I won’t play any cricket on this wicket: Dhoni | cricket | Hindustan Times
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I won’t play any cricket on this wicket: Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not so critical of the curator, saying making sporting tracks was a difficult job, but admitted that such pitches are not ideal for Test cricket, reports Abhijeet Kulkarni.

cricket Updated: Nov 20, 2009 23:29 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

Last time India played a Test at the Sardar Patel stadium, curator Dhiraj Parsana drew flak from the team for leaving a green cover on the wicket that resulted in disaster for the home team.

The BCCI pitch and ground’s committee member promised a more balanced wicket this time, but is unlikely to have made any friends among players or the spectators this time as well. The track turned out to be a nightmare for bowlers with over 1,500 runs scored and bowlers failing to get any assistance even on the final day.

The ball did start turning from the rough at the end of the third day but it was hardly menacing, reminding spectators of the Colombo Test in 1997 where Sri Lanka scored a record total of 952 for 7.

The Sri Lankans came close to repeating that feat, piling on 760 for 7 while the Indians scored in the excess of 400 in both innings prompting Sunil Gavaskar to joke that the curator could be contracted to make concrete roads in the city.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not so critical of the curator, saying making sporting tracks was a difficult job, but admitted that such pitches are not ideal for Test cricket. “I won’t play any cricket on this wicket,” said Dhoni when asked whether the batsman in him would like to play here. “It was bad. But I have played on flatter wickets than this… It is difficult to make the right wicket. If you keep some grass and leave it damp then the Test can get over in three days. Every curator tries to make a good sporting wicket. It is a tough job and we shouldn’t blame it on the curator.”

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, for his part, said that they never expected the wicket to be so flat.

“We had our best chance on the first day. We let them get away… Then there was nothing for the bowlers on the fourth and fifth day.”