27 September, 2020

Flat On The Mat

The dead pitches should not suggest that Pakistan is wary. And Sachin was out.

Atul Loke
Flat On The Mat
One more high-scoring draw in the Ashes of the East, and the intensity with which people from all walks of life are debating the quality of pitches laid out for the first two Tests at Lahore and Faisalabad has grown. All manner of theories are being floated on the phenomenon but it is not fair to suggest that the Pakistan team wanted flat tracks to avert defeat against India. Nothing can be further from the truth. I can say with confidence that the captain and team management can only make a request for sporting pitches that give the bowlers a fair chance. But if the groundstaff cannot heed such suggestions—for whatever reasons—there is little that the captain or the cricket think-tank can do about that.

The one other question that I have been asked is if Sachin Tendulkar closed his eyes when he played the first ball from me in the Faisalabad Test. To be very honest, I do not watch the batsman's face after I have delivered the ball. My eyes are always following the movement of the ball. Believe me, I was not reading anything in Sachin's eyes when he was facing me. I have...


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