India v Sri Lanka, 1st Test November 20, 2009

Dead pitches killing Tests in India

Why mouth platitudes about the sanctity of Test cricket when matches are played on pitches designed to drag the game off to the post-mortem table?
  shares 160

Why aim for dominance when you can have somnolence? Why bother supporting the idea of a Test championship when you're doing your best to kill off the oldest form of the game? Why mouth platitudes about the sanctity of Test cricket when matches are played out in front of paltry crowds on pitches designed to drag the game off to the post-mortem table?

Comparisons may be odious at times, but in certain cases they're extremely instructive. Consider this. Over the past five years, 27 Tests have been played in Australia. Only two have been drawn. In South Africa, only three of 29 games did not end decisively. In that same period, Sri Lanka have hosted 22 games. Only four have gone the distance. And India? Ahmedabad was the 24th match in the last 60 months, and the 11th to end in a draw.

There's nothing quite as unique, or as nailbiting, as the exciting draw. The Oval, 1979, Old Trafford, 2005 and Cardiff, 2009 will never be forgotten. In the first instance, all four results were possible heading into the final over. Sadly for the Indian cricket fan, though, some of these 11 draws have been among the worst games ever played, mindless batting exhibitions on surfaces where the bowlers were neutered the moment the new ball lost its shine.

Back in 2004, Green Park in Kanpur, which has a reputation for dire games, hosted South Africa. After Andrew Hall sleepwalked his way to 163 in 588 minutes, India, with the exception of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, went on a go-slow of their own. By the time the match was called off, those that did bother to turn up were probably wishing they were Rip van Winkle.

The nadir was reached when Pakistan toured India in 2007. After an exciting and low-scoring opening Test at the Kotla in New Delhi, Eden Gardens and the Chinnaswamy Stadium hosted games where mountains of runs were scored and the bowlers were flogged mercilessly. Anil Kumble injected some excitement into his home Test by bowling seam-up, but that apart, those were two matches that brought back awful memories of the years when India-Pakistan games meant safety-first tactics on featherbeds and two sides paralysed by fear of defeat.

A unique hat-trick of deplorable pitches was completed in Chennai a few months later, as Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla and Sehwag booked in for bed, breakfast and then some. Sehwag scored the fastest triple-century ever, but even when the teams mercifully shook hands on the final day, the pitch looked good enough to last another week.

Who then do we blame for these appalling surfaces, these games of batting practice? Dhiraj Parsana will be used for target-practice after this, but how much independence do India's curators really have? It's not as though Ahmedabad can't produce decent pitches. There was a generous smattering of grass 18 months ago when India were routed for 76 on the first morning, but South Africa, with AB de Villiers scoring a double-century, still managed a huge total in a three-day finish.

When Sri Lanka last toured, the game went to the last morning. There was a superb century from VVS Laxman, and wickets for both pace bowlers and spinners. Mystifyingly though, Clive Lloyd, the ICC's match referee, complained about the surface to his bosses, reinforcing the view that there's a deep-rooted prejudice against spin-friendly pitches.

The ICC, though, can only issue guidelines. It's the home board that's responsible for pitch preparation. The BCCI has a television deal that's on the basis of days of coverage. The broadcaster doesn't shell out for a certain number of series, it pays for a fixed number of days. Three-day finishes like the one in Mumbai in 2004, or the Kanpur game last year, are terrific entertainment for fans but not good news for the TV companies. To ensure that they don't frown, the paying public has to put up with snore draws.

Over the past five years, 27 Tests have been played in Australia. Only two have been drawn. In South Africa, only three of 29 games did not end decisively. In that same period, Sri Lanka have hosted 22 games. Only four have gone the distance. And India? Ahmedabad was the 24th match in the last 60 months, and the 11th to end in a draw

There's nothing wrong with a surface being batsman-friendly initially, as long as it deteriorates over the course of a game. There have been some great finishes in Chennai (the Tied Test and 2001 were ones for the pantheon) and elsewhere, but at the Motera on Friday, you had to endure the pathetic sight of the game's leading wicket-taker, Muttiah Muralitharan, being reduced to trundler status. The bowlers' footmarks aside, there was barely an indentation on the pitch. It might as well have been marble from the quarries in Rajasthan.

Comments about declining Test-match crowds in India often ignore reality. People talk of the good old days when thousands turned up to watch drab draws all across the country. The England series of 1981-82 was especially devoid of excitement. But back then, entertainment options were few and far between. Most towns didn't even have access to television. You took what you got.

Now, with cable TV bringing every kind of international sport into your living room, why would you stomach mediocrity? When different kinds of entertainment are on offer, why drag yourself to a stadium to watch eight wickets fall in three days, and not one of them to an especially good delivery?

Whenever the IPL, which has the board's blessing, introduces a new innovation or an expansion to 10 teams and 94 games, we hear the word "entertainment". A few days ago, someone involved with marketing the league appeared on TV and announced that cricket had now become "prostitution". If that individual was speaking on behalf of the establishment, then it should surprise no one that Test cricket is being treated like a two-dollar hook-up in a dingy room with a lone lightbulb.

This is a series where the No. 1 ranking is at stake. You'd think that results mattered. But while Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka leave little to chance as they pursue that ambition, India are content with being world leaders: at signing TV deals and producing bog-standard pitches.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY pankajkumarsingh on | November 24, 2009, 18:28 GMT

    @Grind1NSW1into1dirt: You are another commentator that gets on my never. Alex and yourself should launch a Sachin bashing website. It'd be good for you and a lot of good for us. So, out of 19 100s that Sachin hit, you want to take away 15? So, a guy capable of hitting 24 100s around the world is good for only 4 100s at home???

  • POSTED BY pankajkumarsingh on | November 24, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    @Alexk400 - Are you out of your mind? Sangakara could've offered a draw but Tendulkar would've just said a plain "NO". Why the need to beg? And Sangakara need not have addressed Tendulkar's begging. He could've just asked his bowlers to pluck Tendulkar's wicket. Why would Tendulkar score first 80 runs and beg for the last 20?

  • POSTED BY Woody111 on | November 24, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    Well said, Dileep; very brave too. It's not only in India but West Indies as well. An odd pitch here or there that acts as a road is excusable but when a whole series is dominated by them test cricket suffers. It always has to be a fair balance between bat and ball. It could be said that any particular country has certain style pitches - this is fine. When you go to NZ you know pitches will be greener and often teams winning the toss field first. India will have slower pitches that attract turn - again this is fair. But this element of local conditions has always promoted the best rising to the occasion. A good batsman can make a ton on a raging turner or green deck, and likewise a bowler can extract extra bounce or movement on the Adelaide Oval. But when you create pitches that could last for weeks and give bowlers absolutely nothing on the 5th day something is very wrong.

  • POSTED BY Grind1NSW1into1dirt on | November 23, 2009, 2:32 GMT

    As far as I can see India is ruining Test Cricket. They have been the ones creating batting paradises for years, especially when SR Tendulkar has been playing. It is quite obvious what India are up to in that regard. I reckon you can minus at leat 15 Test Centuries off his record because of it.The bastardisation of cricket - Although England invented 20/20 I don't think they intended to have that form of the game promoted as much as it is now.. If India want to pay millions to players for 6 or 7 weeks work then fine, just don't expect the rest of the world to follow this hit and giggle rubbish. I am concerned when someone like Chris Gayle comes out and says this is the future of cricket ?? What a joke, Gayle should move to Mumbai and take up Indian citizenship if that's what he thinks. Indian fans would love him.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | November 23, 2009, 1:16 GMT

    in regards to dwindling indian crowds for home tests, prehaps they could look at limmiting the grounds that host tests to the bigger centres. from watching tests in india on tv. cities such as chenni, mumbai, bangalore, new dehli and kolcutta still get plenty of people to games but venues such as mohali seem to offer spectators little escape from the sun which must effect spectator comfort and would deter people from going i would wager. that coupled with the distance from city centres some of these stadiums are being built are too far away eg nagpur making it hard to get too and from the match. this is just a guess but i just dont buy into that in a cricket loving country like india whos national team has never had a better chance at being number 1 in the world in tests, that its supporters have just lost interest in the longer game? surly the tv figures still do well!?

  • POSTED BY paramthegreat on | November 22, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    for the people who thinks that this Tendulkar ton was extremely special...IT WASNT...noone is even talking bout it...if Prasanna Jayawardena can make 150+, then surely u expect someone like Tendulkar to do so as wel....as it is , it was one of the most boring and lifeless innings i ever saw from Tendulkar. And I m indian, btw and I was rooting for an Indian win til day 2 and then from day 4 , I was hoping for a new pitch:P

  • POSTED BY CricFan78 on | November 22, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    Xolile your stats clearly shows that Ponting has won lot of matches due to Mcgrath and Warne in his team

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | November 22, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    By the way - here is the list for centuries scored in Test matches won: 1. Ponting 27 2. Waugh 25 3. Bradman 23 3. Hayden 23 … 7. Tendulkar 16 … 22. Dravid 10 … 61. Gavaskar 6

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | November 22, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    I disagree with the heading of this article. Dead pitches are not killing Tests in India; dead pitches are keeping Test cricket alive in India. Following the latest match against Sri Lanka, here is the Top 3 for centuries scored in drawn Test matches: 1. Gavaskar 22 2. Tendulkar 18 3. Dravid 16 That's why the BCCI instructs groundsmen to produce flat pitches. The BCCI knows very well that the millions only switch on their TVs, radios and computers when Tendulkar bats. So they want to make sure that he bats for as long as possible. It's about money. And Tendulkar at the crease on his way to another 100 is serious business.

  • POSTED BY pradeep_dealwis on | November 22, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    what the greedy administrators don't understand is that TV deals would go way when TV companies find out that spectators are not watching these boring contests...a lot more spectators will watch an absorbing test match that will end in 3 1/2 days than they'd watch a 5 day bore...and there's more value for advertisers in an exciting game where people actually PAY ATTENTION!!..

  • POSTED BY pankajkumarsingh on | November 24, 2009, 18:28 GMT

    @Grind1NSW1into1dirt: You are another commentator that gets on my never. Alex and yourself should launch a Sachin bashing website. It'd be good for you and a lot of good for us. So, out of 19 100s that Sachin hit, you want to take away 15? So, a guy capable of hitting 24 100s around the world is good for only 4 100s at home???

  • POSTED BY pankajkumarsingh on | November 24, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    @Alexk400 - Are you out of your mind? Sangakara could've offered a draw but Tendulkar would've just said a plain "NO". Why the need to beg? And Sangakara need not have addressed Tendulkar's begging. He could've just asked his bowlers to pluck Tendulkar's wicket. Why would Tendulkar score first 80 runs and beg for the last 20?

  • POSTED BY Woody111 on | November 24, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    Well said, Dileep; very brave too. It's not only in India but West Indies as well. An odd pitch here or there that acts as a road is excusable but when a whole series is dominated by them test cricket suffers. It always has to be a fair balance between bat and ball. It could be said that any particular country has certain style pitches - this is fine. When you go to NZ you know pitches will be greener and often teams winning the toss field first. India will have slower pitches that attract turn - again this is fair. But this element of local conditions has always promoted the best rising to the occasion. A good batsman can make a ton on a raging turner or green deck, and likewise a bowler can extract extra bounce or movement on the Adelaide Oval. But when you create pitches that could last for weeks and give bowlers absolutely nothing on the 5th day something is very wrong.

  • POSTED BY Grind1NSW1into1dirt on | November 23, 2009, 2:32 GMT

    As far as I can see India is ruining Test Cricket. They have been the ones creating batting paradises for years, especially when SR Tendulkar has been playing. It is quite obvious what India are up to in that regard. I reckon you can minus at leat 15 Test Centuries off his record because of it.The bastardisation of cricket - Although England invented 20/20 I don't think they intended to have that form of the game promoted as much as it is now.. If India want to pay millions to players for 6 or 7 weeks work then fine, just don't expect the rest of the world to follow this hit and giggle rubbish. I am concerned when someone like Chris Gayle comes out and says this is the future of cricket ?? What a joke, Gayle should move to Mumbai and take up Indian citizenship if that's what he thinks. Indian fans would love him.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | November 23, 2009, 1:16 GMT

    in regards to dwindling indian crowds for home tests, prehaps they could look at limmiting the grounds that host tests to the bigger centres. from watching tests in india on tv. cities such as chenni, mumbai, bangalore, new dehli and kolcutta still get plenty of people to games but venues such as mohali seem to offer spectators little escape from the sun which must effect spectator comfort and would deter people from going i would wager. that coupled with the distance from city centres some of these stadiums are being built are too far away eg nagpur making it hard to get too and from the match. this is just a guess but i just dont buy into that in a cricket loving country like india whos national team has never had a better chance at being number 1 in the world in tests, that its supporters have just lost interest in the longer game? surly the tv figures still do well!?

