India vs Australia: In Pune, Ravi Shastri said this pitch needs to see a dermatologist but even he won't be able to cure the scars of Ranchi pitch.
Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) took a massive step when it decided to take international cricket to new places. In a major Test series against Australia, BCCI gambled by picking as many as three new Test venues in Pune, Ranchi and Dharamshala. As it turned out, the Pune Test was brutally murdered by the pitch curator by preparing a wicket that started dusting from the first day itself. Bengaluru was no different as Nathan Lyon ended up picking 8 wickets on first itself. After a lot of criticism and mockery, the action finally shifted to Ranchi and it was expected that curator might have learned a lesson or two from the last two matches.
However, when the curtains opened and the first images of Ranchi pitch came out, it left some people shocked! In Pune, Ravi Shastri said this pitch needs to see a dermatologist but even he won’t be able to cure the scars of Ranchi pitch. The wicket is dark and the ball will keep low from the first day itself. To be honest, it looks more like a video game pitch where the bowlers can bundle out the opposition in single-digits if the ball is pitched in the right areas.
Here is the first image of Ranchi wicket:
Australian captain summed it up nicely by saying, “I’ve never seen a wicket that’s looked quite as dark as that one is.” A lot of people may argue that when the Indian team goes to other countries, they also prepare green tracks that suit their bowlers. Fair enough! There is no harm in preparing spinning tracks when other countries visit us but what is the point of making such pitches where even the Indian batsmen struggle to score runs!
So far, only five half-centuries have been scored by the Indian batsmen in this series and out of that, three fifties have come from KL Rahul alone. Moreover, the conditions are so alien that it is almost impossible for the Indian team to adjust and prepare. Since none of these venues has hosted a Test match in the past, there is absolutely no data or records available that could be studied.
Watch Anil Kumble bowling left-arm spin to help Indian batsmen play Steve O’Keefe:
The pitch curator from Jharkhand said the wicket has something for both bowlers as well as batsmen and will start turning from third day only. However, it is hard to digest as even the Bengaluru wicket that looked much better, started turning from the first day itself. The real problem isn’t even the spin, it’s the bounce! How is a batsman supposed to play a good length delivery if is not bouncing above the knee height? There are many questions BCCI needs to ask itself because if the Indian cricket team keeps playing on these wickets, they are going to have a very difficult time overseas.