The India-Sri Lanka series touted as the race to number one rankings had a disappointing start with the first test match in Motera ending in a dull draw. The test match in Ahmadabad is all that is wrong with Indian cricket. When there have been calls to save the oldest form of the game around the world, BCCI have dished out boredom to drive the fans away from the grounds. Its seems like BCCI is only worried about the money they can make out of sponsorships and IPL and not a bit bothered about the state of pitches in India.
Sambit Bal last year wrote an article on cricinfo blasting Pakistani pitches after the Karachi game but the pitches in India are not that far behind. Sambit’s intentions may have been good by singling out pitches in Pakistan was not the right way to go. Reading the recent article by Dileep Premachandran, it seems like there is not much of a difference between the pitches in Pakistan and India. India has one of the worst percentages of results when compared to other cricketing nations.
According to the article, India has hosted 24 games in the past 60 months out of which 11 have been draws. This is a pathetic statistic for a team who is trying to become the best side in the world. With ever increasing T20 leagues in India I guess the BCCI have to take more interest in improving the quality of test cricket in India. I don’t think that anything of that sort has been even tried yet by the board. As Sourav Ganguly rightly mentioned in his column, even though Rahul Dravid and Mahela scored those brilliant hundreds the Motera pitch was a real disappointment.
No one wants to watch a game where the bowlers are just mere participants with not effect whatsoever and the batsmen are running the show. The unfortunate part is that the grounds men in India are in so much pressure to make matches last for 5 days for the BCCI to make money out of TV rights. Already we have seen paltry crowds for test matches in India and with these sorts of pitches ardent lovers of the format like me will also be driven out of the stadiums in the future.
Test cricket is still the premium form of cricket around the world and efforts should be taken to improve the quality of pitches around the world. The ICCI should crack down heavily on boards that encourage pitches like Motera for International fixtures. Kanpur (Venue for the second game which concluded last week) test was heading the same direction as Motera after the first day’s play but was saved by the result.