What’s the Story?
The curator at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association stadium has rubbished reports of Indian captain Virat Kohli having the choice to pick the surface for the third Test against Australia starting on the 16th of March.
"It's true that we have prepared three pitches -No. 4, 5 & 7 for the match.But I have never said anything about Kohli being allowed to have his say on the pitch for the match." SB Singh, the pitch curator told the Times of India.
The secretary of the association Debashis Chakraborty agreed with the curator’s views, stating that they had three pitches ready for the game and it was up to the match officials to select which one would be most suited for the game.
He further added that since this was the first ever Test match on the ground, they were looking to ensure that the surface lasted the entire duration of five days.
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The debate over the surface on which both Tests have been played have generated a lot of varied opinion among the cricketing fraternity with some advocating sporting pitches that has everything for everyone while others feeling that India should take full advantage of home conditions and provide rank turners for the opposition.
The first Test in Pune provided a lot of assistance for the spinners and Stephen O’Keefe reigned supreme to pick a 12-wicket haul and help his side win the game. In the second Test at Bengaluru, the pitch offered turn but not in a prodigious amount and the Indian spinners put in the hard yards and helped square the series 1-1.
A report in the Daily Telegraph on Friday claimed the Kohli had been given the option of picking the surface on which the game could be played. Three pitches had been prepared for the Test match and ahead of the game, the Indian skipper could select the one, which suits the hosts strengths the most.
It would now be interesting to see what emerges about with regards to the nature of the wicket as the countdown to the Test begins. Generally, in limited-overs cricket, one has seen the Ranchi pitch become slower as the game has progressed and perhaps a similar trait could be observed in the five-day game as well.
This is not the first time the same daily has claimed something like this and it perhaps won’t be the last instance as well. The Indian players would do well to stay away from such stuff and rather focus on the job at hand, which would be to win the next two matches and end this long Indian Test home season on a victorious note.
In the past, Sourav Ganguly has openly expressed admiration about Kohli not demanding anything specific in the pitch and India would do well to carry such a tradition and produce the goods on good pitched rather than doctored ones.