Delhi or Capetown: Whose Pitch is Substandard!!

Ferozshah Kotla Ground at Delhi and Newlands at Cape Town featured in two consecutive tests. Kotla, banned once by ICC for substandard pitch, had 17 wickets falling on 2nd day of first test between India vs West Indies. Critics came armed from all corners to call it substandard again. But the same situation was witnessed today at Newlands, when South Africa vs Australia test had 23 wickets falling on second day of test. Is Newlands too substandard, critics!!

Critics Double Talk for BCCI and India
Probably not, because Newlands is not in India, and BCCI is not related to the Test match in question between South Africa aand Australia. Kotla is in India, and BCCIs rise as power has not gone well with people outside India. No wonder BCCI and India can be criticised for anything and everything. Whether it is a pitch or player’s behaviour or bad performances, if its related to India, BCCI will be blamed across the world. Unfortunately Kotla falls in India, and fortunately Newlands, Capetown does not.

Sporting Pitch vs Substandard Pitch
When 23 wickets fall on a single day, that too second day of the test, the wicket is very sporting, the bowlers bowled well and the batsmen did not apply themselves. But if 17 days fall on the second day in a test in India, the logic is different. The pitch is unplayable for batsmen, so much so that they cannot do much, forgetting that one of the teams is laden with World class batsmen and other also has at least two world class batsmen.

Bounce is good, but low ball is bad
Kotla had a lot for spinners, and then ball often kept low. Still the batsmen chased 276 runs on 4th day losing just 5 wickets. Newlands had high bounce and swing, still two teams were bowled out below 100 on the same day!! So who judges that Newlands is a proper Test pitch, but Kotla is a questionable pitch!!

Swing is good, but spin is bad
Newlands had so much swing that all 31 wickets but one run out, till Day 2, went to pacers. Spinners were not required. Kotla had lot for spinners but pacers still got 14 wickets, from the 35 wickets that fell in the match. So, when do the critics of Kotla feel that pitches supporting high bounce even on last day are worth for a test cricket. Isn’t a test match about playing in all conditions!!

Kotla was Bad and Banned
Kotla had bad pitch and was banned too once by ICC. But the first test between India and West Indies showed that if batsmen could apply brakes on their T20 and ODI shots, they could score runs too. Even on 4th day, India chased 276 runs easily. Remember the same star-studded Indian team had collapsed in the first innings.

Kotla is good, Newlands Substandard
Kotla saw bowlers and batsmen reign, whoever applied better. Newlands had one big day of collapse where players from both team failed to get their teams to three figures. Strangely, both teams had world class batsmen in their team. It is nobody’s guess which pitch can be easily termed substandard now.

Both are good pitches
Since, the critics cannot term a pitch outside subcontinent as substandard, probably they would have to announce Kotla also as a sporting pitch. So much for cricket politics that while criticizing with biased approach, many forget that the game of Cricket standas taller than individuals, boards or nations.

Any unbiased Cricket fan can easily accept the fact that both the pitches are good as it provided equal opportunity for batsmen and bowlers. But, people that includes even Indians, who just want to bash India and BCCI for anything can still overlook the fact that Kotla saw a century and many half-centuries and say Newlands had high bounce, so bowlers bowled well, but Kotla had low bounce so batsmen could not do anything.

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