  • POSTED BY paramthegreat on | November 22, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    for the people who thinks that this Tendulkar ton was extremely special...IT WASNT...noone is even talking bout it...if Prasanna Jayawardena can make 150+, then surely u expect someone like Tendulkar to do so as wel....as it is , it was one of the most boring and lifeless innings i ever saw from Tendulkar. And I m indian, btw and I was rooting for an Indian win til day 2 and then from day 4 , I was hoping for a new pitch:P

  • POSTED BY CricFan78 on | November 22, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    Xolile your stats clearly shows that Ponting has won lot of matches due to Mcgrath and Warne in his team

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | November 22, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    By the way - here is the list for centuries scored in Test matches won: 1. Ponting 27 2. Waugh 25 3. Bradman 23 3. Hayden 23 … 7. Tendulkar 16 … 22. Dravid 10 … 61. Gavaskar 6

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | November 22, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    I disagree with the heading of this article. Dead pitches are not killing Tests in India; dead pitches are keeping Test cricket alive in India. Following the latest match against Sri Lanka, here is the Top 3 for centuries scored in drawn Test matches: 1. Gavaskar 22 2. Tendulkar 18 3. Dravid 16 That's why the BCCI instructs groundsmen to produce flat pitches. The BCCI knows very well that the millions only switch on their TVs, radios and computers when Tendulkar bats. So they want to make sure that he bats for as long as possible. It's about money. And Tendulkar at the crease on his way to another 100 is serious business.

  • POSTED BY pradeep_dealwis on | November 22, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    what the greedy administrators don't understand is that TV deals would go way when TV companies find out that spectators are not watching these boring contests...a lot more spectators will watch an absorbing test match that will end in 3 1/2 days than they'd watch a 5 day bore...and there's more value for advertisers in an exciting game where people actually PAY ATTENTION!!..

  • POSTED BY Shridhar_Malur on | November 22, 2009, 2:54 GMT

    Nice article which conveniently ignores the "elephant in the room" (a phrase particularly popular in Indian cricket). It is evident that these pitches are made with the active collaboration and connivance of the BCCI and Lalit Modi with their megalomaniac designs to kill off test cricket and make 20-20 the only form of cricket played all over. So while we are bursting our spleens reading and writing pithy but ineffective articles, the Demon King and his cohorts are having a good laugh and planning newer ways of making money and killing test cricket with the next round of the IPL circus

  • POSTED BY LADA50 on | November 22, 2009, 2:49 GMT

    Well said Duleep. There has not been a single exciting moment in the match except Telundarkar's century. Just love to see the guy bat. I feel sorry for the bowlers who are unfortunately at the hands of the cash cows of BCCI. Thet are killing test cricket. How cwn we get rid of these fellows? Any smart ideas!!

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | November 22, 2009, 2:00 GMT

    i dislike the comments about changing the format of test cricket. These people are probably the same people who complain that one day cricket is too formulaic and too boring. Test cricket is in good form around the world, Australia, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka are getting great crowds. Just because India are having problems doesn't mean we all have to change.

  • POSTED BY ArchCroydon on | November 21, 2009, 22:43 GMT

    Hi Dileep you have done a good reserch and it is very obvious to spot the trend in the indian pitches. What i donot understand that why do curators not have independence. I know for a fact that daljeet singh had that freedom at Mohali few years ago when i was there and he used to boast about it as well. I would like to say that if a test match is drawn as tamely as this one has been then assocition should not get match for next 5 years and to complement Ravi shastri's suggestion tests should be given to smaller towns with a gurrantee of a sporting wickets I hope Green park behave as it used to be in Gavaskar and Vishawanath's time Good Luck Well written article though Well Done!!!!

  • POSTED BY The_Warrior on | November 21, 2009, 22:37 GMT

    It seems that there are a fair few posters who are calling for drastic changes to the test match format. I think it can be universally agreed upon that this track is largely to blame for the drabness of this draw (Murali's bite has not dimmed so much that he can't take a wicket on the 5th day on a normal pitch...). Before we get to the convoluted methods (e.g. restricting overs per innings) to force results, why don't we start with getting better pitches, then see if a) more pleasing test matches result and b) if this gets bums back in seats for tests. If that doesn't work, sure, it will be time for drastic measures - but let's be sensible first!

  • POSTED BY cricinfo1234567 on | November 21, 2009, 16:39 GMT

    Dear D.Nagarajan from 1971-1989 (your so called golden age fast bowling and golden age of spin bowling and goldenage of all rounders etc……) there have been 458 match played out of which 252 had results (that,s 55%). But from 2000 onwards there have been 906 matches played out of which 684 had results (that's 75%). Even when you exclude matches played by Bangladesh and Zimbabwe the percentage is still an eycatching 65%. Although every one says it's a batsmen game when you look at it in a different angle it's actually a bowler's game. Think of it this way there are 11 players trying to take out 1 batsman. So you calculate the odds The only help a batsmen is getting from the pitch but when you compare a bowler they are armed with the new ball, the fielders, weather factors, some times the pitches what else do you need….. So I think it is fare to have a batsmen pitch once in a way to remind bowlers that they'll have to work hard for wickets

  • POSTED BY KasunD on | November 21, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    Very True :In time we have to get people more intrested in test cricket after a great batting Display by both team on first 3 day's with scoring Around 4 runs per over if we cant get a result because of dead pitch is absolutely nothing. And we have to talk about our great player sachin. It was a good thing hapen that the world to Know that he is going for personal tragets only to continue the match to score century. He was not a successfull captain because of he always wants to achive personal targets. Out of his 160 tests has he been able to win 50% of matches for the country? I hope and pray Rickey will be overa take this no of hundreds before sachin retire from test cricket. Dont play for personal achive ments play for results.

  • POSTED BY venkatt0018 on | November 21, 2009, 15:58 GMT

    There cannot be a more accurate article conveying the clearcut agenda of the bcci to kill test cricket once and for all in this country. Even well respected and knowledgable personalities like Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, have now become part of the establishment and are willing partners in crime, turning a blind eye regarding the shameful pitches being prepared for the test matches in india for the last six to seven years. Excellent article, keep it up, Dileep. venkatachalam, tiruppur, tamilnadu

  • POSTED BY IPL_is_Thrash on | November 21, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    This Indian Cricket Team and BCCI is completely focussed on IPL. They lack skill, inspiration, motivation and fitness to play Test Cricket. These curators, coaches, Cricket officials and BCCI officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is thrashed Team India is not going to perform well in other tournaments. IPL is completely meaningless and obsolete Tournament. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch between Countries unlike IPL which is between mixture teams. Test Cricket is ultimate to watch on sportive wickets.

  • POSTED BY mohashin_reza on | November 21, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    As long as earning money is the aim of BCCI nothing is going to change.

  • POSTED BY Lennon_Marx on | November 21, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    Hear. Hear Dileep. At long last someone is shedding a light on the massive problem that is pitches in India (though the same could be applied to pitches in recent years from the West Indies). I would however argue that it's not just tests that have suffered from very poor pitches, the number of ODI pitches in certain parts of India especially (though most countries are guilty of this) that produce unnecessarily high run fests to me has long been a concern for me, and the lack of help for fast bowlers is particularly perplexing as you could argue in recent years the depth in pace bowling stocks has been a key strength in India's rise away from home. You are also right in pointing out what I have noticed so often- players and officials complain so often about the road like state of pitches and yet when one provides even the slightest bit too much assistance for bowlers (especially spinners) there's uproar from every batsman in sight. Who'd want to be a curator? You obviously can't win!

  • POSTED BY santosh.sampath on | November 21, 2009, 13:20 GMT

    I think organisers tried their best to maintain less crowds. Why would any one start a test match on a Monday morning!!!

  • POSTED BY kaarthik9925 on | November 21, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    please administrators make some strict rules for preparing pitches .we want a pitch which can assist bowlers as wellas batters .even if u see ahmedabad test people wre cming to watch cricket.but we need pitches like at perth ,jo'burg etc. we want lively pitches or green top. we mind even dustbowls but not batting beuety. the result oriented test cricket is good for future of the game

    I'M A PURIST

  • POSTED BY spinkingKK on | November 21, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    The pitches are so batsmen friendly everywhere. This so called "Good pitches" are also batsmen friendly. I think this developments pitch making has to be blamed. Lets have those under prepared and dust bowls back on. That way, it will be a true test of batsmanship and the Test matches will become the highest form of cricket. As it stands, my mother can score a century on these pitches and all the twenty20 cricketers can just come and play test cricket and make 1000 runs in a day. At least, they should put lots of grass on the pitch so that it will atleast aid the fast bowlers. But, the administors are more conerned about making the game more batsmen friendly. I wouldn't be surprised if they bring on the legside wide rule and free hit in test cricket to make it even worse for the bowlers. In my opinion, they should add an extra stump (4 stumps) in test cricket if the pitches are going to be like this.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | November 21, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    For those that are suggesting certain number of overs for a test match: there is a difference between test cricket and limited-overs cricket, be it ODI, T20 or six overs match. Limited overs cricket is about maximizing 'runs' to the certain amount of time(overs) allocated. A result in terms of win or loss is the focus. It means, in order to get the result, players are free to play in ways that do not represent them. On the other hand, tTest cricket is all about testing the complete ability of a player: patience, technique, application of talents. It is not always about producing a result in terms of win or loss. That is why some drawn tests are also that much attractive. From that perspective test cricket pitches should NOT be focused on providing advantage to bowlers or batsmen. It should be a fair pitch, where a player with true cricketing ability should be the crowd-puller.

  • POSTED BY bingorighton on | November 21, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    people like Smaamdiu are abundant. wake up smaamdiu , cricket is a team game of 11 players. this is not TENNIS where u say a player hasnt won a grandslam for his country. see the career stats of kallis and ponting as compared to sachin. sachin has faced the likes of better bowlers all his life. batting in last 4-5 years has become so much easier coz of great bowlers of era retiring and pitches and rules and also GEARS making it easy for batsmen to score runs. KALLIS and ponting are piling runs in their latter half of career, when scoring 55 average is no big deal. same 4-5 years sachin struggled mostly due to his injuries. NO PART of stats will ever prove how great a player sachin is. and even every single stat points out even more towards greatness of SRT. only LARA came closer to sachin's greatness. but LARA had not even 5% burden of expectations as compared to sachin. and yet he had problems facing such expectations.

  • POSTED BY KingofDice on | November 21, 2009, 11:56 GMT

    to zimbrowski, right on dude!! that'd definitely give some incentive to prepare some decent pitches, though what if its two draws due to the heroics of the last man in, just scrapin by, like i forget which match it was in the ashes? but definitely behind that idea man, especially in india or pakistan...i just read elsewhere that india has some 11 of the last 20 tests without a result...plain horrible, especially if you look at australia or even sri lanka where less than half that has been drawn in the same time. horrendous

  • POSTED BY D.Nagarajan on | November 21, 2009, 11:39 GMT

    My reply to cricinfo1234567

    Test matches boring in the 1970's and 80's!!!!! Is that a joke or what? The golden age of fast bowling.-List too long!!! Golden age of spin bowling-Our Quartet The Golden age of the greatest all rounders.-No need to name them I hope The finest players to have graced the game-Sir Viv, Sunny, Viswanath, Zaheer Abbas,Chappells,Lloyd,Greenidge, Kallicharan,Tony Greig,Boycott.... Lets compare the above with today............ not much!!! Variety in test cricket-Pitches for batsmen?- I think pitches in ODI and T20 are already made for them spare the tests at least??? The issue on draws is limited to the 1981-82 test series and the post 1982-83 series between India and Pakistan and pre completion of the 1987 series. Unfortunately most of it is in India only!!!! I can say what is boring- the supposed perception that cricket fans want more 6's and 4's. The fact is cricket is at its best only when its an even contest between bat and ball.

  • POSTED BY muthu170383 on | November 21, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    I agree fully with the author.I want one thing to remember.Already speculations are going on,like future of the cricket will be 20-20.If we didnt get any results means then test cricket may be in danger.We have to encourage bowler friendly wickets in order to get results in test match cricket.Because test match cricket is the TRUE CRICKET.Even if u dont get results mean players also disappointed.Thats why when we tour New Zealand,Australia,England our batsmen didnt get the answer.For the 3 test match series atleast 2 must be played on bowling friendly.

  • POSTED BY kolumum on | November 21, 2009, 11:34 GMT

    Sir, I think instead complaining about pitches examine the decline in the quality of bowling. The West Indian greats like Hall, Marshall, Holding, the great Australians like Gillespie and Mcgrath (Anyone care to remember the spells of Mallet and Benaud in India and the batsmen that they bowled against were not poweder puff either against quality spin), bowlers like Imran Khan, and Wasim Akram, Alan Donals (and even Klusener) have all bowled magnificent spells in India (in similar "dead pitches"). You must know that some of the greatest spells of Prasanna and Bedi have come putside of the subcontinent. At least i did not hear too much about those fellows complaining about poor quality pitches at Perth etc. It is not all about pitches but about insipid bowlers. It takes that extra something to bowl in Indian conditions. All these greats had it.

