Dhoni slams Motera wicket

India captain wants pitches to turn from Day 1, so that toss doesn’t become too important.



Ahmedabad: The first words that a belligerent captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni uttered on entering the press conference hall on Monday were: “I don’t even want to see this wicket.” He said he wants pitches that provide assistance to spinners from the very beginning of a match, opening the unending debate on what an ideal pitch should be like.

Those words — perhaps the strongest that Dhoni has ever used about pitches — were followed by some more extremely candid demands that the India skipper made after his team registered a nine-wicket win over England.

On the other hand, England captain Alastair Cook, who scored as superb 176, termed the pitch a “very good cricket wicket” and even admitted that it exceeded his expectations as it didn’t deteriorate.

Dhiraj Parsana, the chief curator of the Gujarat Cricket Association, who supervised the pitch preparation, was satisfied at achieving his target, which was to see the match last the distance.

ALSO READ:
Big win gives India series lead
Gains and Pains from the first Test
Dhoni: Bowlers made to take more than ten wickets
Dhoni wants outright turners for remainder of England Test series

Dhoni’s words, coming just four days before the second Test starts in Mumbai on Friday, gave enough indication of what kind of surfaces he wants in the next three Tests, Kolkata and Nagpur being the other venues.

“There wasn’t enough turn and bounce for the spinners,” Dhoni said. “Hopefully, in the coming matches, we’ll see the wicket turn right from the start, or as soon as possible, so that the toss doesn’t become vital.” India won the toss here and posted 521 for eight, thanks to Cheteshwar Pujara’s 206 not out and Virender Sehwag’s 117.

When pointed out that if a pitch blatantly suits a team, the International Cricket Council’s match referee could censure the home Board, Dhoni remained unperturbed.

“I don’t think the match referee can question a pitch just because it’s turning. When the wicket seams right from the first delivery, nobody asks questions. What you don’t want is ridges in the wicket and then one ball hits your head and next your toe,” he reasoned.

“At times, in the subcontinent, on pitches like this, the toss becomes vital. The only way to take the toss out of the equation is to have pitches that turn right from the start. The game may end in three-and-a- half days, but both teams will have an equal opportunity to win the game.”

The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, which had earlier also come under the microscope in a Test match against South Africa in April 2008 when speedsters shot India out for 76 in the first innings on their way to winning the match by an innings and 90 runs. For the next match in Kanpur, a minefield of a pitch was prepared to suit the home spinners, and India won by eight wickets — and adding fuel to the fire. Dhoni just said Motera “was a good wicket initially”.

Parsana, a former India left-arm bowler, said he was happy at achieving his target.

“As a curator, my target was that the match lasted for five days. That was our aim when we prepared the pitch. In that respect, I’m happy that match entered the fifth day. And the pitch was not so bad either,” Parsana told MAIL TODAY.

The BCCI has been asking associations to prepare sporting pitches for both domestic and international matches.

But the policy has never been followed to the letter and spirit of the stated aim, with many associations blatantly defying the diktat. Some people point this defiance to the Board’s politics.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Chandimal axed as T20 captain, Malinga takes over

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »