The low-bounce Ferozshah Kotla pitch has come in for heavy criticism from former India players after the sluggish surface took the sheen out of the first Test between India and the West Indies.
Former India coach Madan Lal, who was also the Delhi captain, was emphatic: “This is not a Test cricket pitch,” he told HT.
More criticism came its way after 17 wickets tumbled on Monday. HT had reported before the Test (Sept 4 issue) that serious trouble was brewing over the quality of the pitch.
Madan Lal asked what stopped the cash-rich Board that spent heavily on improving stadiums from hiring foreign pitch experts. “We are playing Test cricket, you have the best batting line-up, and you are the better side. They should have prepared a better wicket.”
He said it was poor advertisement for Test cricket: “Cricket today is entertainment, and everything should be in proper place.”
Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar said the wicket could have been much worse and that there are glaring shortcomings for everyone to see. “The Delhi and District Cricket Association has always come under criticism for its wickets. This pitch is much better than expected, but yes, the bounce is an issue. On the first day itself the ball was keeping so low.”Former India opener and coach Anshuman Gaekwad agreed. "It is not how a wicket should be for a five-day game. On the first day itself the ball was not rising."
The Ferozshah Kotla was banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the fifth ODI between India and Sri Lanka in December 2009 was called off after just 23.3 overs due to a dubious pitch. Since then, the Delhi pitch has always been under the scanner.