  • POSTED BY cracketer_pedro on | November 21, 2009, 11:11 GMT

    Play test cricket in limited overs format for 4 days (let's call limited test cricket…) Each team can bat maximum 180 overs in 2 innings, team can declare the first innings at any time or get all out or play full 180 overs (then no batting 2nd) Always try to have a result except for a tie or abandonment, if rain or any interruption use modified D/L kind of rule for deciding reduced no. of overs. No restriction on bowling or fielding, keep as it is and also other rules like follow-on etc. Make 2 divisions (1st and 2nd) each with 8 nations. Every season, each nation will play 2 matches with each other, one at home and one away (for each nation it will be 14 matches for max 56 days…) There will be a point table system for each season. After the end of every season, the bottom team in 1st division will be relegated to 2nd division and top team in 2nd division will be promoted to 1st division for next season. If a tie in the point table, away win should be taken as an advantage.

  • POSTED BY blackerthanyourhate on | November 21, 2009, 11:00 GMT

    While flat pitches may result in boring test matches..lets not forget this was the same ground when india were bowled all out for 70 in the last test match against south africa...if bowlers like siddle and johnson had bowled the results would have been different..they even generated pace and bounce from dead beat tracks like delhi

  • POSTED BY atuljain1969 on | November 21, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    I believe not in criticising, but giving practical solutions. To reignite interest in tests, my solutions is like this :

    1. over a period of 5 days min. overs to be bowled are 450. 2. Restrict each innings to 90 overs. 3. If ist team gets out earlier then 90 overs, 2nd team to have option of playing their balace overs.

    In a scenario like in ahmedabad to avoid it happening, there could be option with the balance 90 overs (450-360). If team is not all out till 90 overs they can be given an option to bat for another 22 overs, the option can be utilise in any of the innings by the team.

    This way one would be sure of finishing the match and having a result. In case of rain interruption, suitable changes could be devised to make it workable.

    Any how objective is that all the four innings are played irrespective of whether teams is out or not out after completion of 90 overs.

  • POSTED BY zimbrowski on | November 21, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    How about the ICC (or each national cricket board if they are brave enough) introduce a new rule that if a test ground produces 2 draws in a row, it then loses test status for a 2 or 3 year period.

  • POSTED BY cricinfo1234567 on | November 21, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    i I don't agree with the author, there should be variety even in test cricket, there should be pitches where batsmen make merry and there should be pitches where bowlers have the edge. I don't think people in 1970's and 80's complained about drawing test matches (mind you there have been lots of boring test matches played in those years). Actually when compared to those years test matches played recently have had results. And about people who wants more result oriented cricket there are enough and more excitement from T20 and one day matches. So I think there is nothing wrong with having a dead pitch once in a while after all it will be a real test for quality bowlers

  • POSTED BY sarathy_m2 on | November 21, 2009, 9:40 GMT

    This is perfectly true. BCCI has influenced this strategy to other boards too. Just for money, the boards that has to protect the game is killing by creating batting pitches which would force the teams to play for all 50 overs / 5 days. And, BCCI now blowing its trumpet that it's the richest board. But, We're losing good bowlers, good fans and the core games. ICC must force the boards to prepare even pitches, and find some strategy to not to allow a test match to end in draw, any one team must be finialised as won.

  • POSTED BY drsuso on | November 21, 2009, 9:34 GMT

    No complaint about dead pitches as long as the 'Indian Gods' are hitting centuries and the 'poor bowlers' are being slammed. What a beautiful test match it was. Runs, runs and runs. No matter if spectators enjoyed it or not, next day the news papers are full of praise for our 'Gods'. They are saving our country matches after matches by scoring millions of runs. Poor days for bowlers, they are missing centuries only because they are not getting chance to bat.

  • POSTED BY fanofteamindia on | November 21, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    Yes,i agree with Dileep that test cricket in india is killed by dead pitches.But the reason is not BCCI alone.When a turning pitch was prepared some two years back in a must win game for India against South Africa,that pitch was reported to be below international standards.If there can be much bounce in Australia,sideways movement in England,then why not spin and variable bounce in India???You cannot prepare a WACA wicket in India because of the geographical conditions.ICC says that sporting pitches to be prepared and if a match is over in four days,the match is reported by the match refrees.So what if the match does not last five days???First the ICC should be clear whether it needs the matches to last five days or the matches should be interesting and ask its members to implement what it thinks.

  • POSTED BY dilscoop on | November 21, 2009, 9:10 GMT

    To cure this malaise, BCCI should identify grounds which always have sporting pitches and produces results more often than not or atleast an intriguing draw (e.g. chennai) - only 5 centres should be hosting test matches (like in australia or SA) - the fact is that there is pressure from television to ensure test matches do not finish in less than five days so that the advertisers are happy - a low scoring test match which finishes off in 3 days will have more tv audience than that was dished out at Ahmedabad. This applies even to the ODI's - a 180/200 run chase have produced more excitement than a 300+ run chase. What is needed is an even contest between bat and ball.

    Pitches in Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot) have been belters for years - ODI's have been high scoring - Saurashtra scored 500+/3 in the ongoing Ranji match vs Maharashtra. BCCI should omit Ahmedabad from staging a test match when its rotation comes next time around as a punishment for the sleeping beauty this time

  • POSTED BY D.Nagarajan on | November 21, 2009, 9:09 GMT

    I have to say, I agree with almost every word in this article. There is this crazy prejudice against spin friendly pitches. If the pitches have grass then superstar batting reputations are left in tatters. Then above all the games wont last the five days. Now the question is would we rather have 3-4 four days of thrilling cricket or have 5 days of meaningless mountains of runs. The Chennai and Kolkata tests of 1999 vs pak ended in 4 days , I don't recall a complaint on those pitches. The Mumbai test of 2001 ended in 3 days with a real hammering for India but we saw one of the greatest test 100's from Gilchrist. May be some commercial arithmetic is missing 3-4 days of high ad rates for TV or 5 days of mediocre ad rates. Then of course a question for which I never found an answer ever- Why do test matches start on a Monday? To minimize viewership?

  • POSTED BY King_Anish on | November 21, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    India may be afraid of preparing seeming tracks. But we should at least prepare turning tracks to our advantage and try to win the matches with help of our spinners. Flat pitches are not helping any one's cause. Even if we making turning tracks, matches will most likely go to day 5, when the maximum turn will be available. So channels also will get whole 5 days.

  • POSTED BY laffa on | November 21, 2009, 8:47 GMT

    Do not kill the spirit of test cricket while everyone is trying to revive it. India should make sure that they prepare codusive wickets to favour test cricket for batting and bowling.The above stats gives you the picture of the pitches in India.Let the fans in the ground and viewers around the world enjoy the game. Wake up cricket India!!!!

  • POSTED BY Quazar on | November 21, 2009, 8:44 GMT

    SHAME on the regional cricket associations that support such pitches...and on the BCCI for not incentivizing groundsmen to prepare result wickets. That being said, the bowling and captaincy of both sides was far from inspirational. Test Cricket DESERVES BETTER. (@Smaamdiu - jealous blokes like you try to engineer reasons to belittle the Little Master's achievments. FYI, Tendulkar averages 58 in Australia...virtually same as Ponting and much higher than Kallis. While in Sachin's backyard, Ponting averages only 20. Still, all 3 are greats of the game. And you need to learn to respect the opinions of Warne, Donald, Bishop, McGrath, Steve Waugh, et al when it comes to assessing one of the all-time greats. Peace)

  • POSTED BY RogerC on | November 21, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    What if India lost this test match? Would this article still be valid? Remember, India went into the 5th day with the prospect of losing. If India lost, people would be commenting about India's lack of consistence, Tendulkar's inability to score in critical situations etc...

    Now Indians played well in 2nd innings and Tendulkar scored in a critical situation, the problem is pointed to the pitch.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | November 21, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    If Test cricket has to survive and keep pace with the public fancies which the 20/20 format has generated, each innings should be of 90 overs and the new ball should be taken after 50 overs so that the toss may become not so relevant. The skills of both batsmen and bowlers will then come into play rather thanfor the lucky ones to be gleeful after a clutch of wickets in helpful conditions and batting calling for more technical and mental excellence. It is time some thought goes into this because I find that laments in the media are too cliched to be really useful in remedying the problems we face. Test cricket will survive and be in good health if such changes are implemented. This apart, rather than have referrals, it would be better if for lbws and caught verdicts, a software should be developed to give a decision in seconds on the giant screen. In this manner the umpires too can breathe easy.

  • POSTED BY Smudge15 on | November 21, 2009, 7:31 GMT

    Totally agree but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Why do referees only report pitches that are poor. In Engish County Cricket a team can be deducted points when 20 or so wickets fall on the first day and the pitch is deemed unsuitable for first class cricket. Why not report the pitch when both sides score 600+. Surely this is also unsuitable. Too many times county games end in a bore draw or a contrived result due to the batsmen friendly surfaces. There are bowlers out there as well and supporters like to see wickets as much as quality hundreds not drab, run of the mill hundreds by mediocre players.

  • POSTED BY CRam on | November 21, 2009, 7:30 GMT

    Also, on another plane, why does the ICC throw a fit when pitches are one dimensional and assist only bowlers - and when matches get over in three days. Why not pull up boards for creating pitches where matches can go on for 10 days - and creating an army of boreds.

  • POSTED BY bustermove on | November 21, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    Dileep, you have drawn attention to a major problem, one that has been brewing for a while now.Everybody knows that test cricket is dying (it's heart is barely beating) on the subcontinent.However, if you believe that Modi and his friends on the BCCI are going to suggest a new approach to pitch preparation to assist in reviving the patient then you are seriously misguided.They will continue to do what they have done for a number of years, that is ignore the problem,in hope that one day we'll all wake up and discover that the patient has died during the night. Then they'll say, "The King (test cricket) is dead. What a shame. Long live the new King (20/20)." In that new world, the only criteria by which we will judge batting greatness will be a good eye and no.of sixes.For bowlers it will runs conceded per over" Characteristics like patience, grace, grit, guile and slight of hand not to mention sheer bloody-minded determination will become quaint memories. It sounds like a bleak future.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | November 21, 2009, 6:59 GMT

    It was Daljit Singh the Chairman of the pitches committee who produced the pitch in Mohali some years ago when India lost to the West Indies. Manoj Prabhakar was hit on the face in that match and Lara scored a century. If Daljit could do this once it surprises me to know that he was responsible for the one in Kanpur as well when India bea South Africa. That was a minefield from the first day as we all will remember. The point is that for all this talk of wanting to have ' sporting wickets' nothing really has been done to give the same to Indian cricket, both at the domestic and the international levels. Indian bowlers do much better abroad than in India these days because it is such wickets that are available abroad. So I feel there is a need for the BCCI to ensure that we have such wickets in India as well. We may lose some matches, it is true, but then it will ensure that there is a preparedness when we play abroad. Tours should however be planned with precision and vision though.

  • POSTED BY Vinit_Sharma_Singh on | November 21, 2009, 6:59 GMT

    Nothing new here. This is just typical India- prepare batting paradises so that their "stars" can inflate their batting averages etc. At least players like Ponting, Kallis, Pieterson etc can hold their up high that they make their runs in conditions where a result is possible, thereby making their contribution meaningful, unlike players like Tendulkar, Yuvraj etc who are the masters of the "meaningless century".

  • POSTED BY SatyajitM on | November 21, 2009, 6:46 GMT

    Indian pitches have to improve. Have something for both fast bowlers and spinners (3rd day onwards). But we do not necessarily make green tops (getting teams out in sub 200 totals). I am not sure if the curators in the country (apart from Daljit Singh from Mohali) are good enough to make a wicket which helps good competitive cricket between bat and ball for five days. I don't think the format itself has any problem. There is no point in limiting the overs. We already have two other versions of limited cricket and test cricket should be left as it is. Suggestions such as tfjones1978 sound interesting but I don't think it's practical. It will make an already complicated game more complicated. CricFan78 has a point when he says Indian team has drawn as many outside India as at home this decade, which is a tribute to their good batting (and average bowling). It's funny how some people like Alexk400 would bring in Sachin (negatively) into all discussions. Their Sachin fixation is amazing.

  • POSTED BY learningthegame on | November 21, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    I t seems that only Australia and South Africa venues have taken the onus of making Test cricket viewable. If we do not have enough confidence in team India that it can take the Test match even till the fourth day against an average bowling line up, the we do not have any right to consider ourselves a formidable Test side.

