02 December, 2020

Ground Realities

The pitch beat all in flight and turn. But India had greater self-belief.

Ground Realities

The most difficult skill in cricket is reading pitches. As yet I’ve seen nobody who has mastered this art. I have seen people master the art of batting, bowling and fielding but not quite making the right assessment of a pitch and giving accurate predictions about a surface. They may get it right a few times but not often enough to suggest a mastery over this aspect of the game.

This was reinforced when players with a combined experience of over 1,000 international matches could not quite read the Mohali pitch in one of the biggest games ever played in the subcontinent, the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final. All the players playing the game and we, former players-turned-commentators, read the Mohali pitch as a belter that would be a batting paradise like nothing seen before.

Sourav Ganguly, who as captain of India spent a lot of time around pitches feeling the surfaces, trying to understand their true nature et al, was our TV pitch reporter for the game. “This is a pitch where 300 runs will be made and can be chased...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Sanjay Manjrekar

Latest Magazine

December 07, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section