HT Image
HT Image

No middle for pitched battle

India have struggled to force the right result at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, not winning a Test here in 13 years, but on the evidence of the first two days' play it seems the curator might have a share in the blame, reports Anand Vasu.
By Anand Vasu | Hindustan Times, Bangalore
UPDATED ON OCT 11, 2008 12:10 AM IST

India have struggled to force the right result at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, not winning a Test here in 13 years, but on the evidence of the first two days' play it seems the curator might have a share in the blame. In this case, you don't even know who to ask: Narayan Raju, the former Karnataka batsman and long-standing curator, has been partnered by Phil Stoyanoff, the expert from New Zealand. "It's been rolled and rolled in the past week and is really firm," Stoyanoff said just before the start of this Test. "It's hard and shiny and reminds me of the WACA."

If Stoyanoff still holds this view, after seeing how the pitch has behaved, there would be good reason to question his credentials to do the job in the first place. But sadly, Bangalore is not isolated in this. More and more, Indian pitches have become dull and lifeless, with the ball doing next to nothing. This leaves bowlers tired and unhappy while not helping the batsmen either as they struggle to play their shots with the ball not coming onto the bat.

Not long ago, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Mohali produced sporting pitches, the kind that encouraged a tough fight between bat and ball. For some reason those four surfaces, and others, were relaid in one go, again with the help of experts from the Turf Institute in New Zealand, and things have gone downhill.

For a time in the 1990s India played on pitches tailormade for its three-pronged spin attack, dustbowls that gave visiting batsmen sleepless nights.

If anything, India have ceased to enjoy the edge that comes with home advantage in recent times. There was the Nagpur strip, green and grassy, that was perfectly suited to Australia's seam-based attack in 2004. There was Ahmedabad, early this year, when the curator point blank refused to shave the grass off against Dale Steyn's South Africa, where India were bowled out for just 76 in 20 overs on the first morning.

There's a crying need to produce pitches with some bounce. It's not as though Anil Kumble has needed dust bowls, but when you see a bowler of his skill and experience being reduced to a trundler, forced to experiment with bowling seam up, you know something is not right. Just after 4.30pm on Friday, what began as a gentle drizzle escalated to a shower as the players were out in the middle. It remains to be seen whether the moisture that fell on the pitch before it was covered can do what the curators have failed to – breathe life into a surface that has reduced the game to hours of hard work.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Live
India's Rishabh Pant hits the ball for six runs during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba.(AP)
India's Rishabh Pant hits the ball for six runs during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba.(AP)

4th Test, Day 5 Live: Pant scores fifty as India need 69 to win in 15 overs

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 12:07 PM IST
IND vs AUS 4th Test Live Score, Day 5 Latest Updates: India have lost four wickets in their 328-run chase. Shubman Gill missed his century as he was dismissed for 91 by Lyon. Follow live updates of India vs Australia Cricket match.
India's Rishabh Pant bats during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)
India's Rishabh Pant bats during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)

Rishabh Pant breaks MS Dhoni's record at Gabba

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 10:51 AM IST
India vs Australia: Rishabh Pant reached the 1000-Test runs mark during the final day of the fourth Test.
Close
Australia's Nathan Lyon, centre, reacts as his video review is rejected during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)
Australia's Nathan Lyon, centre, reacts as his video review is rejected during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)

'I don't understand': Warne questions Lyon's tactics against Pujara

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 09:58 AM IST
India vs Australia: Speaking on Fox Cricket, Warne said that Lyon should have a bat-pad on the off-side against Pujara as the spinner had got the India batsman out with this strategy before.
Close
India's batsman Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot on day five of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane on January 19, 2021. (Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP) / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE--(AFP)
India's batsman Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot on day five of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane on January 19, 2021. (Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP) / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE--(AFP)

'Never trusted DRS': Ian Chappell fumes after 'bizarre' LBW call saves Pujara

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:25 AM IST
India vs Australia: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell questioned the technology while speaking on On ABC Grandstand, according to Fox Cricket.
Close
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq(Getty Images)
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq(Getty Images)