  • POSTED BY Indunil76Shantha on | November 21, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Well, well, well,,, here was a fine article which can open the eyes of cricket fans. is cricket only a batsmen game? ok,, admit,, we all love to see shewag hit the ball,, mahela drive the ball for a boundry, moreover sachin gets another hundred.. but what Zaheer khan can swing the ball,, if Murali can spin the ball in the same match? there were doubts if india prepaired the surface knowing the fact that they only played ODI in recent time.. a little harsh though may be they wanted to get some batting practice. but what ever it is no one wanna spend 5 days for nothing,, we need a result,,,

  • POSTED BY CRam on | November 21, 2009, 6:06 GMT

    It is a travesty of justice to see one dimensional pitches - that assist either the batsmen or the bowlers. A good Test wicket should be balanced and should last for 5 days and enable a proper result. It is well within a home country's rights to prepare pitches that suit its strengths, so long as these parameters are met.

    It is unfortunate that an obscenely rich BCCI for which the smell of the lucre of more ODI's and T20's is far greater than one Test match. All said and done, Test match cricket is the pinnacle and provides genuine cricket lovers a proper exhibition of character, skills and national pride. Instead of encouraging this form of cricket by encouraging the young by giving them free admittance to Tests and old alike, by giving them a sport that they can enjoy, they are proving to be an avatar of Dr Kevorkian in order to see its early demise.

  • POSTED BY sham_sh on | November 21, 2009, 5:27 GMT

    hi man how can u think a pitch to be made true by bcci.if they will made true pitch then how their so called god will make record after record.anyways goood luck to indian team except the god of cricket.

  • POSTED BY CB20 on | November 21, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    spot on! this is really a lamentation of sorts! pardon me for using this word but it is in a weird sort of way shall i say.. 'pitch fixing'?! hopefully, everyone, starting with BCCI and TV production houses wake up it! if they don't, they will not be signing these contracts anymore.. cause there will be no more test matches played! i don't know much about this, but with logic I can tell you that if everyone starts visiting the same prostitute (as mentioned in the article), two things are likely to happen. 1. the law of diminishing marginal utility will kick in and 2. you are unlikely to get the same level of service or returns ;-)

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | November 21, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    The Amedabad test was farcical and painful. Obviously the wicket on which it was played contributed to this totally. Coming as it does at a time when there is the fear of Test cricket losing its sheen if not relevance, I think the BCCI should take notice and ensure that this never gets repeated. I feel as a rule, pitches for Tests should have a fair amount of grass which will ensure that it caters for a test of real skills. I say this because it seems extremely difficult for our curators to produce bouncy tracks like the one at Mohali in the India West Indies Test some years ago or at Nagpur for the India Australia Test which left Saurav Ganguly fuming.Wickets that guarantee lateral movement will ensure that the paying public derive their money's worth by watching a well contested test match. With many well matched encounters, Test cricket will remain what it has always been. The format for which cricket was invented.

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | November 21, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    Excellent article.But to be honest,with the BCCI having all the powers & authority in cricket,with the ICC being mere puppets,I wonder if BCCI should really be bothered about Lloyd's complaint about the pitch & about the pitch guidelines & stuff.Forget green pitches,test matches also last for 5 days when the pitch simply has pace & bounce,not necessarily supporting lateral movement.

  • POSTED BY tfjones1978 on | November 21, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    20 & 50 overs should be batsmen wickets, Tests should be bowlers wickets with a pitch averaging 200-250 runs per innings. Tests should be sessions by session, not innings by innings. Have 4 sessions (25,25,20,20) per day (with last 2 at night) and teams alternate sessions until either team looses 20 wickets & other scores more runs. Also, bring in a multi-tier relegation championship covering all 3 forms of the game (points 60% tests, 30% ODI, 10% T20I). Bringing in these changes will create excitement in the game and give each international match (regardless of format) meaning. Each team can also play friendlies against other teams that arent included in the championship as warm up matches (instead of warm ups against domestic teams). Each tour should warm up against highest ranked Associate team, being Ireland, Kenya, PNG, Afgan & Canada. Its time for change, come on ICC, bring in a system that gives meaning, encouragement and better entertainment.

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | November 21, 2009, 4:18 GMT

    I agree with most who also lay some blame on unimaginative captaincy. The fact that ODIs and T-20 lend themselves to quick fire captaincy, has promoted the concept of the non-cerebral captain. MSD's lack of ideas was visible. India, in it's present form is not fit to be the #1 test team. MSD proved in NZ and in India against England that he is a poor test captain.

  • POSTED BY mysay on | November 21, 2009, 4:18 GMT

    With T20 becoming the version that is killing every other format of this game, such pitches only contribute to it. Apart from the first few hours of day 1, there was nothing in it for the bowlers. If these are the sort of pitches that Sri Lanka is hoping to reverse history, then might as well forget it, as such will be only for records, and meaningless records which will be better left forgotten.

  • POSTED BY V.GOMES on | November 21, 2009, 4:04 GMT

    This is becoming a regular thing agains the Sri Lankan team. All teams are fpreparing dead pitched when Sri Lanka comes to town - Pakistan tour, now this Indian tour. There must be some ICC code to prevent this and maintains a minimum standard, before test cricket dies out. In the past counries used to prepare green and fast bowling wickets for SL tours, which was fair enough, now they don't even do that cause SL has good varity in pase. It's a shame countries are playing for the other teams weakness rather than playing for their teams strength. Shame on BCCI for continuing this negative trend. BCCI should grab some balls and prepare a lively track next time, thats if they have any balls to grab (don't mean cricket balls). No wonder test cricket is dying.

  • POSTED BY KingofDice on | November 21, 2009, 3:44 GMT

    Reducing the number of days or limiting the overs in a test match, in my opinion, will not make an iota of difference. heck, just in the last year ive seen some enthralling encounters- australia and south africa come to mind. but these plain awful pitches in india are a nightmare. i'm a very devoted fan, and follow just about any match that is televised, but even I could not sit through the last day of the india sri lanka match. The BCCI seriously needs to get some grass or something on these pitches or test cricket india will be the most abysmal display in sports entertainment. I'm begining to think that even Bangladesh (my country so i'm allowed to poke fun) who are just finding their feet against the top 8 or zimbabwe could draw on these surfaces.

  • POSTED BY davekendall on | November 21, 2009, 3:41 GMT

    What I meant to say in my previous post was that if a Test ends in a result within the first 4 1/2 days, a limited overs match - of variable length - would fill the remaining time. That would deliver 5 days of cricket to the TV networks and allow groundsmen to create 'result pitches' for Test matches.

  • POSTED BY davekendall on | November 21, 2009, 3:25 GMT

    First, this is an exceptionally well-written piece - the quality of the journalism, regardless of the points made. What I don't understand is why the BCCI gets paid per days of cricket delivered to the TV channels. In the West at least, TV networks must pay advertisers penalty fees if ratings fall below certain levels. Surely boring cricket delivers fewer viewers to advertisers than exciting cricket. In that case, a TV channel might make more revenue from advertising during a thrilling 3-day Test than a tedious 5-day Test. The deals between the BCCI and the TV networks should be structured on audiences delivered, not on length of coverage. If money is the driving force, that might change the quality of the pitches - and the cricket. Another solution, one that would ensure 5 days of cricket, would be to hold a limited overs game after a Test match ends in a draw. The number of overs would depend on the length of time remaining. This would maintain the integrity of the Test match.

  • POSTED BY 9ST9 on | November 21, 2009, 3:25 GMT

    The ICC were talking 4-day tests wow i wonder how many would produce a result in that amount of time looking at what we saw at ahmedabad. A worthwhile experiment would be to limit the number of overs in the first innings like they had in NZ first class matches a few decades ago. This would NOT promote slogging and do test cricket any harm, but simply disallow sides from weighing anchor on the pitch for 2-3 days.Or else at this rate future generations will look upon test cricket as some kind of joke.

  • POSTED BY uglyhunK on | November 21, 2009, 2:55 GMT

    How many times we have seen some freak starting off Sachin Tendulkar debate in an article not even remotely linked to him. Others respond in kind.....I wonder who are these freaks??? Are they so retarded that they are seeking stats from others' comments?? Why can't they just check the facts with a click of a button. Anyway....coming to 11 draw in 60 months, I remember at least 2 draws which are close matches. Nevertheless, BCCI is least interested in creating any interest for the game. First thing they can do is come up with a fixed start day for the test match, like Thursdays in England. And media should also should stop criticizing if a test gets in over in 3 days...bowlers deserve credit not criticism.

  • POSTED BY ferzil927 on | November 21, 2009, 2:39 GMT

    this is for "cric_follower". its a good idea to limit the overs in test matches.i was thinking the same but when i spoke to someone who played first class cricket in SL & he is a official now,said "if you limit the overs in test cricket it will be limited overs cricket, it will be the longer format of the ODI's".i feel hes right. if you can come up with good results (win or loose) in Aus, SA & SL (you can see the stats for last 5years) why not in India? i think its all about the pitches that they make. no body should'nt let die test cricket. hope things will get better in India.

  • POSTED BY Cricket4World on | November 21, 2009, 2:33 GMT

    Terrible pitch makes for terrible cricket. Are the Indians really that low that they would create another pitch of such trueness so Sachin and Co can register a few more easy batting records whilst realistically not giving either team a chance to win. Is that what Indian cricket is all about? Records? Anyone could have saved that Test with a hundred on that pitch. Seven were scored in the match. For all the players that got past fifty in the match, their average score for those innings was 160.25. Glenn McGrath could of scored a ton on that pitch.

  • POSTED BY DSUS on | November 21, 2009, 2:32 GMT

    If they really want to have people go and see tests and create classic tests that will stay in peoples hearts, play more tests at the test capital of India - EDEN GARDENS.

  • POSTED BY raveekoomar on | November 21, 2009, 1:46 GMT

    BCCI is hell bent on breaking the bones of fast bowlers from India with such kind of pitches. When will they learn that if they want test cricket to grow then fast bouncy pitches like when India toured to Pak in 04 kind of pitches suit us. Atleast they can see where all India won the matches abroad or against Aus recently in the Test series last year is ample proof that pitches which can show the skills of batsman as well as an improving bowler is the requirement at the moment. I wont be surprised if in 10 years time a batsman's average will be over 150 then the pitches should be blamed for that. I do hope the ICC atleast steps in and cancels the stadiums which havent given 2/3rds result oriented pitches in the past decade and give oppurtunity for new stadias likewise and see how they proceed from thereon. Last but not the least other boards should not follow the BCCI model of allowing such dull pitches in their own home country. Atleast they got viewers on Boxing day tests likewise.

  • POSTED BY raveekoomar on | November 21, 2009, 1:37 GMT

    The most important thing for the BCCI to do is to prepare fast bouncy pitches in case they want the fast bowlers to grow and the new breed can catch up as reserves in case any existing fast bowler gets injured, and please do come out of the spinner comfort zone.Gone are the days when both fast bowlers then spinners and finally reverse swing used to be the trend of 80's and 90's. Even an Imran khan used to bowl on cement decks but used his reverse to exemplary level. If only the cricket boards realise the importance of both fast and spin bowling(South african pitches given exception) then its good for the development of cricket all round the world.The first salvo should start from domestic level in India, though domestic pitches sometimes are good, the importance of bringing crowds to test matches is quite dwindling now a days.Please if only the BCCI is listening come out of the AC rooms and go sweat it out in the cricket field. There is hardly any hands on working cricket administrator

  • POSTED BY Racyrao on | November 21, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    Hold it guys.... If i were to analyse the match, India was lucky because of a glorious innings from Dravid. If he had not played and scored 177, India would have got out on Day 1 and would have been looking at a score of 600 to save the match. I am sure the match would have been in Srilanka's pockets. I think both the captains set defensive fields and lost the plot over there. Dhoni has had the rub of the green over the last couple of years and the chinks in his armour in terms of captaincy are slowly showing. Sangakara also is not an experienced captain and that's where the blunder took place. This was the same pitch where SA thrashed India purely because of superior bowling power a few years ago.... Let's not over analyse things. I am certain that the next two matches would be interesting and definitely produce results. I just hope it goes the India way...

  • POSTED BY kalbavigr on | November 21, 2009, 1:23 GMT

    I don't agree with Dilip that a match like this will kill test cricket. Cricket is a game in which draw is also a result. If every test in India were to end in a draw, then the complaint seems reasonable. However, it is not very common to have a series draw for a test series in India. That's what counts in the end. I think it is a trend in the mindsets of all the ardent cricket fans. Everyone is so used to a result in an ODI or a T20, that we think now that even one draw is unacceptable. In the big picture of cricket, bowlers have to be prepared to occasionally run into a dead pitch. Just as batsmen have to be prepared to occasionally run into a lethal pitch for spin or pace. Even in this dead pitch, could we say definitely that a result would have been something other than a draw if the opponents were not SL? How about NZ or WI? There is certainly no dearth of interesting draws, wins and losses in test cricket.

