- The never-ending debate about the cricket pitches is one aspect of the much-loved game that cannot remain outside of the purview of deep dissection from all concerned with administering the same. As 22 yards essays the most vital component of the game of cricket, it is a given fact that what exactly the pitch offers always evokes interest, intrigue, suspicion, skepticism, and unhappiness amongst the players as well as coaching staff. Add to the mix the slew of experts, pundits, and of course, ex-players turned specialists as well as amateurs, one will be left wondering what is happening after all. Amidst the din and cacophony, the real issue of executing skillsets on the park gets buried deep.
PC: Bharadwaj Ethiraj
- Keen followers of the game would readily agree that cricket pitch tends to be a matter of great curiosity as the surface decides the eventual outcome of the match. Historical evidence suggests except for very few all-conquering teams of yore, none of the Test match playing nations is quite adept at winning away overseas from the familiar home conditions. There is an unquestionable acceptance that the visiting teams are mostly considered poor travelers. The redoubtable West Indies team of the 1970s and 80s readily comes to mind for the way they instilled fear in the opposition by beating them hands-on even while visiting. The awesome quality of players they had was enviable.
- Similarly, the Australian team in the 1990s and early 2000s too possessed tremendous players of world-class quality who could succeed in pulverizing the opposition through supreme skillsets. Apart from these teams of the bygone era, the present Test-playing nations do have impact players, but none possess the ammunition to replicate the success of the mentioned teams. Of the present lot, Team India can come closest to be classified as an all-weather outfit but cannot lay claim to being consistently having the upper hand in dominating the opponents. Therefore, talks about cricket tracks being prepared to suit the home team is not even deserves deliberations.
PC: Rohan Sen
- Past players raising a hue and cry about the Chennai track for being a rank turner thus deserves to be dismissed contemptuously simply because when the Indian team visits the England shores, the pitch presented will aid swing and seam for the pace bowlers rather than offer turn to the spinners. Hard pitches in Australia and South Africa offer more bounce as compared to subcontinent pitches aiding the pace bowlers big-time. Spinners usually struggle to perform in alien conditions that do not suit their trade. The same goes for fast bowlers as well where there is little help on offer to ply their trade in subcontinental conditions.
- Ultimately, it is the prowess, skillsets, and preparedness to adapt to the conditions on offer that determine the ability of the team to succeed despite facing challenges. Crying hoarse about the tracks offered does not cut much ice with the comprehending lot anymore. Touring players would readily vouch about the futility of expending energies on such uncontrollable presentations. Professional players would rather concentrate on working out a strategy to win games despite presented with seemingly insurmountable challenges. This is what separates an ordinary team from the great. So, experts don’t fret over cricket pitches, please.