India and Sri Lanka played out a dull and boring draw in the 1st Test on a pitch which may not have yielded a result had the teams played on it for 10 days!
So while we have the #2 and #3 ranked teams in the world and while we have both eyeing the #1 spot, the BCCI prepared a wicket on which there was absolutely no chance of a result.
While the ICC is powerless to do anything about it, it is the BCCI has to take responsibility for this sordid preparation — it is the home team that is responsible for pitch-preparation. Then again, at a time when the ODI game and the T20 version top up coffers that are already brimming, the BCCI has little interest in making Test cricket more compelling — despite the rhetoric about the sactity of Test cricket mouthed by everyone from the President to the Secretary to the watchman! It is in BCCI’s interest to kill off Test cricket! Moreover, contracts with TV companies in India are written in such a manner as to force games to go into the last day. The TV deal has been struck on the basis of the number of days of TV coverage of Test matches and not on the basis of the number of Test matches! So, it is in BCCI’s interest to prolong Test matches to the last ball of the last day of all Test matches. And, in order to be fail-safe, why would they not let all matches go beyond the last ball of the last day of Test matches? I would, if I was given such a contract and was asked by my boss to maximise revenues with such a “dud deal”!
That is, if I were also short-sighted.
Unfortunately, short-sightedness seems to be a pre-requisite for a BCCI post!
Dileep Premachandran writes about the high percentage of draws in the flat pitchers of India, when compared to result-oriented pitches presented in countries like Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. They are focussed on becoming the best team in the world. The BCCI is focussed on being the richest in the world. Misplaced priorities.
Meanwhile, neither team can draw much from the match — apart from the draw that is!
After the first session of the Test, no bowler really had a good outing in this game! It was nice to see Zaheer Khan back in action. He seemed to bowl with fire and accuracy. Ishant Sharma is bowling well but needs a pitch that does something. Harbhajan Singh tried his hardest and Amit Mishra just landed it. The one worry might be Amit Mishra’s lack of penetration. If the Kanpur pitch has a tinge of grass on it, I will not be surprised to see Sree Santh ahead of Amit Mishra. Despite the wobbly start, the Indian batsmen were excellent. It was nice to see Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, M. S. Dhoni, Viernder Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and V. V. S. Laxman get amongst the runs for India.
Sri Lanka had a terrific outing too. But neither team emerged better than the other.
This was just a terribly boring game. Hope there is more on offer in Kanpur. However, that would depend completely on the BCCI!