour of winning or this will head to a dawr

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

Why are journalists hell bent on critisizing the Indian pitches? For gods sake India should play on its strength that is spinning pitches. Some say that India should make bouncy fast pitches else we will lose in Australia. Why don't you ask Australia or England to make spinning tracks because they are trash at playing spin? Why isn't the same said about these teams when they get thrashed on Indian pitches because they can't play spin! Where does all the skill of these England and Australian batsmen go? FYI, these so called Andersons and Johnsons get mauled all over park in India, so much so for their bowler assisting pictches at homes. If they can't take wickets, they don't have the skill. Sometimes one needs batsmen assisting pitches too.P.S- england couldn't even bat on these pitches. Lol. IMO, the pitch is fair.

Posted by butterhandsfingers on (November 24, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

Pfff, when Gautam Gambhir was confronted with competitive conditions, he cried off nearly the entire tour of England with "a headache". Joker

Posted by niraj13 on (November 24, 2011, 17:16 GMT)

I don't understand what's this fuss is all about. If the players, organizers and commentators want the pitch per their requirements, where is the challenge. I know this pitch is more favorable for the bat than the ball, but calling it a mortuary table seems a huge exaggeration. In all fairness, both sides missed fairly easy chances to dismiss batsmen. Had all those chances been converted, we would have had a different scoreline. And may be the same people blaming the pitch had different thoughts. You cannot expect to have a even contest between the bat and the ball every time a cricket game is played. Pitch is only one factor and there are several other variables that decide the outcome of the game. Finally, people who are suggesting that this pitch has been tailored for Sachin to get his century, I challenge them to score just 5 runs on this pitch :).

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 24, 2011, 17:00 GMT)

the thing with indian wickets its all boom or bust. maybe as a pom. and live in a country that has a fair share of rain. i think england and to a lesser extent sa make good cricket wickets. and think india has the sun and they do get great rivers of rain at certain times of the year. sun and water in equal measure should be able to produce similar types of wickets. in the present series the first two wickets were spin friendly and suited indian spinners. if you have your spinners on after 4 over then they cannot argue. and funny thing is as soon as india go 2 up u get a wicket like this. when india come to the uk ( apart from this year ) their dibbly dobbly medium pacers have done ok. u should be able to produce wickets with a good covering of grass with bounce and some sideways movement which on days 4 and 5 will take spin. with these types of wickets. that will improve your pace bowlers. and the same bowlers abroad can perform. dpk

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 24, 2011, 16:52 GMT)

India have been basically humiliated by the worst top six batting line up in world cricket. The criticism over the pitch is nothing more than what many have been saying about flat Indian pitches for years, and it's not hard to see why. One does question if the pitches are as flat as this, and individual players' career bating averages naturally inflated as a result, why do India continue to prepare wickets which are criticised again and again as having absolutely nothing in them for the bowlers?

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 24, 2011, 16:40 GMT)


Posted by Mastmale on (November 24, 2011, 16:23 GMT)

This pitch is a continuation of the pitches one gets in the Ranji Trophy where batsmen pile on the runs and teams fight for points over the 1st innings lead. And we are a batsmen loving country. When India is batting the crowds come pouring in. No wonder we don't produce good fast bowlers on surfaces that are so flat. The ones who are actually fast turn into medium paced trundlers (Munaf, RP etc.). And no wonder that our next generation batsmen like Yuvraj, Raina fail on more seam friendly conditions abroad.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 16:08 GMT)

This table was create for STs 100th 100

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (November 24, 2011, 16:05 GMT)

Its a shame really that sub-continental pitches get immediately criticized by journalists and ICC alike if they do not swing or produce wickets for fast bowlers.....

I would also like to remind the author that no one questioned the pitch at Newlands because it happened in SA and it aided swing bowling.....

Plenty of wickets outside the sub-continent produce big scoring draws, but are never highlighted...

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (November 24, 2011, 16:02 GMT)

2 test matches finished in less than 4 days. Now here is a batting pitch,and it's nail in coffin? huh! Nowadays there are more results compared to 10 years back,did anyone count nails in the coffin then?? Let the game continue and please don't regularly talk about it is dying :|

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

This pitch is "designed" solely to achieve SRT milestone... with or without the connivance of SRT... no matter test result... no matter the whitewash... no matter team's excellence... may the country win... may he fail to register the milestone here.

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (November 24, 2011, 15:53 GMT)

I have a strong feeling this placid wicket was dished out in Mumbai so the local boy Tendlya gets his milestone ..damn to the game or maybe that is the game :) With batting ego's inflated the boys set sail for Ozland to get duly walloped on bouncy and true wickets and get a cruel reality check. Why cannot BCCI muster enough heart to setup a true hard wicket .How much moddling and coddling has to be done to Dhoni and co's fragile ego? You cannot get a sporting wicket with batting in form, series already won, and playing at home ?If you cannot summon heart then you will never will. More of the same - beckons sadly.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 15:33 GMT)

Pitches this series have been worst.A dead Kotla wicket which cracked to dust on day 3,Eden wicket which suddenly became flat on day 4 and now this featherbed at Wankhade.Really killing Test Cricket.

