Tuesday, June 22, 2021
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The 22 Yards Motera Pitch!

Gentleman’s game has long endured centuries of smears for being overtly loaded in favour of the batsmen. For a dime of a change whenever the bowlers rule the roost the pitch faces the seemingly never-ending opprobrium allegedly for being facilitating them in foxing the batsmen with external help.

Motera wicket has come under the scanner after bi-partisan spin show across India and England ended the third Test long within just two days.
Adjectives like underbaked, under-cooked, minefield, snake-pit have been tossed around with impunity casting aspersions on the intention of the pitch to avoid presenting us a balanced duel between bat and bowl.

This is a bit unfair given that no hue and cry is raised whenever batsmen from both sides amass truck loads of runs on a placid turf.

Cricketing history is rife with instances of monotonous five days with batsmen owning the strip like a landlord with a valid registry documents. No obituaries are read. Not even a semblance of revolt is allowed by the hapless bowler fraternity ever.

Blaming the pitch always is akin to negating to confront the real issue which is the batsmen’s failures to cope with spin which is a legal part of a bowler’s arsenal.

 

Let us raise our game and issue credit where it is due. That 28 wickets fell to spinners out of 30 testifies the pitch was turning for both sides. Moreover, when a Test ends in two days any question of the strip favouring one side more is outlandish and fallacious.

 

English Captain Joe Root, a less than part-time bowler who spun a web around Indians in the first innings like an all time pro would attest to pitch offering help but not that it was totally unplayable.
Equally enigmatic is nearly unanimous conclusion amongst cricket pundits is that the maximum of wickets fell prey to straight balls and not to the spin effects.

 

Game aficionados will also be not wronged to feel offended at Motera being singed for being an ‘un-cricketlike’ wicket for it failed the batsmen in putting runs on the board.

Fresh from India’s abject surrender at Adelaide in December at 36, not long ago England was bowled out for 67 in Leeds, 58 in Auckland, further compounded by its collapse at 85 against lowly Ireland that too at iconic Lord’s.

The dice is loaded against bowlers in the cruel world of highly competitive cricket narrated by unprecedented financial interests where batsmen scoring runs makes for a better advertisement.

May be it is time to appreciate and celebrate the bowling feats and not always look to queer the pitch, especially when they perform and expose that the batsmen are underprepared, undercooked and underbaked!

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