IPL news May 22, 2011

Teams should have a say in pitches - Jennings

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ray Jennings, the Royal Challengers Bangalore coach, has said home teams in the IPL should be able to prepare pitches to their liking but there should be limits on far they can go.

"If I have Dale Steyn, I can't prepare a pitch with long grass [ because] then, I am going over the top," Jennings told reporters in Bangalore on Saturday. "If you prepare wickets that are so slow, you are again going over the top. There should be boundaries. There should be limits between the maximum and minimum."

Jennings' comments come in the wake of the US$50,000 fine the BCCI imposed on Shane Warne for his public spat with Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) secretary Sanjay Dixit over changing of pitches in Jaipur.

According to Jennings, weaker teams are more likely to want to play on "unrealistic wickets", because that gives them a better chance of beating a good side. "If you prepare a wicket that is unpredictable then there is a chance of the weaker side winning," Jennings said. "The [Rajasthan] Royals have a better win ratio at home because the pitch there is slower than anywhere else. Warne is actually quiet smart and he packs the team with spinners and all of them are very different. It is important to use home advantage but the question is, to what extent?"

Bangalore are already through to the playoffs and while Jennings approved of the new knockout system, he said playing three games in four days was unfair and that teams will have to be careful to conserve their energy in order to cope. "You [have] got to save energy with the way you travel and ensure there is no disturbance from the public in the hotel. It is important to protect their energy and protect their frustration level; the frustration level in a lost tour is very high. People get tired quickly because of the fatigue level and extra pressure off the field."

When asked for his opinion on the local Karnataka talent in the team, Jennings chose to respond with a criticism of the structure of Indian domestic cricket that does not put players under pressure on a regular basis. "A lot of cricket is played on flat wickets and there is not much pressure. You have got to make sporting wickets. In a four-day game, if you don't get a hundred, then it is considered that you batted badly. You don't do enough fielding under pressure and so when the pressure is there, you don't take the catch.

"There is talent in India but make that talent play under huge amount of pressure and then you will see the results."