India can beat SA on normal wickets, no need for Nagpur pitch: Bedi

  • Jasvinder Sidhu, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 27, 2015 17:09 IST
A member of ground staff (L) uses a broom to sweep dust off the pitch as umpire Bruce Oxenford (C) and India's Murali Vijay look on on the first day of the third Test between India and South Africa in Nagpur on November 25, 2015. (AFP Photo)

Odisha were dismissed by Bengal for 37 and the hosts won the Ranji Trophy match in one-and-half days. Crying foul over the poor pitch conditions, Odisha filed a complaint with the BCCI.

Twenty one matches have ended within three days this season and spinners have dominated till the end of the eighth round (96 matches).

The India team also took a giant step on Thursday, thanks to the curator of the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, towards winning the third Test and series against South Africa within three days.

Given the prevailing conditions, Indian cricket is experiencing an era of “pitch-fixing’ in which captains, coaches and team management of domestic and national teams are tampering with the spirit of the game for their convenience.

Losing character

“Cricket is losing its basic character. It isn’t the job of captains, directors and support staff to play curators. Virat Kohli is responsible because he is the one who is captaining and the rest are seated outside. He will be answerable to history like Douglas Jardine after the Bodyline series,” former India skipper Bishan Singh Bedi told HT.

On the second day in Nagpur, 20 wickets fell, and for the visitors, the conditions here are worse than Mohali where they lost in three days. South Africa’s first innings lasted 33.1 overs against India’s spin bowling as they were bowled out for 79 and they had already lost two batsmen at the close on Thursday while requiring another 278 runs to win the match.

“This is not cricket. This pitch is right in the backyard of ICC chairman (Shashank Manohar). You can’t shut your eyes to this kind of nonsense. You don’t have to prepare such kind of pitches because you could have beaten South Africa even on normal wickets. They don’t have a team to play in Indian conditions,” said Bedi.

After the disastrous performance in the T20 and ODI series, and the way team director Ravi Shastri allegedly abused the Wankhede curator for not making a pitch suitable to the India spinners, such kind of ‘challenging pitches’ for the rest of the series were expected.

“We are working on result-oriented wickets with the element of home advantage,” Daljit Singh, chairman of the BCCI ground and pitches committee, had said after the ODI series.

Bedi isn’t convinced and felt India have the calibre to win on good pitches. “You want to win fair enough, but this is not the way. You are a better side and you should win on a better surface,” he said.

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