The third and final test between India and South Africa will be remembered for all wrong reasons. Due to IPL hype, most players mind was already with the Twenty20 format. But what hurt the true fans the most was the under-prepared pitch in Kanpur. In fact, after seeing the match I recalled the similar experience cricket fans (and the touring team) had after the final test match in Mumbai when Australia toured India in 2004.
In both cases, the home team was trailing the series and had to save their faces. The easiest way to do that is to prepare a dust bowl or an uneven pitch that has no bounce on which our bajjis and bondas will thrive – and they did exactly that this time around as well.
South Africans getting all out for 120 in the second innings tell the story. The case was even worse with Australians in 2004 where they could score only 90 odd runs chasing a mere 107. In both cases, the ‘turbanator’ fetched India the win, which probably even he himself would not like to take credit for.
What I don’t understand is the mindset of people behind such decisions in order to win a match at any cost. During Ganguly’s captaincy there has been reports that he had almost always influenced the curators of grounds in India to prepare pitches that match the team composition. While other teams must be doing the same thing, they never ever came out with unplayable pitches.
If this situation continues, top teams around the world will be touring India only to make advertisement revenue and not with the intention of doing any good to test cricket. I guess, BCCI doesn’t want to do anything about test pitches as they are busy cashing in One-dayers and Twenty20s and the business is running pretty well already.