The independent voice of cricket

India v England 2024

India bowling coach: Ranchi pitch not a rank turner, no instructions from us to prepare one

India bowling coach on Ranchi pitch: Not a rank turner
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey has dismissed suggestions that the Indian team instructed curators to produce a rank turner for the Ranchi Test.

The pitch at Ranchi drew the ire of many in the cricketing fraternity for changing its nature drastically: lively to start with, it developed low bounce on the opening day itself, with the wicket of Ben Stokes coming off a Ravindra Jadeja delivery that nearly rolled on the pitch.

Mhambrey admitted that the team expected the surface to play slow and low, but not be so low on the second day itself.

“From the couple of games we have previously seen out here, the general nature of the wicket is that it gets slower and slower as the days progress. In the past also, it’s gotten slower and on the low side. We expected that,” Mhambrey told reporters at the end of the second day.

“Expected low bounce, but not variable bounce”

“But honestly, we didn’t expect it to be playing that low on the second day itself. A couple of balls kept low in the first innings itself. We expected low bounce but not variable bounce that we had seen in the last couple of days. That is something we were not expecting.”

There was extreme reaction around the pitch on the opening day itself: Michael Vaughan termed it a “shocker”, while Stuart Broad wondered why the home team opted against a flat pitch, and instead made one that rolled and brought the opposition “so much more”.

Also read: What the ICC pitch regulations say: Turn fine, uneven bounce unacceptable on day one

Mhambrey noted that as the moisture wore off, the wicket did not turn as much, and became better to bat.

However, he explicitly stated that there was no directive from the Indian team to prepare the pitch a certain way, insisting that this particular surface “was not a rank turner”.

“Ranchi pitch not a rank turner”

“Firstly, the venue is not something we can control. This was the venue allotted for this series as well. The way the wicket plays out here has always been similar, it’s always not been a rank turner. I wouldn’t call this a rank turner. There was variable bounce: a couple of balls did a bit. I don’t think there were too many balls that spun sharply really from the wicket or were unplayable deliveries.

“There was definitely variable bounce on the lower side. That made batting a little difficult. That is the nature of the soil. [To] the curators, there were no specific instructions from us that we want to play on a rank turner.”

“It was a similar wicket to Saurashtra [Rajkot] which turned a little bit. We expected it to be similar but the soil out here is different and you can’t guarantee the exact wicket you want. There weren’t any instructions honestly that we need a turner. I don’t think it is a turner as of now. It’s just the low bounce which is making batsmanship a little difficult.

“Other than that, I don’t think there has been any ball which has really spun to call it a turning wicket here.”

At stumps on day two, India were 219-7, trailing England by 134 runs.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99