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Indian cricket and its history with poor pitches: Pune not an anomaly

Pune’s poor rating by the International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad is the latest addition to a long and dubious list of Indian pitches where either bowlers have got undue advantage or were simply too dangerous for cricket.

cricket Updated: Feb 28, 2017 19:58 IST
HT Correspondent
The Pune pitch for the first Test between India and Australia has been rated poor by International Cricket Council match referee Chris Board in his report. This was Pune’s first ever Test match.
The Pune pitch for the first Test between India and Australia has been rated poor by International Cricket Council match referee Chris Board in his report. This was Pune’s first ever Test match. (REUTERS)

The Pune pitch used for the first Test between India and Australia has been rated ‘poor’ by International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad in his report.

Read more | Is Indian cricket team management to be blamed for poor Pune wicket in 1st Test?

Playing on a dust bowl, Virat Kohli-led India cricket team lost the Test by 333 runs within three days with Australia cricket team spinners Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon running through the famed Indian batting lineup.

Steve O’Keefe‘s match haul of 12/70 helped Australia beat India by 333 runs in the first Test in Pune. The Pune pitch has been rated poor by International Cricket Council match referee Chris Board in his report. (REUTERS)

However this isn’t the first time an Indian pitch has got a poor rating from the ICC.

Read more | No instructions on how to prepare Bengaluru pitch yet, says KSCA secretary

Here are few previous instances where Indian pitches got the stick from ICC

1997 Indore

The ODI between India and Sri Lanka at Nehru Stadium on December 25,1997 was abandoned due to a bad pitch after just 18 balls were bowled. This was the first time an international match was called off because of an unsafe pitch. To appease a capacity crowd though, both sides agreed to play a 25 over per side exhibition match on the adjacent pitch. Sri Lanka won that game by two runs.

Graeme Smith of South Africa inspects the Kanpur pitch during a practice session ahead of the third Test against India. The pitch was later rated poor by the International Cricket Council. (Getty Images)

2008 Kanpur

The Kanpur pitch prepared for the third Test against South Africa in April, 2008 was rated poor by the ICC. The ICC also handed an official warning to Kanpur after the Test finished in India’s favour within three days. India beat South Africa by eight wickets to square the series 1-1.

Read more | India vs Australia: To make or not to make a turner at Chinnaswamy Stadium

2009 Delhi

The pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi was declared dangerous and unfit by match officials after just 23.3 overs were bowled during an ODI between India and Sri Lanka. After a detailed enquiry, the venue was banned by the ICC for one year but was allowed to host matches of the 2011 World Cup.

Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan grimaces in pain (sitting) after he was hit by Ashish Nehra’s delivery during the final ODI against India at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on December 27, 2009. The match was abandoned after 23 overs due to an unfit pitch. Delhi was barred from hosting any international match for a year by the International Cricket Council. (Getty Images)

2015 Nagpur

The Nagpur pitch used for the third Test against South Africa in November 2015 was rated ‘poor’ by match referee Jeff Crowe in his report. The match finished inside three days, with India beating South Africa by 124 runs. Of the 40 wickets to fall in that Test, 33 went to spinners while Murali Vijay was the highest scorer from both sides with 40.

(With inputs from S Pervez Qaiser)