  • POSTED BY santhoshkudva on | November 21, 2009, 1:18 GMT

    if we are playing on belters, why dont teams declare at 450-3 at the end of day one? let the other team know that they are not being generous by doing so, but are playing to win? it is a great shame for the other team if it plays out the next two days scoring only 500. if the team batting second understands what the other team is upto, it will take up the challenge and try and emulate that.

  • POSTED BY santhoshkudva on | November 21, 2009, 1:14 GMT

    some great person, who hardly understood the sport, once asked what is the point in playing a game for five days without having a result. the fact is, simply because test cricket offers teams the privilege of a draw, it has been misused. no point in blaming the pitches ALONE. could someone tell me why only tamil nadu managed a victory in the second round of league matches in the ranji trophy and all other matches were drawn? the point i am trying to make is, players are as much responsible as the pitches are, if not more. india has always this tendency to play out draws. how is it that whenever australia tours india, we invariably have a result? and even draws are exciting when they play. and would our captains agree to forfeiture of innings to play out a result in case of rained tests?

  • POSTED BY coolsuhas on | November 21, 2009, 1:05 GMT

    Very true..I agree that Indian pitches are the nightmare for bowlers. All that the bowlers are reduced to is completing the playing 11. Of course there are some places like Feroz Shah Kotla where bowlers have got a chance. But on pitches like in the first Test in Ahmedabad, I would audaciously play 7 batsmen in Tests. Only the first innings, when the pitch was new did Sri Lankan bowlers manage to get the India side out, but only after giving away 400+. Since then, it was a torment for the bowlers. I argue on this point a lot, that Indian pitches are killing the bowlers. Tests or ODIs, bowlers have got a totally demoralizing conditions in India. I feel even worse for the Ranji bowlers (those not in the national side) for they have to suffer humiliation and not be at their topmost platform of representation. Truly bad pitches. I would love to see more of 200-250 odd runs per innings pitches in India than 300+ ones. If people would have noticed, achieving 300 in ODIs in India is cakewalk.

  • POSTED BY boooonnie on | November 21, 2009, 0:55 GMT

    Could not agree more - 21 wickets in 5 full days of criket is not good for a form of cricket which we love but is under threat. If i have to agree with Ian Chappel on anything it is that cricket thrives when it is bat vs ball, not bat continually dominating ball. Limited overs can become a batting fest and it doesnt matter but NOT test match cricket. The respective criket bodies must instruct their ground curaters on this!

  • POSTED BY Uranium on | November 21, 2009, 0:45 GMT

    Apart from the 32/4 at the start this game went exactly according to plan for Lalit Modi

  • POSTED BY hariramya on | November 21, 2009, 0:10 GMT

    obviously its right!! its demolising the talents of our bowlers!!! thats y de bowlers of srilanka,aussies,proteas luking very strong than indians!! bcci shld concentrate in this matter!

  • POSTED BY Des_65 on | November 20, 2009, 23:53 GMT

    Smaamdiu's comments are obviously irrelevant & incorrect. I fully agree with DP and mostly with srt1977, BangaloreKid & cric_follower. Max 450 (=90x5) overs per match; one or two innings a side (depends on weather); max overs a side per inning (not a fixed no., depends on whether playing conditions are bad on 1st 2 days or last 2 days of the match). Equal no. of overs for 2 teams in each inning may not be correct. Suppose one team is out quickly in their first innings, it may never have time to recover and then the match will be decided on who has an upper hand in the first inning. Second team should get only some percentage of overs used by first team as additional overs for their first inning. With limited overs we will never have tests like Calcutta Test where Laxman & Dravid scored big hundreds. Let the discussion continue and let someone in ICC or member country boards read, discuss, modify and implement it to make some sensible changes to Test Cricket. All will win incl Sponsors.

  • POSTED BY Great.Cricketer on | November 20, 2009, 23:33 GMT

    Indian Cricker Board scared of great Murali, they know Indian batsman are not good against Murali and Mendis in sub continent pithces. India has no such good spin bowlers after Kumble retirement, Bhajji fails almost every kind of cricket but include avery single game and Mishra (Is he International cricketer!).India never won test in India by using fast bowlers (just exclude Great Kapil Dev). So why are you blaming Indian board , they have only one chance to draw the series rather white wash.

  • POSTED BY paramthegreat on | November 20, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    this was hopeless cricket. Right from day 1 except the first 45 mins. I was so boooored following the commentary on criicnfo...lolzz..like was there a wicket ever gonna fall??The last day simply compounded the boredom when Sachin/Laxman decided to consume 100000 balls like Prasanna Jayawardena just to get to their century. I would have fallen dead if i actually had to 'watch' the match. Why not make sporting pitches?? I m not talking bout dust bowls...thts worse...but there shd be decent bounce and swing on first 2 days, reverse swing on days 3 and 4 and spin on late day 4 and 5 ...much like the Ind-Aus series. The worse was seeing Ind -Aus match in 2004 when the match was over in 3 days in Mumbai. Thats compounding the home advantage tenfold and "unsporting" because most of other teams will find it extremely difficult and plain unfair bcoz the pitch has crumbled by day 2. (much like Oval Test in England, but it was fun watching england beat AUs:D)

    Anyways, WAKE UP BCCI:| Pz

  • POSTED BY A.S.K. on | November 20, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    Give me a break. India wins a test on a road (with Virender Sehwag scoring 300 plus) and its all exciting, gutsy, skilful, brilliant batting against a great bowling attack, blah! blah! blah!. But if India can't win a test against #4 in the world, the pitch is to blame.

    Good old Cricindia/Fickleinfo maintaining its woeful standards!

  • POSTED BY Subra on | November 20, 2009, 23:18 GMT

    The Public Works Department should hire some of these curators to make roads in the villages. They would go a great job!

  • POSTED BY Smaamdiu on | November 20, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    well I am not saying Sachin is not a good player.. but I just dont know why players like Kallis, Ponting, Smith are not rated like sachin. Its must be the Indian media...otherwise why a player who never won a world cup is rated so high then a player who guided his team to 3 worldcup wins(ponting)... i know i am little bit off topic here, but just wanted to say these flat pitches did help Sachin to score that many runs, and for the people who were saying Sachin scored that many runs in Australia and Africa... they must not forget others players like kallis and ponting still hold higher average then Sachin, which may not prove them better player then sachin but atleast they deserve to be compared and respected equally.

  • POSTED BY jayray999 on | November 20, 2009, 22:45 GMT

    For as long as I can remember (about 30 years), I have been hearing about dead pitches in India. Yet, nothing has changed. I fear these curators will be responsible for driving Test cricket into extinction. Shame.

  • POSTED BY yzagee on | November 20, 2009, 22:33 GMT

    It's no fun watching batsman after batsman piling runs. It's not good for Test cricket. Hope BCCI does something good for Cricket, for a change.

  • POSTED BY finncam on | November 20, 2009, 22:19 GMT

    I don't know what you're all whingeing about. Sachin got to make his century. What does the pitch matter?

  • POSTED BY miscpm on | November 20, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    Good article, Dileep. Fully agree with you.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | November 20, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    It's a pity that this game went downhill on day 5. India fighting for a draw on a turning wicket would have been great. Spin is really what one wants to see in India,of the sort that really separates the men from the boys. The time has come for digging up a lot of surfaces in world cricket and for groundsmen to really get wise about producing wickets with pace and bounce as well as turn. However the good old ubiquitous universal slow pudding seems to abound everywhere. Is it really that 5 days of dull play makes more than 4 days of good play, when the chances are the spectators will take up kettle watching or grass growing instead or is it that 20/20 has to become no.1 by dulling down Tests? The stupidity of certain sectors of admin and finance seems to be unmitigated-everywhere else in the game there is ample awareness of what has to be done. Maybe the solution is no more than just trimming away all the unnecessary bureaucrats and timeservers who abound. Who cares if it turns ?

  • POSTED BY DrunkOtter on | November 20, 2009, 21:54 GMT

    Is it any wonder that India produce flat-tracks? Their big names and their drawcards are batsmen.

    When was the last world-famous Indian bowler? Kumble was a marvelous servant of the game and an outstanding player for his country. Yet for all his efforts, his retirement was treated the same in India as one would have to a house cleaner leaving after many years of hard service. Thanks for all the hard work - you were useful.

    Not even the great Srinath was lauded upon leaving the game.

    India have a worrying tendancy to produce absolute belters which stunts the growth of truly great bowlers in the country, as everyone want to see batting. Right next door, Pakistan consistently produce some of the best bowlers in the world. Bloody lucky they don't have the BCCI or the TV networks involved in their game.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | November 20, 2009, 21:11 GMT

    Ironically, the Sri Lankans are claiming some credit for Tendulkar's latest century. Realising the draw was inevitable, the Lankans wanted to end the match a lot earlier than it eventually did.

    But Tendulkar, according to skipper Kumar Sangakkara, requested for time to allow him to get to the three-figure mark. Said Sangakkara, "Tendulkar suggested we allow him to complete his milestone. Nothing wrong with that, we said, and continued the match till he reached 100."

    - Shocking and pathetic tendulkar for begging to complete century. Some one said he is best ever. I am not sure where this people living in. Alternate universe.

    You never say selfish run accumulator who chokes everytime india has to win as best ever. Indians loves losing. Something wrong with indian psyche.

  • POSTED BY Phantom_XI on | November 20, 2009, 21:09 GMT

    This is most pathetic, one-sided, bitter & personal articles I have ever read on Cricinfo and I'm completely flabergasted at Cricinfo's journalistic integrity (or lack of it) fo this type of article to be published. My Sri Lankan author sounds to be really disaapointed at the fact that Murli (in his twilight) & co. couldn't get Sachin & Co out & register a single win on Indian soil. I just dread to think if all Cricinfo writers to take their individual nationalistic lines then where it would end up. The author obviously has something against the BCCI & IPL and using his articles to get back at them but surely this isn't the forum for this. I hope Cricinfo editor (if there is such a thing) read articles before they are published.

  • POSTED BY juggie29 on | November 20, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    There is all this talk that 50 over cricket is dead. The fact is that it is Test Cricket that needs a change. The ICC should consider breaking tests into a set of 3,45-50 overs a side games. The overall result of the test would be guaranteed. Tests should be played with red balls and on the same pitch for the game's duration. A rest day could be considered. Imagine the appeal to the new audience that wants results. Everyday is a new day so the stadiums are more likely to fill up. And finally this gives opportunity for the lesser nations to come up in the game. The traditonal format should only be left for marquee series (if the romantics insist)!

  • POSTED BY CricFan78 on | November 20, 2009, 21:03 GMT

    While I do agree that this pitch wasnt a good one for Test cricket it doesnt mean that pitches in India are generally poor. In fact the problem is very strong Indian batting and average Indian bowling. India has 18 draws in 45 matches while playing at home this decade. Out of this 5 drws have been through bad weather. India has 18 draws in 56 matches while playing away this decade. Out of this only 1 draw was due to bad weather. In nutshell India's drawing capacity is same abroad as it is at home when you take bad weather into account. Also one forgets the calibre of batting which was at display in this Test compared to very inexperienced bowling attack. Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan, Samarweera, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Gambhir are excellent Test players at the moment.

  • POSTED BY mansman on | November 20, 2009, 20:54 GMT

    I am afraid I have to disagree with you DP. 1] India was reeling at 32-4 on the first hour of the test match 2] Welegedera nipped out Dravid on Day 2 morning in a bowling as he did on Day 1 thereby restricitng India to a decent 426 (batting paradise would have resulted in >426). Swing is what Eng pitches have, and they are not belters, are they? 3] SL finished Day2 at 244-3, there were no complaints from any quarters about the pitch. 4] India finished at 190-2, with the 3rd wicket imminent. SL was on drivers seat going into day 5. There were no complaints by any of cricinfo writers about the nature of the pitch at the end of day4. If the pitch was so dead, why werent you jumping on the case at the end of Day1?? Aus and SA win test matches because of the quality of players, not the nature of pitches. Remember, 3 in 1, Sydney 2008?? The opposition is able to draw (rare win) because of the quality of cricket. My 2 cents, think long and hard about the way you guys write reports.

  • POSTED BY king_leo on | November 20, 2009, 20:46 GMT

    Great article. Indian pitches are have been docile over several years making bowlers appear like "prostitutes". Unfortunately, here the bowlers toil and work like there is no tomorrow.

    Poor pitch in Ahmedabad....Its time to produce result oriented pitches. Every test match should have a result oriented pitch. We are seeing the abysmal bowling standards around the world. I can't name a single fast bowler in any team who is worth greatness. In the days of wasim, waqar, ambrose....bowlers like zaheer, ishant, welegedera, and many others in todays cricket wouldn't qualify even as backups.....While we have good bowlers, there aren't too many exceptional fast bowlers around.....in today's cricket.

    On top of the bad pitch, I failed to understand why NEO cricket can't find 6 good commentators. Why do we need Russell Arnold, Ranil Abhinayake, Sivaramkrishnan and Attapattu. As if the pitch was less boring, these guys made the game even more ridiculous with their pathetic commentary..

