Viewed against the backdrop of India's shocking batting displays on tours of England and Australia, the nature of wickets for first-class cricket emerged as the major point of discussion at the Ranji Trophy captains, coaches conclave with officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India here on Thursday.

The idea of playing first-class matches on uncovered tracks was suggested to the BCCI by captains and coaches attending the meeting. Interestingly, the Board's Working Committee recommended Ranji games on neutral wickets recently.

According to sources, uncovered wickets would test the batsman's mettle by making him perform in difficult conditions. Ranji Trophy league matches last season saw batsmen piling up huge scores on docile wickets prepared to suit host associations.

Batsmen chosen for international cricket on the basis of domestic performances are cruelly exposed against pace, swing and bounce, diluting India's ability to put up challenging totals in Tests overseas. Rahul Dravid's absence in the middle-order is a hole which will take years to cover.

Other suggestions included home-and-away Ranji games, knockouts to be played over five days, increase of bouncers per over from two to three, complete one format at a time before moving to the next one, same brand of ball to be used throughout.

Keywords: BCCI

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