Posted On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 09:13:33 AM
After what really unfolded at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune, the BCCI technical committee would be forced to think if they had missed out on something when they called for a major overhauling of the Ranji Trophy structure.
|Kedar Jadhav of Maharashtra scores 327 runs against Uttar Pradesh
In fact, the Maharashtra-Uttar Pradesh encounter was merely mirroring the mindset of Indian domestic cricket. Although there were runs galore — 1433 in four days — it certainly wasn’t amemorable game for anyone, except for maybe Kedar Jadhav who went to score 327 runs.
In reply to Maharashtra’s 764 for six (declared), UP replied with 669 for seven, still trailing by 105 runs when stumps were drawn on the fourth and final day. The two teams went to draw a point each for this long-winded encounter and questions arise if such type cricket should be encouraged.
Although, by giving them a point each under new rules, the BCCI, in a way, encouraged such cricket. Former India opener Aakash Chopra was spot on when he tweeted, “I’d go a step further...dock Maharashtra’s 5points for dishing out such a pitch.”
But it’s not only the pitch alone that needs to be criticised, it’s the defensive approach of the teams that need to change. The foremost goal of every Ranji team across India is to secure three points by virtue of first innings lead.
“Maali sirf bagichen laga rahen hai. Are they trying not to prepare tracks which turn and in the process end up preparing paataas (flat wickets)? Wonder whether they know how to prepare a good pitch. All matches will be reduced to trying to get first innings lead,” a former India spinner told Mumbai Mirror.
Criticising Maharashtra’s approach to the match, former India medium- pacer and UP coach Venkatesh Prasad said, “I am really unhappy with the unsportsmanlike behaviour of the (Maharashtra) side. They took their own sweet time to declare.
If that is the mindset of the players, then I am sorry to say that they are not going to go anywhere from here.” As a former Mumbai cricketer pointed out, “The ‘three-point’ attitude has grown because of the pitches dished out to the teams. You cannot ignore the pitch.
If the pitches were lively, teams would definitely go for victory.” Before the season started, BCCI had directed the state associations to prepare green and lively pitches. But as country’s leading pitch curator told Mirror, “Leaving 4mm grass isn’t sufficient for a lively strip; it needs more than just that.”
According to an expert, the life of a pitch is 15 years. But there are many associations in India who have been using the pitch for ages.
“The BCCI gives good money and facility to all associations in the country. I am sure they can easily afford to re-lay the pitch,” former Mumbai captain Milind Rege said. Rege said the last four days of Ranji Trophy had been ridiculous and needs to be criticised.
“There is no science involved into the making of a pitch. The board should start preparing for Ranji six months before it begins. Else this is what you will get,” Rege said. Former India spinner Murali Karthik was furious. “What is this so called green pitch they are trying to prepare? It just turns into paata. The ball doesn’t even carry.
You can’t leave some dead grass and think it will do the trick. How many results these pitches we have thrown up so far? Young spinners are just darting balls these days. No one is really giving it a flight,” Karthik lamented.
- With inputs from Sriram Veera and Avinash Rajput
Out of 24 matches played so far in Ranji Trophy, only eight have produced a result. The match played in Pune between Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh saw 1433 runs being scored for 13 wickets and both the teams being awarded only a point each because not a single first-inning was completed