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Updated: December 7, 2012 08:42 IST

Unnecessary drama

Makarand Waingankar
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Denying English batsmen practice against spinners made it clear that tracks will be made to let spinners exploit, says Makarand Waingankar. File Photo
The Hindu
Denying English batsmen practice against spinners made it clear that tracks will be made to let spinners exploit, says Makarand Waingankar. File Photo

Whoever finally wins the match in Kolkata, the pitch controversy was an unnecessary drama. Nothing is uglier than a spat between a captain and an experienced curator.

In this argument of who is wrong and who is to be blamed, one question has to be asked — what was the BCCI Pitches and Grounds committee doing? Isn’t its purpose of existence to coordinate?

Denying English batsmen practice against spinners made it clear that tracks will be made to let spinners exploit. But however obvious it was to the media and the rest of the country, the local curators weren’t formally told anything by the BCCI.

After England won the Mumbai Test match, the Test at Kolkata became very important and the Chairman of the Pitches committee ought to have met the Eden Gardens curator about preparing a turner. Instead Dhoni used the media to convey his thoughts. This didn’t go well with the curator of the Eden Gardens.

Till the time the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal, Jagmohan Dalmiya convened the meeting of curator, nothing seemed clear. Eventually it was decided to offer the pitch that was used for the Ranji Trophy that ended on Nov. 20.

No one goes public asking for turning or green tops. It’s all decided secretly much before the series.

Psychological advantage

Dhoni excitedly couldn’t keep his ideas to himself and handed over a psychological advantage to the opposition after winning the first Test. He completely overlooked the fact that though England panicked in the first innings of the first Test, it handled the spinners better in the second innings.

At Mumbai though Dhoni won the toss, Indian batsmen failed to capitalise and England grabbed the opportunity to bat big. Dhoni seems to be convinced that India can win only on rank bad turners in India.

Alternate plan

After losing the Mumbai Test in less than four days despite playing with three spinners, he should have thought of plan ‘B’ but clearly he was too obsessed with the plan. If he was so decided about it, a meeting of the local curators with the team management should have been held. The team management is within its rights to ask for a pitch that will make its strategies effective but clear planning has to be done for that too.

Emotions, sentiments and reputations won’t win us matches everyday. Eventually it’s the performance that matters. Dhoni is counting on the seniors to contribute and it is here that he is blindly believing.

When Ricky Ponting was not clicking, the selectors had a chat with him. Though Cricket Australia made it look as if Ponting decided on his retirement, the very fact that the meeting took place indicates he had no option.

Till the time the Indian team management and selectors talk to seniors, talk about pitches becomes secondary. Blaming curators is a way to shirk our fault because the characteristics of pitches differ. Dhoni should have known better after playing international cricket for more than a decade.

The point is not to blame but to realise that communication is the key here. The team management needs to be conveyed a message that what it needs should be discussed with the Chairman of the Pitches and Grounds committee.

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Dhoni's ask for a rank turner was nothing but a mind game which
somehow has very seriously backfired which is for the long term good
in a sense, if he had really wanted a turner cant he make it happen
without any noise.

There are three ugly truths staring at indian cricket
1. Indian team is in a state of transition
2. too much IPL
3. Younsgetrs are more talk less substance look at ashwin, gambhir and
the likes

from:  Abhilash
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 20:16 IST

Mr Rajeev Iyer seems to have got the wrong end of the stick. The whole
of India and the public knew when Dhoni openly insisted on turning
pitch,( 'turn from ball number one' ) in his interview after winning the
first test. His request was not made behind closed doors. Mr Bhowmic was
brought in to take over the preparation of pitch and if he had made a
pitch to suit the English team, our team both the spinners and batsmen
should have reveled since we are supposed to be the best players of spin
and we do claim that our spinners are second to none.

from:  NARESH
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 18:54 IST

Totally disagree. Let us not forget that Dhoni went public about the pitches thing only after all attempts to do the 'decided secretly' thing failed several times in the past.
Let us not paper over the fact that the petulance of the curator, and not the request of the captain, have caused the current situation the team is facing at Eden Gardens. The curator at Kolkata has prepared a pitch where the England bowlers can be effective and our Indian bowlers are ineffective. Only on rank turners do we have some chance at least, which is what the captain is asking for.
However, for some of us, that seems to be too difficult to understand. Taking the easy way out (blaming Dhoni) is only papering over the actual problems we're facing.
But one thing is for certain - the fact is that our so-called world class batsmen whom we adore so much that we want them to play for us forever - they are the ones repeatedly failing and causing us to lose. But we too blind to see that.

from:  Rajeev Iyer
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 09:31 IST

I do not understand-why we are wasting so much time on talking about pitches.
Let us accept this Indian team does not have bowlers to win matches- yes they were good in the past and lost the zeal and the new crop of bowlers not as good as the earlier ones.
Why only blame the bowlers- why not the batsmen- the same pitch –Alister Cook- has shown how to bat- time to kick out the Sewangs & Tendulkar.
We are anyhow going to lose-why not try promising youngsters, atleast they will get some experience.

from:  G.Jayaraman
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 04:52 IST

As well said, the characters and the selectors have to make the unpalatable decisions. Easily said in Indian cricket scene. Fans are the ones to suffer, and suffer in silence. Who cares about them!

from:  Patriot
Posted on: Dec 7, 2012 at 03:26 IST
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