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No new turn in the pitch story

cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2011 01:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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There has not been and will not be any home advantage for India in Bangalore. Sunday's Group B match against Ireland will be played on the same pitch that was used for their game against England a week ago.

Batsmen had fun in that game while bowlers sank in despair. With the Irish not the best players of spin and given that they tore apart the English pace attack on Wednesday, a pitch that offers something to the spinners might help India to an extent. But that will not be the case.

"We could have prepared a pitch that assists spin for this game, but are not doing that because if a side gets all out for 150, our association's image will be destroyed," said pitch curator Narayan Raju. "And we have prepared sporting pitches here. People want to see runs being scored and that's what they have got." Bowlers might disagree with the curator's definition of a "sporting pitch" but that's how it is.

The absolute flat tracks used in the two games here probably have something to do with the India-Australia practice match played here on February 13.

That pitch offered significant turn but the surface has since been consistently watered and rolled to cut that element out.
While an ICC official said they wanted "good pitches", he denied that such pitches necessarily meant they have to favour batsmen. An under-prepared wicket is prohibited but there is no bar on pitches that offer something to the bowlers, be it the quicks or spinners.

The Indian team seemed to be in a relaxed mood on Friday. The players came to the ground for practice well past an hour after the scheduled time of 2 pm, and there was hardly any cricketing activity.

They spent one hour playing football and volleyball and then did some light catching practice.