The pitch used for the second Test between India and Australia at Bengaluru has been been rated as ‘below average’ by the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad in his report.
The latest rating from Broad is a huge blow for Indian cricket which has already faced a lot of flak over pitches in recent times. Broad had earlier given a ‘poor’ rating for the Pune pitch on which the first Test of the ongoing four-match series was played. The series-opener ended inside three days with Australia thrashing the hosts by a massive margin of 333 runs. It was the second instance when an Indian pitch was rated poor after the Nagpur pitch was given a similar rating following India’s win over South Africa in three days in 2015-16.
While the Bengaluru track did not provide as much turn as the Pune one, it provided enough turn and variable bounce that made life difficult for batsmen. On the very first day of the Test, Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon took a career-best 8/50 as the visitors bowled out India for a paltry 189. The pitch became more difficult as the match progressed and it finally ended inside four days after India dismissed Australia for 113 to register a 75-run victory.
As per the reports, Broad rated the outfield as “very good”, but gave the pitch a ‘below- average rating due to variable bounce. Meanwhile, a below-average rating does not carry any penalty or fine.
For pitches to be rated ‘below average’, the guidelines state:
“Either very little carry and/or bounce and/or more than occasional seam movement, or occasional variable (but not excessive or dangerous) bounce and/or occasional variable carry. If a pitch demonstrates these features, then the pitch can not be rated in a higher category regardless of the amount of turn the pitch displays at any stage of the match.”