The Australian media once again questioned Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team’s integrity after the curator of the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi, where the third India vs Australia Test will be staged, left the choice of the wicket to ‘the team’.
Local curator SB Singh said they’ve set aside three pitches for the third Test. “Each of them will behave differently. The team will choose the strip two days before the match,” he had said.
“The pitch will suit both the batsmen and bowlers and will definitely last five days.”
His statement was picked by the Australian newspapers, who went on a tirade. Daily Telegraph went hammer and tongs, even terming it a conspiracy.
“Australia is set to walk head on into another Indian conspiracy in Ranchi, with the local curator making the stunning admission that Virat Kohli will be allowed to handpick the pitch he wants,” the report in the newspaper said.
“Australia has grown accustomed to being conned by pitch preparation on the sub-continent, and already on this tour they have been forced to play on a Pune wicket ruled “poor” by the ICC, and a Bangalore surface that at times was even more unplayable,” the report added.
The Age said, “India coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli will be given a choice of three tracks for the third Test.”
Facing flak, SB Singh, clarified his statement.
“I have never said anything about Kohli being allowed to have his say on the pitch for the match,” said Singh adding that by “team” he meant officials.
JSCA secretary Debashis Chakraborty added to the clarification. “SB Singh is right. We have nine pitches here at the stadium and of which three have been prepared for this Test as is the norm with any other association hosting a Test match. Once the officials come here they will choose which pitch to play on,” he was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.