  • POSTED BY chandu612 on | November 20, 2009, 20:35 GMT

    @cricket_follower dude...if Test cricket follows ur rules..its no more test cricket... It will be like playing two extended ODI's consecutively. If u give 90 overs per side, how should players like Dravid play?..he will take around 250 balls for a century..that will span around 80 overs..So if u have a target all the time, how can u see natural test cricket? Also Test cricket is about first session advantage vs last day challenge.. u loose all this by having points for Innings lead.. Imagine tests like one in 2001 (laxman 281). So India would get 90 overs to overcome the Follow-on deficit and give Aus target?..

    The best solution is to make tests having 6 days...For some 4 or 5 decades players are used for 5 day matches..so adding a day will produce results..go check all the drawn matches in the last 3 decades..80% of them can have results with the added day..

  • POSTED BY NishathP on | November 20, 2009, 20:33 GMT

    @ Promal : Bangladesh having their test status is actually a good thing; they provide results to test matches. As it is test cricket is coming under attack by this "twenty20" format, flat track is like shooting a bullet onto your foot when you are barely able to walk.

  • POSTED BY RAMKI2404 on | November 20, 2009, 20:26 GMT

    All the kudo's goes to BCCI for having such a pathetic pitch for a test match. I don't want all the test should be a result oriented but I don't want this type of pitches where in 3rd day we know that result is going to be a draw. In the current world cricket all the rules are in the favor of batsman if this continues we don't require a specialist bowler. We can play all 11 batsmen who can at least swing their arm to bowl. I really appreciate the batsman of the era where they face the legendry bowlers like Marshal, Roberts, Garner, Holding, Lille, Pascoe etc… and also I appreciate the bowlers like Murali, Warne, Kumble, Lee, Nitin (Many Others) etc… who bowled in this modern era where all the rules and pitches are meant for batsmen. If this continues seriously people will loose interest in TEST cricket. I am big fan of Test cricket and request sincerely to all the country cricketing boards to prepare lively pitches which favors bowlers too.

  • POSTED BY ITEMM on | November 20, 2009, 20:23 GMT

    Dileep Premachandran for BCCI president post!

    You'll get my VOTE!!!!

  • POSTED BY kriskini on | November 20, 2009, 20:19 GMT

    Like tie breakers in tennis any test match ending in a draw they should play a tie breaker game next day. A T20 game should be played next day. Winner of that game is the winner of the test match.

  • POSTED BY Vansan on | November 20, 2009, 20:13 GMT

    Its pretty clear Team INDIA and BCCI attitude to be undefeated at home. If u compare bowling attacks of both teams except Zaheer no other is genuine in green tracks, but SL has quite even pace tack, Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Walegedera. If u take spin attack Srilankan SPIN attack is much better coz of Mendis (he is not a spinner, he is a kumble type bowler with lot of variety, he is a freakish bowler). INDIA dont want to have 50 - 50 winning chance, instead they stick to 100% draw. This is a reason for such dead wickets to improve batting averages..they cant afford that if luck will favor SRILANKA and that will lead to INDIAN Fortress being gunned down. simple

  • POSTED BY SidLovesIndia on | November 20, 2009, 20:11 GMT

    hahahaha completely agreed with promal on ALL counts!

  • POSTED BY Sampdoria on | November 20, 2009, 20:04 GMT

    While Eng/Aus had fast picthes, india and SL were famed for some great spinning tracks which made the game exciting by day 3 onwards. I think BCCI has been playing a dirty trick on the public past few years by producing some really flat stinkers. I think they should either prepare fast or turning pitches and stop trying to kill the game on purpose because overdoing the 20/20 scenarios isnt going to increase more interest in the game than one that exists.

    SL & Pakistan are also culprits in these where players like Yohanna bat for 3 days. Please wake up S Asian Boards.

  • POSTED BY pankajkumarsingh on | November 20, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    @Smaamdiu: You are in the wrong forum dude. Go search some "Sachin Slamming" website...

    Having said that, yes, BCCI needs to work on the wickets. While cric_follower's suggestion may seem radical and I may not support it but I truly understand where he's coming from. I fear Kanpur will be a similar pitch. I watched the game from 11 PM thru 3 AM only to see 7 hundreds - Not a happy viewer. Zaheer, Murali and Bhajji (well, atleast the records suggest anyway) are supposedly world class bowlers and none of them could do anything... And they question the viewers about avoiding test cricket.

  • POSTED BY Maui3 on | November 20, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    Did you see Greg Chappells reference to a report where only 7% of cricket lovers prefer test cricket? and that was before this test match. Unless, the intention is to kill test cricket, there is no time to wait. Night cricket, indoor stadium, test matches from Thursday thru Monday and pitches that almost gaurantees results (or convert the 5th days into a ODI - taking forward the position of the team position at the end of 4th day) has to become the norm.

  • POSTED BY bingorighton on | November 20, 2009, 19:41 GMT

    Cricket is dying as a sport. and the reason is not because it is not a good sport. the reason is the officials are only money-orientated individuals. its a story of the chicken who was giving golden eggs. trying to hatch too many golden eggs and kill the chicken. Cricket is no longer no1 sport in many of the test playing countries. i wrote in my previous comments when icc was thinking of changing test cricket. the problem is not in format of the games ( odi/tests) the problem is getting pitches which never have the balance between bat and ball. we dont want a unplayable track for batsman and similiarly we dont want one where wickets cant be earned. if a international venue cant a prepare a pitch where both bowlers and batsmen get fair chance, it should not be allowed to host international matches. and then we will see all excuses go away from curators and all venues will surely be capable of producing exciting pitches.

  • POSTED BY SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends on | November 20, 2009, 19:37 GMT

    I understand where you are coming from but- odd as this may seem- I actually feel sorry for the batsmen in this situation, because it's a no-win one for them. Many people were criticising Sachin for getting a hundred on this pitch, but what is he supposed to do? Get out and put India in more trouble? He has to score the runs when they are on offer, he cannot 'pick and choose' his runs based on the conditions. Sure it will not rank among his best innings, but if he doesn't score the runs then people will criticise him for getting out cheaply on such a flat wicket!!! In reality the players are always trying for a result as most teams never set out for a draw. Thus as you have said the fault lies with the BCCI and how they have allowed Tests to be held hostage by TV deals.

  • POSTED BY captdavyjones on | November 20, 2009, 19:32 GMT

    Pitches are the lifeline of a good game, test or ODI. No other form of cricket can compare to test cricket, and in order to keep the interest of the public, a good pitch is a must. It saddens me that the BCCI is not doing much to make sure India plays at least 10 test matches a year, minimum. Even though money is critical to run the game, the game should be able to run itself on its own. There has to be a balance between the two. And this is where I strongly feel some strong characters who understand the game, namely former cricketers should form a part of the BCCI think-tank, unlike people like Lalit Modi who is doing nothing more than gathering moolah and basking in his own glory. Nothing personal against him, but I wish there were more cricket-oriented people involved than money-oriented people in the BCCI. TV companies want games to last 5 days, but should realize that dull tests will eventually drive most people away, barring those who really understand what test cricket means.

  • POSTED BY kesavramesh on | November 20, 2009, 19:26 GMT

    I totally agree. Along side you might also want to know that these dead pitches are making dead the fast bowling. How many times you have seen spinners take the ball up as early as 16th over in test match. That shows the class of the cricketing pitches we have. Simply cannot wade away the reason for so many fast bowlers getting injured after bowling in these dead pitches. Its far more better to play in cement pitches. First and foremost these Indian curators needed to be educated and taught a lesson to prepare pitches.

  • POSTED BY donmz on | November 20, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    yes i totally agree that flat tracks and featherbed pitches for tests are detrimental for the game as a whole. I think it is about time the icc made it compulsory for the pitches to be made more bowler friendly. it would be beneficial if the icc puts a total ban on pitches which wholly favour the batsmen and do not give any assistance to the bowlers at all.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | November 20, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    Dead pitches like Ahmedabad contribute to dead cricket. But there is one more reason, and rightly so,Kumar Sangakara has every reason to feel disgusted. Sachin Tendulkar says that his first priority is to play for his team,and not for personal milestones, yet he goes on and on to compelte a meaningless century,aided and abetted by his sycophantic captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who did not have the guts like Rahul Dravid had to call it a day.Does Dhoni have no responsibility to encourage exciting cricket, or if that is not possible, as was the case after India had crossed the Sri Lankan total,to ask his opponent captain Sangakara if the two teams could call it quits?

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | November 20, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    Dead pitches like Ahmedabad contribute to dead cricket. But there is one more reason, and rightly so,Kumar Sangakara has every reason to feel disgusted. Sachin Tendulkar says that his first priority is to play for his team,and not for personal milestones, yet he goes on and on to compelte a meaningless century,aided and abetted by his sycophantic captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who did not have the guts like Rahul Dravid had to call it a day.Does Dhoni have no responsibility to encourage exciting cricket, or if that is not possible, as was the case after India had crossed the Sri Lankan total,to ask his opponent captain Sangakara if the two teams could call it quits?

  • POSTED BY VijayHanchatey on | November 20, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    I don't agree that this test could have been called a dull draw. Ofcourse the pitch was a dull one. But it really took some good knocks from Gambhir and Tendulkar to nullify Herath and Murali on the 5th day pitch. Even if the pitch did not break, there was possibility of India losing focus and with in a few minutes the match balance could have changed and India lost the match. Comparatively we can say the pitches and urge from the captains to get a result is there nowadays. This though I felt Sangakkara was very uncreative in forcing the result. He appeared to resign to the fact that the pitch was dead for him to force a result.

  • POSTED BY MasterClass on | November 20, 2009, 19:01 GMT

    While the pitch was not ideal, there were several other factors that made this a draw, not the least being the quality batting. With a 334 deficit many teams would have succumb to defeat regardless of the good batting pitch. All SL needed was a few quick wickets in succession and the other team would have been under huge error-inducing pressure. That didn't happen, with India building partnerships and never letting successive wickets fall. Another factor was the poor captaincy by both, but Sanga in particular. Instead of accelerating once the lead passed 250 odd SL continued to push the ball around and waste time. Finally the bowling was average. Ishant and Zaheer looked uninspiring and Shewag looked a better spinner than Bhajji! The SL quicks were a bit better, with Prasad hitting the deck and getting movement, but he got injured and the spinners were again unimpressive. Catches also went down in the 2nd innings (unusual for SL) and ultimately all of this contributed to the draw.

  • POSTED BY DaTBird187 on | November 20, 2009, 18:59 GMT

    Strip India of it's Test status and let them play Twenty 20 until the cows come home. That is after all what they want. Let real cricket supporters get on with the job of supporting real cricket in all other nations.

  • POSTED BY Sam4fun on | November 20, 2009, 18:54 GMT

    Smaamdiu, I see what you are saying. Punter averaged mere 20.855 on his flattest pitches again weak opposition bowlers. Compare that to Sachin scoring runs on toughest pitches the likes of McGrath and Warne. Appreciate your humor though.

  • POSTED BY TwitterJitter on | November 20, 2009, 18:48 GMT

    While I agree that pitches like this are killing test cricket viewership in India, it does not and will not explain why test cricket is losing out in other countries when India is not involved in the series. Are they being played to full house or even half a house? Other than England and may be Australia it is a big no. So while I agree that BCCI's actions are causing the death of test cricket in India, it is not responsible to killing of test cricket as a whole. There are other factors at play because unless you come to the conclusion that if test cricket is dead in India it is dead as a whole, you cannot conclude the actions of BCCI is killing it as a whole every where in the world. It is an easy excuse. Many other factors are at play which is causing tests to play to empty stadiums in many countries. So what if BCCI is not playing tests. If it is popular in other nations, they can continue playing bilaterals among themselves, right?

  • POSTED BY universe on | November 20, 2009, 18:41 GMT

    I agree. Pitches in not only India but also Pakistan are killing test cricket. And if West Indies keep on producing pitches like the ones in their last series vs England then they would also join the killer group.

  • POSTED BY jamdern on | November 20, 2009, 18:21 GMT

    Smaamdiu - Onething I dont understand is we just judge a player based on his performace in lively pace-oriented foreign pitches. But if he struggles against spin bowling, it is okay or we just blame the pitch. We never give credit to the spin bowler, just say the pitch is bad. Remember spin had been any Asian team's forte. Just because of our mindset (being forced on us by foreign media), we are ignoring spin bowling and the standard of spin bowling has waned. Coming to the point, Sachin is a good player of both spin and pace. But Ponting falls short in playing spin and only now he has started scoring more against spin. Don't understand why no one is talking of that. Yes, flat pitches are killing test cricket, agree. But we should still have some spin friendly wickets.

  • POSTED BY promal on | November 20, 2009, 18:11 GMT

    I completely agree that dead pitches are the BIGGEST and ONLY reason (apart from Bangladesh having Test status) that can make test cricket boring. And of course the brilliant idea of playing tests from Monday-Friday: that's surely going to rope in the crowds! Shame BCCI!!

