Baroda v Rajasthan, Ranji Trophy final, Vadodara

BCCI curator approves Moti Bagh pitch

Abhishek Purohit in Vadodara

January 10, 2011

Comments: 3 | Text size: A | A

After the Ranji Trophy semi-final between Baroda and Karnataka ended in one-and-a-half days on a sharp turner, the track for the final has expectedly attracted attention from various quarters. The BCCI even sent its curator Sudhir Naik to inspect the surface at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara, the venue for Tuesday's final between Baroda and Rajasthan.

Naik's visit followed Karnataka's complaint to the match referee about the dry pitch at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara, where thirty-three wickets tumbled before tea on the second day of the semi-final, resulting in a shock exit for the visitors. But Naik allayed all concerns, saying the Moti Bagh track was a good wicket. "It is the right choice for the final, and will assist both the pacers as well as spinners," he told the Times of India.

The captains of both the teams in the final agreed with Naik's assessment. "I think there should be some help there for the seamers," Hrishikesh Kanitkar, the Rajasthan captain, said. "It looks a fine surface, but in a five-day game the pitch can change its nature as the game goes on." The Baroda captain Pinal Shah said the wicket would take some turn as the game progressed.

Both captains would hope their reading of the pitch turns out to be correct, as their bowling attacks will be accordingly calibrated. Rajasthan are banking on their seam trio of Pankaj Singh, Deepak Chahar and Sumit Mathur, while Baroda could go in with two specialist spinners in Bhargav Bhatt and Aditya Waghmode, as well as Swapnil Singh, a batting allrounder who bowls left-arm spin.

The wicket is devoid of grass and looks good for batting. "It is a typical red soil wicket. It should break up a bit and turn from the third day onwards," Aakash Chopra, the Rajasthan opener, said. Amit Asawa, the Rajasthan coach, said he did not see the game lasting beyond four days.

Swing is usually a major factor at Moti Bagh, a stadium that has no stands and lies in the sprawling Lakshmi Vilas Palace complex amid scores of trees. The wind blows vigorously at the ground, and the ball nips around in the morning session. "The first session is always the key at Moti Bagh," Pinal said. However, if one can survive till lunch, the lush outfield and true bounce provides good value for shots.

"It does not seam much here, but another thing you have to take into account is the amount of dew," Mukesh Narula, the Baroda coach, said. "For the last week or so, there has not been much dew here, and there was none at the Reliance Stadium. But it's winter now and if the dew comes, it will definitely have an impact." There are a lot of variables for the teams to ponder over, but given how the wicket looks, another finish inside two days is unlikely.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Abhishek Purohit

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by shibukunnamthanam on (January 11, 2011, 7:41 GMT)

why BCCI not hav a make PACE & BOUNCY wickets. indian batsmans need that type of wickets..Dont know always making SPIN tracks.....??

Posted by Deepak on (January 10, 2011, 21:00 GMT)

Rajasthan should start as the firm favorites based on the firepower they possess in both battling (Chopra, Kanitkar, Menaria and Saxena) and bowling (Pankaj Singh and Chahar). And, Baroda are missing their two key players - Yusuf Pathan and Munaf Patel. Granted Baroda won the semi-finals against a strong Karnataka team, but the pitch seemed too dodgy. Should be a great contest though. Let the action begin!

Posted by sudhs_107 on (January 10, 2011, 16:35 GMT)

Lets see.. I am waiting for the match to start.

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Abhishek PurohitClose
Tournament Results
Baroda v Rajasthan at Vadodara - Jan 11-15, 2011
Match drawn (Rajasthan won on 1st innings)
Rajasthan v Tamil Nadu at Jaipur - Jan 3-6, 2011
Match drawn (Rajasthan won on 1st innings)
Baroda v Karnataka at Vadodara - Jan 3-4, 2011
Baroda won by 7 wickets
Baroda v Railways at Vadodara - Dec 24-27, 2010
Match drawn
Haryana v Tamil Nadu at Rohtak - Dec 24-27, 2010
Match drawn
M. Pradesh v Karnataka at Indore - Dec 24-27, 2010
Karnataka won by 5 wickets
Rajasthan v Mumbai at Jaipur - Dec 24-27, 2010
Match drawn
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days