Australia in India 2016-17 March 14, 2017

Bengaluru pitch rated 'below average' by ICC match referee


The Australian team examines the pitch on the eve of the second Test in Bengaluru © AFP

The pitch at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, which hosted the second Test between Australia and India last week, has been given a "below average" rating by the ICC match referee, Chris Broad. Earlier, Broad had rated the pitch for the Pune Test, the first of the series "poor".

While the outfield in Bengaluru was rated as "very good", it is understood that one of the main factors in Broad's appraisal of the pitch was the variable bounce. In contrast to the series opener in Pune, which ended within three days, the second Test was low-scoring thriller that went into the final session of the fourth day. India finally prevailed on fourth afternoon, and levelled the four-match series 1-1 after Australia lost their last six wickets for 11.

A below-average rating from a match referee is common and carries no penalty or fine. Of the six options available for the match referee to evaluate a pitch, a below-average rating ranks ahead of "poor" and "unfit".

A rough patch outside the right-hand batsmen's off stump offered turn and bounce to Nathan Lyon, who took eight wickets on the first day. Second day onwards, the fast bowlers got quite a few balls to stay low and shoot through the ground. Virat Kohli, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith and R Ashwin fell to grubbers.

Pune was the second Indian pitch to be rated poor in two seasons, after India beat South Africa in Nagpur in three days in 2015-16. Since the ICC began its pitch and outfield monitoring process in 2006, four of the seven Full-Member pitches rated poor or unfit have belonged to India.

The third Test of the series will be played in Ranchi from March 16. Like Pune, Ranchi will be making its Test debut, and the pitch there has been a subject of speculation.

Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vinayt1159881 on March 18, 2017, 7:43 GMT

    Totally agree with you @VIMALAN RAVINDRAN Also a home team must prepare conditions suited for them like in eng aus SA nz swinging and bouncy pitches r there so in subcontinental conditions u will hv slow low pitches assisting d spinners... What is the advantage of home game in tests if they r not according to d home team strength... Also pitches assisting d batsmen on day 1,2,3 and then the spinners day 4,5 is also a good idea i mean pitches which were prepared in test series against England in 2016 suits our team

  •   Vimalan Ravindran on March 16, 2017, 13:18 GMT

    Common, very childish behavior from ICC, not sure why they are blaming the pitch, even India have lost the first test, everything should be tackled by the respective teams, if we cross Asia, then bouncy and swinging pitch is awaiting for us, we cannt blame those pitches, it is always good to watch, spinners were enjoying the pitches, we cannot expect spinners to go and shine in the bouncy tracks where it is favorable for fast bowlers. They enjoy in the subcontinent tracks where they can prove their ability and batsmen's ability is also challenged here, how they survive after good turns, they can prove their patience and skillset here.

  • Anand on March 15, 2017, 17:30 GMT

    @Unnikuttan - ofcourse you meant Dharamshala for 4th test :)

  • raj on March 15, 2017, 14:36 GMT

    That picture looks a real "brain fade" to me !lol!

  • Sudhakar on March 15, 2017, 14:20 GMT

    @Chris_P: You got the word I was searching for - "lazy" is indeed the right word :). I have another pet theory and I've voiced it over several times. i.e. During the overseas tours of SA, Aus, NZ and England, Indian bowlers seemed to sit back and "hope" that their opponents would make mistakes & throw their wickets away. 200s and 300s were being scored by "individuals"! Something seemed missing & Kohli's aggression seemed to be the answer to address it. India had a great opportunity to test their bowlers' resolve when the grand Indian season was rolled out - wherein the bowlers had to take wickets on good batting tracks. India did a good job in rolling out good wickets for NZ and England and the bowlers proved they had the heart. It was then natural that the strategy would continue against one of the finest Test teams. Alas, the pitches in this series have been terribly disappointing - though some of the fans tend to keep arguing (wrongly) that the wicket is the same for both sides!!

  • Steve on March 15, 2017, 13:41 GMT

    If the pitches spin a lot, they are rated 'poor' and if they are 'bouncy' or 'swing', they are rated as challenging. It has been the case since sub-continent teams became full members and will be for ever.

  • manjula on March 15, 2017, 13:28 GMT

    I saw the match it is poor. It does what Trevor Chappell did ... roll the ball after pitching. Pitch does not spin. Like my back yard. It like Bocce game.

  • Prasath on March 15, 2017, 12:29 GMT

    ICC is as usual no uniformity! When subcontinent teams visits England, Australia, South Africa where they have been asked to bat obviously bundled before 1st day before tea time. Then, ICC would not even open its mouth, the media say great pace bowling bla, bla, bla..... If the same thing happens in subcontinent especially in India, ICC investigates this and western media says dust bowl/rank turner/flat track etc. What I would say is most of the modern players are very good at home because of the pitches being made to suit them well and obviously have no clue when they travel away. I would call it has lack of skill...

  • john on March 15, 2017, 12:06 GMT

    There always seems to be more comments on our Indian pitches than any other countries pitches. Why is this so ?

  •   Narendra Kv on March 15, 2017, 11:57 GMT

    International cricket is all about playing in alien conditions and coming up on top. End of the day, both team play on the same pitch and the ground conditions does not vary depending on the team. Any team that uses the conditions better gains. It is silly to focus so much the pitch. In today's coaching environment, Boards must train their batsmen and bowlers to deliver in all conditions. Losers always complain

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