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Bengaluru pitch gets ‘below average’ rating from ICC match referee


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Javagal Srinath says the surface didn’t offer an even contest between bat and ball

An office bearer of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in the past, Srinath felt “the pitch offered a lot of turn on the first day itself and though it improved with every session, in my view, it was not an even contest between bat and ball,” as per an ICC media release.

Twenty-six of the 39 wickets in the Test fell to spin. The first day accounted for 16 wickets, while days two and three produced 14 and nine, respectively.

Shreyas Iyer, who was named Man of the Match for his twin half-centuries, felt the pitch was “not that great” during a press conference after his counterattacking 92 gave India a strong first-innings total.

“You saw the players who defended the ball, there was a lot of chance of nicking, and there was variable bounce on that wicket,” Iyer said after the opening day.

“You can’t just play very negatively on that wicket and just keep defending the ball. You’ve got to have that positive intent when you step out on the field. The wicket is not that great. It’s obviously bowler-friendly.”

Srinath, the former India fast bowler, has submitted a report that has been forwarded to the BCCI. The venue, meanwhile, has received one demerit point under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring process.

Demerit points remain active for a rolling five-year period. If a venue accumulates five demerit points, it will be suspended from hosting international cricket for a 12-month period.

Bengaluru became the second venue in two weeks to receive a “below average” rating. Rawalpindi, which kickstarted Australia’s first tour to Pakistan in 24 years, also received a similar rating from match referee Ranjan Madugalle after the Test produced 1187 runs for the loss of just 14 wickets over five days.

While the Chinnaswamy surface offered variable bounce from day one, the Rawalpindi track “hardly changed over the course of five days” and that there had been “no deterioration apart from the bounce getting slightly lower.”

For the record, India claimed the series 2-0, with Dimuth Karunaratne’s fighting century in the fourth innings merely delaying the inevitable. The Test marked the first time Jasprit Bumrah picked up a five-for in a home Test.



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