'Fabulous effort': Inzamam impressed with India's 'new all-rounder'

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 09:22 AM IST
'He will be a threat to rest of the players in Indian team,' Inzamam impressed with India's 'new all-rounder'
Close
India's Shubman Gill bats during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)
India's Shubman Gill bats during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)

Shubman Gill hits a flat-six, fan takes easy catch at stands - WATCH

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 07:47 AM IST
India vs Australia: Shubman Gill registered his 2nd Test fifty at Gabba in the first session on 5th Day of the 4th Test.
Close
Sunil Gavaskar. File(Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. File(Twitter)

'It might have played in their mind': Gavaskar on why Aussies did not declare

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 07:03 AM IST
India vs Australia: But former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels it was the right call considering what transpired at the Sydney Cricket Ground last week.
Close
Ricky Ponting expects Australia to end India's resistance. (Getty Images)
Ricky Ponting expects Australia to end India's resistance. (Getty Images)

'India's resilience has got to give up': Ponting expects Aus to go for the kill

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 07:40 PM IST
  • India vs Australia: Ricky Ponting believes India's fight has got to end at some stage and expects Australia to have a crack at India on Day 5 of the Brisbane Test with all guns blazing.
Close
Mohammed Siraj finished with 5/73. (Getty Images)
Mohammed Siraj finished with 5/73. (Getty Images)

Brisbane Test: After Siraj touch, series decider on final day

By Somshuvra Laha, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:28 PM IST
  • India vs Australia: Siraj’s 5/73 coupled with another fine piece of fast bowling from Shardul Thakur (4/61), helped India bowl Australia out for 294 in their second innings, which set India 328 to win.
Close
Will we see Bhuvneshwar Kumar return to India whites against England? (Getty Images)
Will we see Bhuvneshwar Kumar return to India whites against England? (Getty Images)

Fit-again Bhuvneshwar Kumar eyes England Test series comeback

By Sharad Deep, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 07:45 PM IST
  • The swing bowler, who missed the Australia tour due to injury, is on a comeback and playing in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.
Close
Brisbane : India's Shardul Thakur, left, celebrates the dismissal of Australia's Tim Paine, right, during play on day four of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. AP/PTI(AP01_18_2021_000018B)(AP)
Brisbane : India's Shardul Thakur, left, celebrates the dismissal of Australia's Tim Paine, right, during play on day four of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. AP/PTI(AP01_18_2021_000018B)(AP)

'Your all-round performance has kept the Test series alive'

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:34 PM IST
Tendulkar congratulated Siraj for his remarkable feat and also heaped praises on Shardul, stating that the latter’s performance has kept the match and more importantly, the Test series alive.
Close
India's Mohammed Siraj celebrates the dismissal on the 4th day of the fourth test match between Australia and India, at Brisbane Cricket Ground in Gabba on Monday.(Agencies)
India's Mohammed Siraj celebrates the dismissal on the 4th day of the fourth test match between Australia and India, at Brisbane Cricket Ground in Gabba on Monday.(Agencies)

Mohammad Kaif congratulates Siraj on his maiden Test five-fer

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:02 PM IST
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif congratulated the pacer for achieving this milestone in a few days after making his Test debut.
Close
Australian bowler Mitchell Starc checks his boot during play on day three of the fourth cricket Test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane(AP)
Australian bowler Mitchell Starc checks his boot during play on day three of the fourth cricket Test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane(AP)

Ind vs Aus: Smith gives a major update on Mithcell Starc’s hamstring injury

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 07:40 PM IST
Starc was seen clutching his right hamstring which was a matter of concern for the hosts. However, batsman Steve Smith is hopeful that he would pull through a decisive final day against India on Tuesday.
Close
Tamil Nadu beat Bengal by 8 wickets(BCCI Domestic/ Twitter)
Tamil Nadu beat Bengal by 8 wickets(BCCI Domestic/ Twitter)

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Tamil Nadu beat Bengal by 8 wickets

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:16 PM IST
Karthik remained unbeaten on 47 off 31 balls while sharing an unbroken third-wicket stand of 110 runs.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP