3 days into it in Karachi and the game looks like heading into a drawn out bore. Pakistan’s return to test cricket has been largely insignificant other than the fact that they are actually playing the 5 day version.
Nearly a 1000 runs have been scored in the 9 sessions so far for 9 wickets. I’m not too keen on Math but that works out to around a wicket a session. Which isn’t exactly spelling out excitement.
The general lack of interest in test cricket in Pakistan is all too visible. Most times the 15 men on the field seem to the only ones there.
So the inevitable finger pointing begins and in this match, most fingers, possibly the middle finger in a lot of these cases, are directed at the pitch.
Their coach had a right old rant about it, which is fair go. After waiting bloody 14 months for some test cricket you’d at least expect a pitch that would help your own team. Pakistan’s strength, the word strength is being used mildly, is arguably in their pace attack.
With Umar Gul at last showing some promise and Khan and Arafat being the bit of youth in the mix, the last thing they wanted to see was a tar road. Those carpeted ones where there isn’t even a hint of a crack.
And if Pakistan had done their homework, they’d known that the Sri Lankan openers aren’t the most experienced going around. Their middle order is wobbly and Mahela was in the rut of his life.
While I think the curator is within his rights to promote a wicket he believes in, a request from the home team should usually be honored.
Its not as if Pakistan had requested the pitch to be left with so much grass on it that you couldn’t tell the turn from the outfield. In either case it doesn’t hurt to leave a bit of green on top, it will keep the fast bowlers interested and the wicket will hold before it cracks in the last 2 days.
What I dont want to see is the contest between bat and ball so neutered that you are starting to complain about the pitch 3 days into a game.
There is a time for batting pitches to be made too, those matches usually last a day.