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Too fast and furious: Story of the WACA

A car-freak, even Sachin Tendulkar couldn't ride this 'Ferrari'. VVS Laxman couldn't open the doors. Virat Kohli did change gears of this beast but couldn't go the distance. Only David Warner was able to floor the pedal and may now want to take it along. Dinesh Chopra reports.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2012 12:00 IST
Dinesh Chopra

A car-freak, even Sachin Tendulkar couldn't ride this 'Ferrari'. VVS Laxman couldn't open the doors. Virat Kohli did change gears of this beast but couldn't go the distance. Only David Warner was able to floor the pedal and may now want to take it along.

This is no go-karting contest but just a cute name given to the WACA pitch on which India lost this Test match to Australia within three days. "We call this Test match wicket Turbo but Ferrari is not a bad name, may be we will now call it by that one," said the curator here at the WACA, Cameron Sutherland. After the game before he put the beast to sleep, he serviced on its cracks, pushing in the clay soil.

“I was a bit worried about the cracks on this pitch today. To me it looked like a Day five pitch and not Day three. But I am happy it played well and the cracks didn't have impact on any of the 30 dismissals," Sutherland said -- accountant look intact. “The worst part is that we may have prepared a brilliant Test wicket which would have bounce and will be quick but we will still be criticised. All people want the pitch to be WACA-quick."

Therefore in 2008, after India beat Australia here, Sutherland dug up the entire square. He relayed it with the clay soil that he got from a townsite called Waroona on the banks of Harvey river, about 110 kilometers outside Perth. “I discussed a lot with former curators and was lucky that I knew Rod Davis, who worked as a contractor here at the WACA in 70s and 80s. He took me to Waroona," said Sutherland.

The pitch on which ODI cricket is played has the tag; ‘Precious’. "Well I am not much into this naming thing but the others in my team are. One day we were all sitting during a rain break and had nothing much to do. During a casual chat we decided on the names Turbo and Precious. We call it Precious because it requires a lot of attention," said Sutherland. The pitch could be used when India takes on Sri Lanka in an ODI on February.

(The Writer works for ESPN's sportscenter)