  • POSTED BY promal on | November 20, 2009, 18:09 GMT

    I completely agree that dead pitches are the BIGGEST and ONLY reason (apart from Bangladesh having Test status) that can make test cricket boring. And of course the brilliant idea of playing tests from Monday-Friday: that's surely going to rope in the crowds! Shame BCCI!!

  • POSTED BY Ind_Rocks on | November 20, 2009, 18:06 GMT

    BCCI Officials should know importance of Test Cricket and Need to develop result oriented pitches. First thing the Managing team should know what is cricket.BCCI is just concentrating on Money rather than providing quality cricket. Even Murali not able to get a wicket in Second Innings of an test match- This credit should goes to BCCI for making this kind of pitches.

  • POSTED BY cric_follower on | November 20, 2009, 18:03 GMT

    Sambit/Cricinfo can you please take this seriously. I have a real solution to make test cricket interesting. Restrict the maximum number of overs in the first innings to 135 per side and to a maximum of 90 overs per side for the second innings. Any lead from the first innings is carried over to the next innings. Rain Shortened matches will have only one innings per side with a maximum of 135 overs a side or lesser. If it rains on the 4th day then the second innings can be shortened accordingly. If it rains on the 5th day then result is based only on the first innings scores.

    Advantages are: 1) Result is always guaranteed. A flat wicket will not matter. 2) Time constratint would lead to some positive cricket 3) The basic elements of test cricket 1) technique and 2) concentration are preserved. 4) Will really get the crowd involved.

    What other way does test cricket survive? I would be interested in listening to any views. Thank You.

  • POSTED BY ShankarPalaniyandi on | November 20, 2009, 18:02 GMT

    Don't blame the players for these kinds of ill-prepared pitches; Manjrekar saying "Murali has lost his venom" and Rajesh coming up with an article to highlight how worse he has performed in the last innings of a Test. Mind if Murali can not turn who else can?; this is very evident in this test even. You just can not expect a man to perform beyond his potential every game. The same was said by Ashantha DeMel about Sanath Jayasuriya a few weeks back; We want Sanath to win us game (ODI) 2 out of every 3 game else he is out; what non-sense is that? If Sanath has to win 2/3 games what are others in the team for? We need to be reasosnable as well; Also, the format of the game and the pitch curation need some serious changes.

  • POSTED BY irsharrock on | November 20, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    I fear i may sound like Boycott here....but the man is correct on the issue of test pitches. Certain international boards and clubs seem to order the production of dead surfaces that can only lead to soporific cricket and the certainty of five days of cash registers chinging! Cricket suffers when the chance of a result is all but eliminated by day 3.

    I would not want pitches to be dangerous but surely a pitch where the bowlers are excited and eager to get out there and the batsmen have to be more creative and nimble in the scoring of their runs is the type of cricket i want to see.

  • POSTED BY karandravs on | November 20, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Mr Smaamdiu i hope you read this before spreading your blasphemy. Kallis has a average of 45 in Australia where as Sachin has an average of over 56 in Australia which are foreign conditions. Australian pitches should be familiar to Mr Kallis because the conditions are same as that in South Africa. Doesnt that make Kallis a poor player saying that he cannot score against good bowling attacks? I have nothing against Kallis or Punter but you cannot compare great players on averages. Kallis is exceptional coz he has been performing both as a Rock solid batsman and a bowler. Whereas neither punter nor tendulkar share the load of bowling. So please comment on the topic rather than just starting feuds on illogical facts.

  • POSTED BY nach1984 on | November 20, 2009, 17:51 GMT

    @Smaamdiu: You have truly shown your ignorance:

    Sachins average @ Home: 55.45 On 'toughest pitches' in Australia: 58.53 in England: 62.00 in SA: 39.76 in NZ: 49.52

    Pontings Average: @ Home: 60.93 in England: 44.10 in SA: 54.18 on 'flattest' pitches in India: 20.85

    Kallis Averages: @ Home: 56.77 in Australia: 45.75 in England: 29.30 in NZ: 66.25 in India: 55.70

    So there you have it...they all have different averages, and neither Kallis nor Ponting have a higher average in India (on supposedly easier pitches according to you) than on their home pitches. Sachin has a higher average in AUS (bounce) and England (seam), and lower in SA (bounce) and NZ (seam) than he does at home.

    That said, agree completely with the article... BCCI is killing tests in India.

  • POSTED BY ShankarPalaniyandi on | November 20, 2009, 17:50 GMT

    One simple solution is to make all Test pitches as "Bowling Friendly" and all ODI and 2020 wickets as "Batting Friendly". This should at eleast kindle the lost interest in Cricket; I am very sad that this game is almost dead now :-(

  • POSTED BY swasti on | November 20, 2009, 17:48 GMT

    @ Smaamdiu: Is this article abt which player is better? If not why are you trying to compare Sachin, Ricky and Kallis. And now that you are comparing let me tell you that same Ricky averages meager 20.85 in India. Doesn't that mean he is not a good player of spin. While Sachin has not only scored in India but has proved himself in all parts of world whatever the conditions are.

  • POSTED BY rockiniboepip on | November 20, 2009, 17:48 GMT

    We have to face facts that the sub continent is suited better to ODI cricket - one team scores 300 and the other has a decent shout at getting them.... Test cricket is pointless out there

  • POSTED BY Quazar on | November 20, 2009, 17:48 GMT

    SHAME on the regional cricket associations that support such pitches...and on the BCCI for not incentivizing groundsmen to prepare result wickets. That being said, the bowling and captaincy of both sides was far from inspirational. Test Cricket DESERVES BETTER. (@Smaamdiu - jealous blokes like you try to engineer reasons to belittle the Little Master's achievments. FYI, Tendulkar averages 58 in Australia...virtually same as Ponting and higher than Kallis. While in Sachin's backyard, Ponting averages only 20. Still, all 3 are greats of the game. And you need to learn to respect the opinions of Warne, Donald, Bishop, McGrath, Steve Waugh, et al when it comes to assessing one of the all-time greats. Peace)

  • POSTED BY amhagers on | November 20, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    Totally agreed! And this business looking 'prost' act to cricket from BCCI is really killing the game. Right now India really is the largest supporter base for cricket, they love this game; on this base what BCCI is the most influential body in cricket game (or read cricket business).

    What BCCI is doing is really fearing for the sake of this 'sport'. Their insurgency is two way: importing and pushing up T-20 with IPL, which has shown enough damage already in the international cricket, and killing the TEST match with such an focus broadcaster interest and business. Such an laissez-faire in cricket they are now doing!!

  • POSTED BY Parth_Pala on | November 20, 2009, 17:38 GMT

    In an attempt to prolong tests 5 days for maximum revenue the lackluster and potentially corrupt BCCI has once again put a dagger into the heart of test cricket. I wouldn't be surprised if Lalit Modi and his cronies had a part to play in such debacles either everyone knows the revenue is in T20. Having said that India are no mugs when it comes to fast pacey pitches , clearly Sambit is nitpicking and one has to question his range of knowledge. Or do we forget WACA, Nottingham and Cape Town victories? Not to mention the recent NZ series. Similary Sachin scored heavily in England and NZ on seaming pitches on their last tours in fact he averages than Ponting and Kallis on English swinging seaming pitches. In fact India have won more often on pacey bouncy wickets than on wickets which offer nothing. But unfortunately the fact that we Indians can only blame ourselves for allowing politicians to become the dictators of Indian cricket. But don't blame team India for their shameless bosses.

  • POSTED BY chandau on | November 20, 2009, 17:34 GMT

    Err.., good article!Yet we had to make a match out of it. Sanga's captaincy was pathetic to say the least. We had the initiative day 2 morning with Dilly playing a blinder. In comes Sanga at 1 drop and bats at 35%!! Was he once the #1 batter in the world? There we lost it. Next 4 guys did well but the precedent was set. How could we not score at 4 an over in the last session of day 3? Dhoni too has become a negative captain with negative tactics. Then we batted too long, instead of declaring at Mahela's wicket. The fields set were ridiculous after that. One hour session with openers and we had 2 fielders on either side of square boundary. Did we have a lead of like 320 odd? One would have thought India were chasing it for a win, so defensive the fields set. Problem with Sanga is that he speaks a lot so eloquently for the press. Then he has to walk the talk or eat it back. FOOT IN MOUTH disease is common among the Lankan politicians. seems Sanga has joined the club. Chandana SRI LANKA

  • POSTED BY yuvi07 on | November 20, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    Smaamdiu, why are you so quick to attacking tendulkar after this match and the several other matches where huge totals have been scored in India. Firstly before you go on and say that Ponting and Kallis are better than Tendulkar because they play on harder pitches around the world, check Tendulkars stats in other countries before you make such silly conclusions. These are his averages in other countries: in Australia: 58.53 in England: 62.00 in New Zealand: 49.52 in West Indies: 47.69 in South Africa: 39.76 I think that the facts say enough he averages higher in Australia and in England than in India - yet these pitches are flat, so what does that say. Also I agree with this article in that India has created to many flat pitches but dont all countries create pitches to their teams major strenght? For India is their batting. One final thing is that when India create a bowler friendly pitch in specific for spinners the other team (South Africa in Kanpur) accuse India of cheating.

  • POSTED BY sphagetti on | November 20, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    Well said Dileep! There is clear lack of intensity and lack of interest in a 5 day game on part of cricket administrators and players alike when sub continent teams are pitched against each other. Given a typical Indian flat pitch, subcontinent teams play over the period of 5 days as if they are on paid vacation! India was too defensive to start with and Sri lanka didnt play any attacking cricket either. What is ridiculous is that Dhoni thinks this team did extraordinarily well by 'saving' the match! Are you joking Mr. Dhoni? Even an under 16 secondary school team would have weathered Sri Lankan bowling attack on this lifeless pitch! I totally agree with Smaamdiu when he says Sachin's stats mean nothing compared to that of Ponting and Kallis as most of them have come on such spiritless Indian pitches as the one at Motera. Its about time Indian fans realised and accepted the truth about the great Indian batsmen! I think I am going to stop paying for my cricket channel.

  • POSTED BY SachinIsTheGreatest on | November 20, 2009, 17:22 GMT

    Dileep, I wish you come out just as strongly in the defence of a result-producing turning tracks Mumbai 2004 or a Kanpur 2006. Because what we see is not a substandard wicket there but batting and bowling of the highest quality. When South Africa blows India away for 76 and wins comfortably we hear orgasmic screams of having mastered all conditions. However, a test match later a true turner is produced and it becomes a sub-standard wicket not fit for test cricket? But what happened to that mastery over spin just one match ago? The issue as I see it is that the BCCI has tried to make that utopian "sporting wicket" which in today's world is essentially a non-turning track.

  • POSTED BY Muruges on | November 20, 2009, 17:22 GMT

    Excuse me, I completely agree that Ponting and Kallis are good players, but look at Sachin's stats. He scored more in foreign pitches than Indian pitches. Please look at the stats before commenting anybody's calibre.

  • POSTED BY Harshtmm on | November 20, 2009, 17:22 GMT

    MINDLESS BATTING??? you mean to say you are more mindful than Tendulkar??? so you think he was being defencive because he is mindless. had he thrown his wicket away to entertain you folks then , the same person would write Tendulkar never batted well when it mattered most(instead of writing this is very intelligent batting). Wow and this article is being published. Ofcourse I have seen more mindless articles than this from this author so I am not at all surprise. only surprise is how cricinfo is entertaining this guy to write more.

  • POSTED BY TwitterJitter on | November 20, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    I would say to fix this have team batting 1st play until 120th over, second innings should end by 240th over, 3rd until 350th over and 4th until 460 th. If 1st innings gets over in 60 overs, 2nd innings can be played for 240-60=180 overs, and the same carry over applies for 3rd and 4th innings. This ensures that there is a result in every test and getting the other team all out earlier gives you those additional overs that you can now bat for. Atleat use this format in India to ensure that there is no draw even on flattest of pitches and that there is an incentive for getting teams out even earlier.

  • POSTED BY guru1323 on | November 20, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    Completely agree with given article... But @ Smaamdiu please can we put some sense in our talking.. For your kind information sachin still has average of over 50 on overseas pitches too...He has scored most centuries against most difficult opposition in his time and that too on their lively pitches....So i hope that we should stick to our point rather than pointing towards someone who has done so much for TEST CRICKET.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | November 20, 2009, 17:19 GMT

    Very good article. Clearly, BCCI focused only on money, nothing else. Sri Lanka has never won a test in India. So, clearly India has nothing to fear about a result. The TV deal must be the main cause. Also, with the IPL being the main objective of the BCCI, it is likely to consider test cricket as a rival of T20. T20 has its own charm; but to a true cricket fan, nothing can be compared to the test cricket. And as you mention Murali, pitches like this will help S.Rajeshtype statisticians writing another article 'proving' that Murali is useless and Tendulkar's centuries can not win matches!

