02 December, 2020

Ground Realities

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

AP
Ground Realities
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

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...

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