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Starc joins Tendulkar in questioning Perth pitch rating

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Mitchell Starc has joined the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Mitchell Johnson and Michael Vaughan in questioning the decision of the ICC to award the Perth pitch an ‘average’ rating.

Ranjan Madugalle, the match referee for the second Test between Australia and India at the new Perth Stadium, marked the pitch as ‘average’, the lowest passable grade for a surface. Australia won the Test by 146 runs on the fifth day.

The surface, which started out green, had cracks appear as the match went on, and a few deliveries awkwardly hit the batsmen. But, the greats of the game have praised the surface for offering up a match that tested both bowlers and batsmen.

“Pitches play a crucial role, especially in Test cricket. In order to revive Test cricket and generate excitement, we need to provide more pitches like the one at Perth, where the skills of batsmen and bowlers are truly TESTed. This pitch was by no means ‘Average’,” Tendulkar tweeted.

“It was exciting to watch a contest between bat and ball for a change and not these dull flat tracks being served up constantly. I’d actually be interested in knowing what a good pitch is?” Johnson, the former Australia quick, said, while Vaughan described it as “a tremendously exciting pitch which had a bit for everyone”.

Starc, meanwhile, speaking ahead of the Boxing Day Test, felt the call was “harsh”. “You had a fantastic Test match over five days, a fantastic battle between ball and bat which is what you want. I think that was a bit harsh, I’d say, and the fact it was such an exciting Test match that’s what you want to promote. You want to see wickets like that in the future,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“For example, playing in MCG last year was pretty docile and the pitch didn’t do anything. You want a contest between bat and ball so that’s going to keep Test cricket alive and get people into the game like in Perth. It was a fantastic battle there and I thought it was a great pitch,” Starc added to agencies.

“Cracks did play a part but that’s what happens when a wicket is wearing on days four and five. Cricket is turning out to be a batters’ game if you keep making flat wickets always. You want exciting contest between bat and ball.

“When the ball is flying around and batsmen have to play, that’s the game. Marcus Harris batted on after being hit and batsmen from both sides got hit on shoulders but carried on. It’s good aggressive cricket and it brings people to the game.”


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