  • POSTED BY ShankarPalaniyandi on | November 20, 2009, 17:15 GMT

    No game can survive without spectators and it is clear that this game of Test Cricket is in ICU now; clock is ticking; doctors (administrators) please act fast else pull the plug

    Here is a suggestion to increase the chance of result and interest;

    1. Each team should be given 100 overs/innings to play; if they aren't using those. say the team batting 1st is all out or declared at 75 overs, the opposition should be given the rest of the overs to bat. With this we can curtail to 400 overs (80/day for 5 days) and we can see some challenging declarations and the need to bowl the opposition sooner rather than defensive attacks/bowling.

  • POSTED BY Diston on | November 20, 2009, 17:14 GMT

    The CricInfo Manifesto 2009

    Spot on Dileep, unfortunately Cricinfo would give them all the feedback they needed on this matter and on referrals (Nearly every respected opinion I hear backs umpire only referrals, so when are we gonna trial it?) stop moaning about about the death of the five day game, just stop murdering the game with dull concrete shirt fronts where the batsmen go on holiday and even the great bowlers go through the motions, see past venality, and get over the inept decision making...here in the UK, they are still offering the crumbs of the Ashes...the Ashes after next that is, they can't afford the Aussie Leg cause they've given it all to the bankers and thats only that's only the terrestrial Ashes, as opposed to the Digital Ashes where they tell me all the action is......My home village overrun by senile, retired TV Presenters....To the unbeaten, underachieving memory of Stanton CC - R.I.P

  • POSTED BY Homer2007 on | November 20, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    Here is the other thing - for the BCCI, Test Cricket is not the main revenue generator anyways, so they can actually afford to produce result oriented wickets without worrying about whether the Test lasts the distance and the attendent loss of ad/gate revenues.

    We did it in the 90s, and to great success.

    And what happened?

    Can you really put your hand on your heart and say that we can produce a raging turner without some "jobs for the boys" match referee choking on his tea and producing a scatching report of "abysmal sub continental conditions"..

    as regards "The BCCI has a television deal that's on the basis of days of coverage" - that is a problem easily solved. For all the unused air time, the BCCI can always slot in additional ODIs.

    They have done this before and if it is going to benefit all, why not? But will that stop accusations of the BCCI being greedy? Of course not!

    Cheers,

  • POSTED BY sreenathvee on | November 20, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    The article says it all ! ! When bold steps to revive interest in Test cricket among people should be taken, the authorities are taking one step backwards by producing such awful pitches. The beauty of test cricket lies in seeing an equal contest between bat and ball but all we get to see are big scores and personal milestones being achieved by different batsmen.Might as well see a bowling machine in action than watch matches of this sort

  • POSTED BY jmeasman on | November 20, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    Hi Dileep Excellent article and rightly pointing to the dead pitches. I remember when Younis Khan made a triple against the same country, everybody was blamming the pitches and nobody considered the fact the Pakistan was batting second and under pressure but it was becasue of the placid pitch. What about now???

    Thanks for this article again

  • POSTED BY Homer2007 on | November 20, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    On the one hand, the ICC PItches Manager states that <a href=http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/416823.html>the ICC is not into standardizing wickets</a> and on the other, the ICC has a <a href=http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/rules_and_regulations.php>"PITCH AND OUTFIELD MONITORING PROCESS"</a> wherein there are "guidelines" for the Match Referee to assess a wicket and submit a report and where

    4.2. The range of penalties shall include but are not limited to: * A warning * A fine imposed on the Home Board * Withdrawal or suspension for a period of time of international match status from the venue for repeat offences.

    Then there is Kanpur 2008 and Headingley 2009. One match lasts 9 sessions, the other 7. One featured scores of 265, 325, 121 and 64 the other 102,445 and 263.

    Guess which one was issued a show cause notice and which wasnt?

    In such circumstances, it is only right that anodyne wickets be rolled out. Better that than be censured along with a loss of revenue!

  • POSTED BY ShankarPalaniyandi on | November 20, 2009, 16:59 GMT

    When everything around us is mending themselves to keep up with technology, lifestyle (FaceBook, Twitter etc.,) and changes why Test Cricket isn't? This is utter shame and this Indian pitch is a classic example for this. If this does not kill the Test Matches what will? There has been several death knells rung and if the administrators are turning a deaf ears to all these it is for sure - curtains! First of all, I agree Test Matches are THE litmus test to challenge and test the grit and the true ability of a player (it is named for a reason, I guess as TEST - True test between Bat & Ball) but we can not be singing the same saga for years and let this beautiful game die. We need to change; if I tell someone, Yeah there was a Cricket game played between India and SL and it ended without a result after 5 days - it is sheer non-sensical. With all these, people (administrators) are believing they can get the Olympic committee to accept this in 2020. They will not even listen.

  • POSTED BY Golandaaz on | November 20, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    The onus is squarely on the ICC to take the pitch out of the result equation. Rules of the game must change to guarantee a result. No matter what the designs of the local boards and countries.

    You may be right in suggesting that countries like India are motivated by attributes revenue rather than the pursuit of sporting glory. They realize no stake in the future of test cricket.

    However true that may be, if a product can be abused, its brand susceptible to the misaligned goals of its distributors, it has to evolve and outsmart such motivations.

    It is easy to criticize India but sure there must must be a way to let India make its money and yet protect the brand.

  • POSTED BY sitaram58 on | November 20, 2009, 16:48 GMT

    So why should we expect the BCCI to change. This is capitalism in its purest form at work. " Make Hay while the sun shines" is what the BCCI lives by.

    Bessides, the administrators don't want test cricket, the players would prefer to tax their bodies less and make more money, the spectators don't care about test cricket and the television moghuls would prefer to pay top dollar for limited over cricket (and to hell with test matches). So why not do away with test matches??? (and 3 and 4 day matches - Ranji, Dullep Trophy etc)

  • POSTED BY TheMatchReferee.com on | November 20, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    Hear, hear. But to call this a "bog standard" pitch is to do a gross disservice to real, bog standard pitches. This surface was nothing short of a terrible, terrible blight on the game. Unfortunately, it seems as thought this will likely become the norm now that the BCCI is intent on killing Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY serendipiti on | November 20, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    It's the fear of losing a Test series at home that leads to such pitches being prepared. With Australia(now that they are without Warne!)one can prepare square turners but with Sri lanka with a spinner like Mendis and Murli who wud take the risk!!Such pitches suit everybody really....the batsmen-adding more runs to their tally, bowlers-handy excuse will come easy to them tooo and the broadcaster who is guaranteed viewership for 5 days!! What will suffer is the quality of test cricket...sad, really. Why can't we procue pitches like Australia where every game is a pleasure to watch(pitches like Adelaid/Perth) which has something for everybody.

  • POSTED BY Smaamdiu on | November 20, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    completely agree.... thats 1 of the reason also which made sachin stats much better as he scored most of his runs in flattest picthes world has ever seen.....when we compare this stats, player like ponting and kallis should be ranked much higher than sachin as they always had to struggle in the toughest pitches and still hold very good records, i think kallis average higher than sachin which proves wat a quality player he is compare to sachin. Pitches in india, pakistan and srilanka r killing test cricket.

  • POSTED BY vakkaraju on | November 20, 2009, 16:24 GMT

    IF THESE KINDS OF CONTESTS DON'T KILL TESTS NOTHING ELSE WILL.

  • POSTED BY srt1977 on | November 20, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    One way to combat these boring test matches would be to restrict each side to 225 overs per match. They can play as many over as they want in either innings but should be restricted to a max of 225 per match. This way we will have a result in every game regardless of how many wicket's have fallen. I think this will revivie interest in test matches as the final day in most cases will be a close chase.

  • POSTED BY Vkarthik on | November 20, 2009, 16:18 GMT

    There is juvenile website that consists of 15 year old kids going after Sambit for putting down Younis Khan's so called epic 303. These attention craving kids should keep quiet after reading this article.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Vkarthik on | November 20, 2009, 16:18 GMT

    There is juvenile website that consists of 15 year old kids going after Sambit for putting down Younis Khan's so called epic 303. These attention craving kids should keep quiet after reading this article.

  • POSTED BY srt1977 on | November 20, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    One way to combat these boring test matches would be to restrict each side to 225 overs per match. They can play as many over as they want in either innings but should be restricted to a max of 225 per match. This way we will have a result in every game regardless of how many wicket's have fallen. I think this will revivie interest in test matches as the final day in most cases will be a close chase.

  • POSTED BY vakkaraju on | November 20, 2009, 16:24 GMT

    IF THESE KINDS OF CONTESTS DON'T KILL TESTS NOTHING ELSE WILL.

  • POSTED BY Smaamdiu on | November 20, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    completely agree.... thats 1 of the reason also which made sachin stats much better as he scored most of his runs in flattest picthes world has ever seen.....when we compare this stats, player like ponting and kallis should be ranked much higher than sachin as they always had to struggle in the toughest pitches and still hold very good records, i think kallis average higher than sachin which proves wat a quality player he is compare to sachin. Pitches in india, pakistan and srilanka r killing test cricket.

  • POSTED BY serendipiti on | November 20, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    It's the fear of losing a Test series at home that leads to such pitches being prepared. With Australia(now that they are without Warne!)one can prepare square turners but with Sri lanka with a spinner like Mendis and Murli who wud take the risk!!Such pitches suit everybody really....the batsmen-adding more runs to their tally, bowlers-handy excuse will come easy to them tooo and the broadcaster who is guaranteed viewership for 5 days!! What will suffer is the quality of test cricket...sad, really. Why can't we procue pitches like Australia where every game is a pleasure to watch(pitches like Adelaid/Perth) which has something for everybody.

  • POSTED BY TheMatchReferee.com on | November 20, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    Hear, hear. But to call this a "bog standard" pitch is to do a gross disservice to real, bog standard pitches. This surface was nothing short of a terrible, terrible blight on the game. Unfortunately, it seems as thought this will likely become the norm now that the BCCI is intent on killing Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY sitaram58 on | November 20, 2009, 16:48 GMT

    So why should we expect the BCCI to change. This is capitalism in its purest form at work. " Make Hay while the sun shines" is what the BCCI lives by.

    Bessides, the administrators don't want test cricket, the players would prefer to tax their bodies less and make more money, the spectators don't care about test cricket and the television moghuls would prefer to pay top dollar for limited over cricket (and to hell with test matches). So why not do away with test matches??? (and 3 and 4 day matches - Ranji, Dullep Trophy etc)

  • POSTED BY Golandaaz on | November 20, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    The onus is squarely on the ICC to take the pitch out of the result equation. Rules of the game must change to guarantee a result. No matter what the designs of the local boards and countries.

    You may be right in suggesting that countries like India are motivated by attributes revenue rather than the pursuit of sporting glory. They realize no stake in the future of test cricket.

    However true that may be, if a product can be abused, its brand susceptible to the misaligned goals of its distributors, it has to evolve and outsmart such motivations.

    It is easy to criticize India but sure there must must be a way to let India make its money and yet protect the brand.

  • POSTED BY ShankarPalaniyandi on | November 20, 2009, 16:59 GMT

    When everything around us is mending themselves to keep up with technology, lifestyle (FaceBook, Twitter etc.,) and changes why Test Cricket isn't? This is utter shame and this Indian pitch is a classic example for this. If this does not kill the Test Matches what will? There has been several death knells rung and if the administrators are turning a deaf ears to all these it is for sure - curtains! First of all, I agree Test Matches are THE litmus test to challenge and test the grit and the true ability of a player (it is named for a reason, I guess as TEST - True test between Bat & Ball) but we can not be singing the same saga for years and let this beautiful game die. We need to change; if I tell someone, Yeah there was a Cricket game played between India and SL and it ended without a result after 5 days - it is sheer non-sensical. With all these, people (administrators) are believing they can get the Olympic committee to accept this in 2020. They will not even listen.

  • POSTED BY Homer2007 on | November 20, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    On the one hand, the ICC PItches Manager states that <a href=http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/416823.html>the ICC is not into standardizing wickets</a> and on the other, the ICC has a <a href=http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/rules_and_regulations.php>"PITCH AND OUTFIELD MONITORING PROCESS"</a> wherein there are "guidelines" for the Match Referee to assess a wicket and submit a report and where

    4.2. The range of penalties shall include but are not limited to: * A warning * A fine imposed on the Home Board * Withdrawal or suspension for a period of time of international match status from the venue for repeat offences.

    Then there is Kanpur 2008 and Headingley 2009. One match lasts 9 sessions, the other 7. One featured scores of 265, 325, 121 and 64 the other 102,445 and 263.

    Guess which one was issued a show cause notice and which wasnt?

    In such circumstances, it is only right that anodyne wickets be rolled out. Better that than be censured along with a loss of revenue!