They pitched it wrong

2008-04-19 00:00

It was neither a surprise nor a disgrace that the Proteas should have come a cropper on an under-prepared pitch in Kanpur. What will be shocking is if the match referee’s report condemning a pitch that fell way short of the standard required for a Test match provokes no response from his masters at the ICC. In this day and age when all aspects of conduct are governed by some ICC code or another, it seems ludicrous that a pitch was produced on which batting became difficult by the morning of the second day. With a majority of ICC members in tow to the might of India, however, nothing more than a slap on the wrist should be expected for this blatant example of pitch-fixing.

Having said all this, however, it has to be acknowledged that the Indians handled the conditions much better than the South Africans. To be sure, they were armed with spinners who were able to make the most of an outrageous pitch, but they also batted with a greater tactical appreciation of what was required to make runs on a pitch that favoured the bowlers.

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