Posted by ironmonkey on (November 24, 2011, 15:31 GMT)

Although I agree that the 2nd and 3rd Test have been exceedingly boring, it has to be said that the first test was quite a good contest. If the West Indies had had a stronger team, then they could very well have beaten India in conditions that more than suited the home side (track turning square on day one with 2 spinners in the side).

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

Why only laxman's 69? Sachin's 55 was more crisp as far as I remember.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

And then they ask why don't the Indians come to watch test matches! Test cricket is not dead but the Indians are sure trying to kill it.

Posted by Narkovian on (November 24, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

Sometimes wonder if cricket( real cricket that is) has a death wish, with lifeless wickets. Not to mention more generally, leaving the field when the floodlights are on, 11 overs an hour over-rates, constant delays whilst drinks or physios come on. Substitutes for no apparent reason , Umpteen lengthy decision reviews etc etc etc. What a bore.... sadly it is slowly going to die. People seem to have the attention span of a sparrow nowadays anyway. The great game is going to be gone before we know it, and "hit and giggle " will be all that's left. When I used to go to India in the 80/90s there were huge crowds watching Tests. Amazing atmosphere in the grounds. What a shame it has come to this.. you could count the crowd in the hundreds an many days. No desire to travel anywhere to watch the 20/20 rubbish personally. hey ho.. that's the modern world I guess ! Cheers/ All the best from an English fan.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 15:05 GMT)

Batsmen who are not able to fill their boots on such pitches, i.e., who are not able to make centuries should feel disappointed. I am no one to comment on the class of say a Gambhir, but he has gone without a test century for close to two years now. Sehwag too needs a score. To see these players give it away after getting a start is a bit of a disappointment. As far as bowlers are concerned, I guess great bowlers would be able to transcend dead conditions provided by such pitches in much the same manner as great batsmen are able to transcend difficult batting conditions. Indian bowlers have now allowed a West Indian batting unit to score more than 450 runs in two consecutive innings. That to me is a statement on the competency/class of this Indian bowling unit. How many times did a feeble batting unit score more than 400 in consecutive innings against the West Indian attack of 80s or the Australian team of the 90s/2000s, easy batting conditions notwithstanding??!!

Posted by   on (November 24, 2011, 14:54 GMT)

I guess this pitch prepared for Sachin's 100.

Posted by Rakim on (November 24, 2011, 14:52 GMT)

Run-fests. Typical Indian pitches, nothing new

Posted by Nampally on (November 24, 2011, 14:45 GMT)

While I agree that the match seems to be heading towards a draw, Indian batsmen can still make things happen. On Day 4 Sachin's century will be the main event. If he gets it then the next big event is Kohli & Dhoni's batting. Can they score fast centuries? Both are top ranked ODI players who can flay the bowling. If these 2 play long innings, India can add 450 to the present total on Day 4. On day 5, India need to bat till lunch and hope for a result if the pitch breaks down. But cricket is a game of glorious chance. India can easily surrender a first innings lead or even follow on if they cannot score 100 more runs! However this scenario is unlikely because of placid wicket. The ball is turning a bit but very slowly. An odd ball is keeping low. India lost their way on Day 3 when Sehwag did not play a big innings. Because of his fast S/R India was capable of at least 400 instead of 280. That was the only scenario for possible result. Present odds appear to be on a Drawn game.

Posted by KarachiKid on (November 24, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

Keep on lamenting these dead pitches...things are not going to change. Indian fans love their batting maestros..Authorities will never come up with sporting wickets. And if they ever do it, the pithc will be reported because only 800 runs in total could be scored in 4 innings. I think its about time such outrageously placid tracks are reported by bowlers for being unsporting and becoming a major reason test cricket dies in near future.

Posted by Beazle on (November 24, 2011, 14:41 GMT)

Another flat sub continent wicket- a point that should always be remembered when considering the worth of modern batsmen as opposed to those who in the past had to bat without protection on uncovered wickets.

Posted by The_Freakster on (November 24, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

I think the writer is being unfair to batsmen in saying "Not one innings played so far is worthy of comparison with VVS Laxman's marvellous 69 in that 2004 game". Usually, the nature of a pitch is judged by the scores made on it. Critics overlook the fact that had catches been caught and chances taken, the scoreline could have been very different. Bravo was dropped on 33; India could have been 5 wickets down had W.Indies been tighter in the field today. Why are batsmen censured for scoring runs on "flat tracks", while bowlers are lauded for taking wickets on helpful wickets? Let bowlers prove themselves on wickets like these, that will be a true test of their mettle. You don't want to see teams being bowled out for 47 too often, or there won't be much cricket to watch any more!

Posted by KKNIAZI on (November 24, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

These Placid track was designed, in my opinion, to give Tendulkar a chance to score his 100th 100 in his home ground.

For Tendulkar, there's nothing better then scoring hundredth hundred on the ground he grew up playing cricket.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (November 24, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

Sachin now has the record of 63 fifties equaling Allan Border. we dont want him to hold that record, go ahead and score 100th 100 tomorrow... If he out tomorrow first ball, he will have a record. If he scores 100, he will have record again. whenever this man comes to bat, records are creating again and again!

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