Sunil Gavaskar calls three demerit points for Indore Test wicket “little harsh”, ponders over pitch for Ahmedabad
New Delhi : Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar was critical of the poor rating and three demerit points given to the pitch for third Test at Indore, and pointed out the first Test between Australia and South Africa in Brisbane in December last year.
On Friday, just after Australia won by nine wickets to make four-game scoreline 2-1, the International Cricket Council (ICC), post a report submitted by match referee Chris Broad, rated the pitch as “poor” under its Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process and also gave Holkar Stadium three demerit points.
“One thing I would like to know, there was this Test match in Brisbane, where the match finished in two days. How many demerit points did that pitch get and who was the match referee there?”
“I think 3 demerit points is a little harsh, because, in this pitch, yes the ball turned, but it was not dangerous. When Australia get to a score of 77 for the loss of one wicket it actually tells you that the pitch got a lot better,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by India Today.
At the same time, Gavaskar also felt that playing on pitches like the one at Indore Test isn’t a great idea and wondered what would be dished out for the final Test of the four-game series at Ahmedabad starting from March 9.
“I think there has to be a little more thought on that. This pitch has backfired in 2012-13 when Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar spun England to a win. I don’t think it’s a great idea to have pitches of this quality.”
“You want to have pitches where there is a good balance between bat and ball. You want to have a pitch where for the first couple of days, the new-ball bowlers can get some help and the batters can play through the line and score runs.”
“And then from Day 3 and 4, the ball is going to turn a little bit. I don’t know what’s going to happen in Ahmedabad. If the pitch in Ahmedabad is a raging turner, then India might go on to win but once again the pitch might get demerit points.”
At Indore, India lost seven wickets in the first session on day one and were bowled out for 109 as Matthew Kuhnemann took his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket. In the second innings, Nathan Lyon took an eight-fer as India were bowled out for 163, giving Australia an easy chase of 76.
Asked if the Indian batters are not as great players of spin as they are thought of, Gavaskar remarked, “I don’t think the ability has gone down. Yes, today with the advent of white-ball game, to be able to play the lofted shot with certainty, even on a pitch like this, they do play the lofted shot.”
“So when you see Rohit Sharma get a 120 on a pitch where the ball is turning square, you know the current guys can also play. When you see a Cheteshwar Pujara get a half-century the other day on the pitch, you know these cricketers can also play.
Yes, you might argue that Pujara doesn’t play white-ball cricket.” “But, it will be unfair to say that today’s cricketers are not able to play in pitches. They do play with a lot harder hands than the previous generations. No, I don’t think that argument is valid.”
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