Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid was very critical of the pitches prepared in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season where “getting six to seven wickets by bowling darts” has become the order of the day and said that it will prove to be detrimental towards producing “good cricketers”.
“We don’t want green tops, but also we don’t want wickets where matches finish in two days and people who are bowling darts are getting six-seven wickets. I think we need to be very careful that we don’t go down that path,” Dravid spoke his mind on what he thought about the nature of wickets in Ranji Trophy.
In 2015/2016 Ranji season so far five matches have completed inside two days. The recent example was Odisha versus Bengal where the match finished inside two days. Odisha has bowled out for 37 and in Jharkhand versus Himachal Pradesh match 26 wickets fell in a day.
“It’s a little different at the international level since you are looking for wickets. But at least in the Ranji Trophy level we are looking to prepare players for the international stage. These wickets, what I have seen recently, are poor,” Dravid did not mince words.
“Square turners, matches are finishing in two or three days. I really don’t think it’s good for the health of Indian cricket. Because if you think about it as a waste of time, energy and money,” the usually reticent Dravid, let everyone know his thoughts regarding the issue.
It is disappointing. I don’t want to specifically mention the Bengal game just because I happen to be here. But all around in the Ranji Trophy this year, the teams are producing in my opinion poor wickets.”
“And if we keep playing on bad wickets like these, we are not going to develop and produce good cricketers. So I think we need to find a balance, we need to nip it in the bud. I am at least glad that the knock-out stage is at neutral venues. At least, we will see good wickets at the knockout stages.”
The pitches in Ranji Trophy should be prepared in a way which would help the batsmen and bowlers both preparing good players for the future.
Spinners have picked most of the wickets in this year’s Ranji Trophy and preparing sporting wickets will help Indian cricket to play fast bowling much better and yield good results outside India.